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SWING BATTER BATTER SWING

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Sophomore year for Stiles Stilinski could be summed up easily. He was best friends with a werewolf turned Scott McCall, he was part of a cool werewolf pack, he had average (ok, slightly below average) grades, no girlfriend/boyfriend (yet, but flirtation was abundant), he was a member of the lacrosse team although he didn’t play much, and sadly his relationship with his father was on the rocks.

Going into his junior year he had a few goals for himself.

GOALS FOR JUNIOR YEAR:

1. Spend some more one-on-one time with his bff/brother from another mother. (Since getting a girlfriend Scott ditched him quite a bit, but this summer was going to be better.)

2. Make better friends with the pack

3. Get a date with someone.
3a. Lydia?
3b. Derek?
3c. Don’t ever let them see this list!

4. Start working out/practicing for lacrosse.
4a. Make Varsity
4b. Start on Varsity

5. Improve relationship with Dad!!!

6. Actually get good grades.
6a. If relationship improves with Dad then ditch this, cause teachers suck!


He was proud of his small list and thought that they were all possible with a little effort. In fact, Scott had made sure to tell him about the pack meeting that night. Since getting turned right before their freshman year things had changed a lot for them. That first year was spent fighting monsters almost by themselves. It had been hard, but eventually, Scott agreed with him that they would do better as part of a pack.

Derek was hesitant to accept them at first, he still gave Stiles plenty of shit, but things seemed to be going well. In the past few months Scott had forgotten to tell him about several pack meetings which had caused him to get disapproving looks, and shoves, from the other members, but the fact that he reminded him about tonight must have meant that Scott was starting to remember him on his own.

Plus, both Derek and Lydia (who did have a boyfriend, but come on, she could do way better than Jackson) would be at the meeting. Yup, things were looking up for Stiles. He even decided to stop off and get pizzas for everyone on his way. It was a little pricey considering he was feeding a small group of werewolves, but he figured it would be a nice treat.

It was a bit of a struggle carrying the food into Derek’s loft by himself but he managed only tripping up the stairs a few times. Once inside he placed the pizzas on the counter and moved to get out some paper plates and napkins for everyone. He also noticed that Derek was running low on milk, Isaac’s favorite cereal, and Erica’s bad day ice cream. He made a mental note to get some more and bring it over tomorrow.

He was getting out some glasses and the pop kept under the sink for when they got pizza when Isaac, Erica, Boyd, and Derek came down. Isaac and Erica were shooting him concerned looks while Derek and Boyd looked like their usual passive selves.

Stiles got a strange feeling as the others kept avoiding his eyes, but he decided to drop it in favor of getting everyone some food. Cheese for Isaac, Pepperoni for Erica, and meat lovers for both Derek and Boyd. Isaac gave him a shy smile as he took his plate and mumbled a soft ‘thank you’.

Jackson, Lydia, and Allison showed up as he was finishing with the other four, so he started on plates for them as well. Veggie for both the girls (although Allison would switch to either cheese or pepperoni later in the night) and pepperoni for Jackson. Scott was the last to arrive, well Peter would have been last but Stiles could see him sitting out on the patio pouting.

Scott moved to get some food (he ate whatever he was in the mood for) while Stiles took a plate out to the brooding older wolf. Peter pretended to like meat lovers, but Stiles knew he was a boring old cheese guy. He grabbed two slices of both and a diet coke before heading out there.

Peter gave him a sad kind of smile before taking the plate. “You do still have my phone number right Mr. Stilinski?”

Stiles stopped in his tracks hearing a small amount of desperation in the reformed wolf’s voice. “Um…Yeah, it’s on my phone?”

Peter just gave a strong head nod before looking back out at the sunset. “If there is ever anything you need…anything you EVER need. Remember I still owe you a favor and that is not something I take lightly. You might not have wanted the bite and I might not be able to give it to you anymore, but anything else I can ever do for you would be my pleasure.”

Stiles was more than a little shocked and the sincerity at which the words were spoken and he even found himself getting a little knot in his chest. “Thanks, Peter.” He whispered knowing the wolf could hear it before turning to go back inside.

“Stiles.” Peter called stopping the teen in his tracks. “Just know that I don’t agree. Personally, I think they have it all wrong.”

Stiles wasn’t sure what he meant, but the tight feeling in his chest moved lower and settled into his stomach. He thought about asking what the older man meant, but there was something that made him go back inside.

He regretted it almost instantly as he saw the looks on some of the pack's faces. Isaac, Erica, and Allison looked sad, Scott looked ashamed, Boyd and Derek looked indifferent, and Jackson and Lydia looked board.

If he had to explain the feeling he got at seeing all of them he wouldn’t be able to. The only thing he knew for sure was that this was the end. He would never admit to them that this was his worst fear coming true or that it felt like his heart was being ripped out of his chest.

“Stiles you should sit down, we need to talk.” Derek said crossing his arms over his chest in his intimidating Alpha stance.

He considered sitting, but he felt twitchy all over. “Too much energy to sit, what’s up Sourwolf?” Stiles questioned moving around the room slowly to stand behind the couch with Isaac and Erica with his back to the door.

“Stiles we have all talked and it has been decided that it would be better for everyone if you were no longer part of this pack. You cause too much of a distraction when we are going into battle and you are at a greater risk of being hurt than any of us. It is too much to ask of the pack to constantly have to save you and it is safer for everyone if you are no longer involved with us.”

The older man’s facial expression stayed impassive the entire time he spoke.

Stile’s mind started coming up with the millions of ways that this was all bullshit. The big glaring thing that he wanted to scream was that he had saved all of their lives on more than one occasion.

More often than not by causing bodily harm to himself to ensure their safety!

Derek kept talking, but Stiles wasn’t really listening. His brain was moving too fast and there were too many thoughts running through his head to focus on Derek. It wasn’t until Scott stood up that Stiles made himself focus back in onto what was being said.

“Look, man, I know that this seems harsh, but we are just trying to look out for you. We don’t want you to get hurt and that means that you need to distance yourself from us and that we need to stay away from you. I know it sounds bad, but we can’t keep you safe if the next monster decides to go after you if you're close to us.” His best (former best, ex?) friend only looked slightly guilty.

Stiles had to take a deep breath to keep from lashing out, because if he was hearing them correctly not only were they kicking him out of the pack, but they were dropping him as a friend as well.

His brain zoned out again but his brain wasn’t going fast this time. No, this time it was stuck on the fact that his best friend was dropping him. Scott, his Scottie, the one and only person who had been his friend, his brother from another mother.

Things were going to go back to how they had been before. This meant that he was going to be by himself all over again. He wanted to roll up in a ball and cry. Right now, he was thanking his ADHD, because it was the only thing keeping him together in this moment.

Rule #1 about not having friends: DO NOT LET THEM SEE YOU CRY!

Erica and Isaac had turned and were looking at him with worried eyes. By this point it was clear they were all expecting him to have exploded or to at least be fighting this and maybe if he was playing by Stiles with friends rules he might have.

Both Derek and Scott were talking at this point trying to justify their decision, but Stiles was tuning them out. He heard a few words such as; liability, danger, understand. Most of it was lost in the muddle that was his mind because his brain was back to moving at super speed.

Stiles wanted to be mad. He wanted to rage and scream and deny everything they were saying, but other things kept filling his mind.

Like who was going to help Isaac with math, who was going to do the research on the things Lydia thought were beneath her, and who was going to make sure Derek kept food in the house?

It was only after Jackson made some smart-ass comment that he realized he hated doing most of that. Well, helping Isaac wasn’t too bad, but not having to deal with Lydia’s mood or the crap jobs Derek dropped on him sounded kind of nice.

A bonus was he wouldn’t have to deal with Jackson anymore.

He hadn’t minded doing those things and so much more when he thought he was doing it for friends, but clearly, they weren’t at all grateful for everything he did for them all the time.

His brain kept moving and they kept talking and finally, he decided that maybe this wouldn’t be the worst thing ever. If they wanted him out why should he fight them on it? Clearly, only Isaac and Erica (and strangely Peter) seemed to care about him at all.

There was also the fact that it felt like his heart was being torn to shreds, but he shoved those feelings down. Deep, deep down.

Stiles wasn’t even sure when he got his phone out of his pocket, but all of a sudden it was right there. “Stiles, are you even paying attention?” Derek snapped angrily that the teen wasn’t focusing on them.

“Yup,” Stiles replied moving from his notes to his Google Drive. He started grouping documents into new folders before sending those out.

“Stiles this is serious get off your phone.” Scott snapped getting Stiles to look up at him for a moment before finishing up what he was doing.

He sent the last group of files before slipping his phone back into his pocket and taking a deep breath. “Sorry. You can finish now.”

The wolves all gave each other an odd look before facing the young man. “Stilinski, you do know you were just kicked out of the pack, right?” Jackson asked with a raised eyebrow.

Stiles nodded his head quickly before remembering he should send Isaac the notes he worked on for his next math test. He pulled his phone back out and found it quickly sending it off and placing his phone back in his pocket.

“Well, aren’t you going to say anything?” Derek asked sounding more annoyed than usual.

Stiles thought about it for a moment deciding it was best if everyone knew where all the information was, in case whoever he sent it to forgot.

“Sure, Lydia I just sent you a copy of everything I have saved on any magical creatures to your email. I sorted them into folders which are labeled, but if you do a quick scan you can see that each paper is titled with its proper supernatural creature.”

She looked confused for a moment before pulling out her phone.

“Jackson, I emailed you Scott and Isaac the training table that coach wants us all to follow since you guys always ask. One of you should be able to look it up at least if you all manage to forget.

Isaac, I sent you the math notes for the next chapter and a link to the math blog I use to make the notes off of. It should help with any questions you have.”

The young wolf just gave him a really pitiful look.

“Derek, I sent you and Boyd a list of the passwords you guys might need for this place including; WIFI, Netflix, the Amazon account, and all the others I knew. It’s just a screenshot, so make sure you guys save it to your phones.

Erica and Allison, I sent you both the grocery list. Erica, you have it because you will remember to go to the store when your cereal runs out, and yours runs out most often, so you need to remember to get everything else. Allison, you have it, because you are the only one who will actually buy fruits and vegetables.”

Stiles tried to think if there was anything he was forgetting, but just then he looked out and saw Peter sitting outside still looking off into the sunset. As much as that guy would never admit it, he would never let his pack get hurt. Maybe once upon a time, but he has worked really hard to get his head on straight.

“Well, I’m going to take off, but please remember; trash comes on Thursdays and recycling comes on Saturdays.”

With that, he took one last look around and walked out the door and down to his jeep. He did not know exactly what his plan was now, but if he remembered how it used to go when he was made picked on at school he should head home.

It hurt more than he would like to admit that his dad wasn’t home when he got there, but his brain quickly shut those thoughts down.

Really it was better if his dad isn’t home. The two of them were still on rocky terms and the last thing his father needs would him running in and crying to him about something he can’t even explain.

He takes a few deep breaths before parking his car and heading inside. He thought about maybe going and getting something to eat since he didn’t have any pizza, but the thought of what he had just left behind turned his stomach.

Once in the safety of his room did he allow the tears to fall. He crawled into his bed and let the words of his ex-pack hit him. They were done with him because they decided he was weak. He was just the weak little human that they had been keeping around to do the grunt work.

Now they had grown bored of him and they decided they were done with him.

“Well, F that.” He cried into his pillow.

Stiles stayed like that for a while until his head started to hurt from all of the crying he had done. Forcing himself to get up he decided it was time to get down to business. He could cry as much as he wanted later, but for right now he needed to get to work.

There was still some spare mountain ash that Deaton had given him under his floorboards. Step one was to protect his room. The whole house would have been ideal, but for now, he only had a small amount of mountain ash and he needed to use it sparingly.

Putting it over his door was easy, but putting it over his window hurt a lot more. This was how they came in and him putting this down was actually drawing a line saying he was done with them. The thought hurt, but not as much as it had hurt when they drew the line first.

Once his room was secure he decided he should look over his list and make the needed edits.

GOALS FOR JUNIOR YEAR:

1. Spend some more one-on-one time with his bff/brother from another mother. Since getting a girlfriend Scott ditched him quite a bit, but this summer was going to be better. Make a new best friend!

2. Make better friends with the pack. Find new friends

3. Get a date with someone.
3a. Lydia?
3b. Derek?
3c. Don’t ever let them see this list!

4. Start working out/practicing for lacrosse.
4a. Make Varsity
4b. Start on Varsity

5. Improve relationship with Dad!!!

6. Actually get good grades.
6a. If relationship improves with Dad then ditch this, cause teachers suck!

Well, that wasn’t as many changes as he had thought it was going to be, but meeting his goals seemed like they would be a lot harder now. Getting over both Derek and Lydia seemed like the hardest task of them all.

School started next week, so he had the weekend to figure out what he was going to do now that his life had changed so much in such a little amount of time.

SWING BATTER BATTER SWING

One month after being kicked out of the pack.

Stiles was not doing too well. He had a solid count of zero friends and what he figured was probably the start of a very serious depression. The pack was serious when they said they were breaking all contact with him. None of them would even acknowledge his presence at school and he happened to run into one of them outside of it he would be met with hostility for ‘following them’.

As if he was the one following them to the new Marvel movie premiere.

School was starting to become unbearable since he had no one to talk to all day. Harris and coach were on his ass every single day in their classes, the football team was quick to pick up on his lack of friends and start pushing him around, and anyone he tried to talk to practically shunned him.

Even at home life was sucking worse than ever. His dad was taking extra shifts at the station, so he was there by himself most of the time.

It felt like no one was noticing, or no one cared, that his entire life was spinning out of control.

Well, that was until someone did notice. “Mr. Stilinski could you stay back for a minute?” Mr. West said after the bell rang.

A few people snickered causing Stiles to twitch a little in his seat. Mr. West was the new English teacher and Stiles had him for fifth period right before lunch.

“What can I do for you, Sir?” He asked trying not to sound like a whining child. He really wanted to get his food quickly so he could head to the library.

Mr. West was one of those teachers who wore a button up and a tie every day, except on casual Fridays when he would wear one of those school t-shirts they hand out to staff. In fact, even his nice clothes were in school colors.

Even though he wore those boring clothes it was always easy to tell how muscular the guy was. It looked like he worked out a lot, but anyone who paid any attention could see that there was a picture of him in a military uniform holding the women who Stiles guessed was his wife on his desk.

Taking that into account it made sense that the man would have a buzz cut for his blond hair. If he had to guess he would say the guy was late thirties, but a part of him always wondered if that was just his time at war that made him look so much more mature. Stiles figured this was not the right time to ask.

“Stiles. Are you comfortable being called Stiles?”

“Of course, I picked it.” Stiles replied with a small frown.

Mr. West moved around his desk and slowly leaned against the front of it. “I heard that, but…I also heard from some of the other teachers that you picked it long before you got to this school. When I was a kid I made my parents call me Spock, but that wasn’t what I wanted to be called in high school. I thought I would ask what you wanted to be called now.”

Stiles had a hard time swallowing past the lump in his throat. No one had ever thought about the fact that he might not like being called Stiles anymore. “I…My real name is hard to pronounce. Even I couldn’t pronounce it as a kid. I came up with Stiles cause I thought it suited my last name well. Like a superhero or something.”

He hadn’t meant to go into that much detail and had to twitch a little to focus. “Yes, you can call me Stiles.”

“Well then, Stiles. I just wanted to talk to you for a moment. I couldn’t help but notice that you have been really quiet in my class. Talking to some of the other teachers they told me this was new behavior and it worried me a little. Is everything alright Stiles?”

Mr. West had a genuinely concerned look on his face and it was throwing Stiles through a loop. It had been feeling like no one noticed the change in his behavior and it had been making him sad. The fact that this man, a kind of stranger had noticed before anyone who supposedly cared about him made his chest tight.

“I’m fine. I figured all the teachers would be pleased my mouthing off has stopped.” He replied with a huff.

Mr. West just looked even more concerned. “Stiles, you are a smart kid. I know you don’t always apply yourself and that it can frustrate some teachers, but none of us want you to feel like you have to stay silent in our classes.”

Stiles couldn’t help the snort and Mr. West gave him a small nod. “Alright well Harris doesn’t want his students to talk, but between you and me that guy is kind of a prick.”

Ok, Stiles was starting to like this guy. “I’m alright Mr. West. I’m just trying to figure out some things out and I guess it is sort of distracting me.”

It was only a particle lie, so he only felt a little guilty. Mr. West seemed to be considering it, but what could he do other than nod his head. “If there is anything I can help you figure out, or if there is someone you need to talk to my door is always open.”

“Thanks, Mr. West.” Stiles said grabbing his bag and standing.

Mr. West straitened up too. “I’m serious Stiles. In fact here. This is a business card with both my home and personal phone number as well as my email address. If you need anything night or day just give a shout and I’ll be there.”

Stiles flipped the business card in his hands a few times before placing it in his backpack. “Thank you.”

He actually meant it too. This was the most kindness and consideration anyone had shown him in over a month. The sincerity of it almost brought a tear to his eye, but he knew he had to push those down where they belong.

“Well, good talk.” He said before walking towards the door.

“Wait, don’t you need a pass to your next class?” Mr. West asked.

Stiles gave him the first real grin he had in a while. “I’m good. I have lunch next period and I’m just gonna head to the library anyway, so thanks, but I’m good.”

Mr. West seemed like he knew exactly what Stiles was saying. “Well it’s my lunch period as well, so if you ever get bored of the library you are more than welcome to bring your food here. My sons do it all the time, so it would just be the four of us if you decide to drop by.”

“I’ll think about it.” He said turning back to the door.

“You're always welcome.” Was called after him causing another grin to fall onto his face.

SWING BATTER BATTER SWING

Two months after being kicked out of the pack.

Stiles was pretty sure this is what depression feels like. Most days he was fine and could do everything he was supposed to do, but it was like there was a weight crushing him each and every second. Some days he didn’t even want to get out of bed and when his dad had work he would spend the entire day sleeping or just lying in his bed thinking about nothing.

The only nice thing he had going for him was that Mr. West was looking out for him. If Harris, coach, or any of the other teachers decided he needed detention (for what he didn’t know, because he was hardly talking anymore, so mouthing off was not the reason) Mr. West would make sure he served it with him.

At first, it had sucked, because Mr. West would make him study whatever subject he was serving the detention for. After his new favorite teacher caught on to the fact that he was getting detention for the sake of detention he changed the plan up.

Instead of punishment they would watch a movie closely (ok, not really) related to the subject. They watched all kinds of crazy thing like; Wild Wild West for History, Osmosis Jones for Chemistry, Ghost Busters for Physics, and other various movies. They would only watch it in small intervals, but they were having a good time.

There were some days where he didn’t have detention where he would just show up and they would watch something while he helped Mr. West to grade papers.

Isaac and Erica would shoot him longing looks in the hall sometimes, but other than that the pack ignored his existence completely. Even the time he ran into Scott and Mama McCall at the diner. Scott just pretended they were in a hurry and glared at Stiles when his mom invited the boy over for dinner.

“Thanks, but I have to get home.” He responded quickly practically running out of the restaurant.

Scott sent him an aggressive text that night and Stiles decided it was time to block the other’s numbers. If this was how they treated him now then he didn’t need to hear anything they had to say.

There was the off chance that they might try to reach him because they needed something, but he figured they were kind of on their own at this point.

Everything stayed in that kind of neutral not great ground for the next couple of weeks until one day his world fell on its head all over again. Stiles was just minding his own business when all of a sudden, some guy bumped into him at his locker.

He turned to see who it was and was not pleased to see the captain of the football team and several of its other members who were making their way down the hall. “Watch where you’re going Stilinski!”

Once upon a time, Stiles would have fired back a smart comment, but now he just shrugged and turned back to his locker. Apparently, that was a bad idea.

Next thing he knew his face was being slammed into the locker next to him and he was sliding to the floor with blood running down his front. If he had to guess he would say broken nose. This was going to be a hard one to explain if his dad bothered to notice.

He turned to face his attacker and got a strong kick to the stomach for it. The coughing hurt due to the pain in his face, but not as much as hearing the laughing of everyone around them. Well, the laughing wouldn’t have hurt as bad had he not looked over to see Scott and Jackson amongst those laughing.

He looked his former best friend dead in the eye and Scott’s laughter subsided. Scott for a moment looked like he was about to step up and help, but instead, he just looked to the floor guiltily.

“Keep the fuck out of my way freak.” The captain barked ready to throw a punch.

Stiles could do nothing but brace himself. The impact that should have wrecked what was left of his face however never came. Instead, he heard the sound of grunting.

Opening his eyes, he was shocked to find three people fighting the captain, James he thought his name was, and the other members of the football team who dared to join in the fight.

He recognized Danny right away and felt his heart flutter. The other two confused him for a moment, but maybe it was just the hit to the head because he thought he was seeing double. In actuality, it was the twins who he had a couple of classes with. They were a year behind them, but they had skipped their sophomore year and were now with the juniors.

“What in the hell is going on here?” The principal called getting the group to stop their fighting. Stiles was still kind of dazed, but he was pulled to his feet by Aiden or was it, Ethan, his head was really hurting.

The principal started yelling and from the sound of it, Stiles was going to be blamed for all of this. Oh great, his dad was going to be pissed if he got suspended. The only people coming to his defense were the people who had fought for him. Even though about thirty people had seen what had happened. God, Stiles was really starting to hate this school.

James was smiling smugly at him, so it looked like he was doomed when all of a sudden Mr. West showed up. “Well, I think if you are planning to punish any of them you need to punish them all Sir. Fighting like this should not be tolerated. It will be a shame to have so many of the football team having to sit out, but rules are rules.”

Stiles had never wanted to hug a teacher before, but he was getting the urge now. The principal was sputtering trying to think of something to say.

While the football team might not be good he didn’t want to ruin their chances even more.

“I think we could go with a warning this time don’t you boys?” The principal asked in a tone suggesting that they all needed to nod their head. “Good, now if anything like this happens again you can be sure your punishment will be severe.”

The crowd fell apart quickly and Stiles got a few good glares from the football team. Once the bell rang it was only Ethan, Aiden, Danny, Stiles, and Mr. West standing in the hall.

“The nurse is out today, so let’s get him back to my classroom. I keep a first aid kit in there.”

Twenty minutes later the only traces of blood were on his shirt and there was a large white bandage over his nose.

“Thanks for your help guys.” He muttered quietly as Mr. West started putting his supplies away.

Danny put a supportive hand on his shoulder. “Any time. I don’t know what happened with you and your old friends, but fuck those guys if they would just let this happen.”

“Yah and James can go…” Aiden started but was stopped when he got a stern look from Mr. West. “Sorry.”

The group stayed there and talked for a while. Apparently, Danny and Ethan were best friends. They had tried dating for a while, but they just weren’t right for each other. Ethan and Aiden were easy to tell apart if you actually looked at them. The two of them seemed like cool dudes.

Danny explained how Jackson had practically dropped him as a friend last summer and how the twins had sort of adopted him. The twins talked about how something similar had happened to them in the past and it upset them to see it happen to others.

“So, Stiles, want to come over to our house for dinner tonight?” Ethan asked with sweet puppy dog eyes.

“I don’t want to impose.” He responded quickly. Sure, these guys seemed nice and he should probably spend some more time with Danny, but he didn’t want them to get sick of him already.

Aiden gave him a curious glance before giving him a blinding smirk. “Dad, can we have our friends over for dinner?”

Mr. West just gave a small chuckle. “These two troublemakers? Well…I suppose.”

All four of them seemed to laugh at Stile’s deer in the headlights look. Mr. West was the father of two of his saviors. That couldn’t be, because they had a different last name and they looked nothing like him or the women in the picture on Mr. West’s desk.

“I think we broke his brain.” Aiden laughed. Ethan gave his brother a small shove. “Don’t be rude, he hit his head.”

Ethan moved smoothly over to Stiles and wrapped his arm around him in a friendly manner. “Were adopted genius. We kept our last name, but he is our dad.”

Stiles nodded his head slowly processing everything he was hearing.

Dinner that night was fantastic and the first time in a long time Stiles felt genuinely happy. Mrs. West (call me Cathy dear) let them order Chinese food after some fussing from Aiden. They all spent the evening getting to know each other and telling stories. When food was done they moved into the living room and broke out the games.

Like actually family board games. They had some intense rounds of UNO, but all in all, it felt like the best night of Stile’s life. It was the start of a beautiful friendship. By the end of the night, Aiden was claiming Stiles as his and making plans for the next day.

SWING BATTER BATTER SWING

Four months after being kicked out of the pack.

Things were turning around for Stiles. His new friends were determined to keep him from falling into a depression. He was as honest as he could be with them about what had gone down between him and the pack. They convinced him that all he needed was real friends.

From that point on the four of them had been thick as thieves. They even ate lunch in Mr. West’s (David when we're not at school) room. Slowly he started moving on from the hurt his former friends had caused him.

Once the football team finished their season everyone laid off of him. It probably helped that he was constantly with the others, but it made him smile to hear they had another losing season.

As the semester was coming to an end it was time for open fields for lacrosse. Stiles was more than a little nervous to be going since his old pack would be there. At least Danny would be there with him, but Ethan and Aiden had no interest in the sport. He only asked them once if they were going to try out and they had just laughed it off.

Pulling up to school by himself on a Saturday he had to calm himself down before getting out of his jeep. Some of the guys from the team snickered as they passed him and he had to stop an eye roll at hearing Jackson and Scott trying to corral the guys who were early.

“Stiles? What are you doing here?” He heard a familiar voice call to him.

He felt a grin fall into place as he saw Ethan and Aiden coming closer with two bags over their shoulders. “Hey, it’s my twins. So, did you guys decide to try lacrosse out after all?”

They looked at each other and laughed again before turning back to him. “No way dude. Were hear for the baseball open fields. We thought you knew we were on the team.”

Stiles thought back but shrugged. “I don’t think we ever really talked about sports.”

The twins considered it before nodding their heads. “I guess not. Are you really going to go and try to play with them?” Ethan asked.

Stiles looked over his shoulder towards the lacrosse players before shrugging. “I wouldn’t be there for them. I have been on the team for the past two years and this year I am hoping to make varsity.”

“Good luck with that.” A new voice said coming over to their group.

“Sup Danny and what do you mean? I know I probably wouldn’t play, but I think I could at least make the team.” It hurt a bit to think Danny had no faith in him.

“Sorry Stiles, I didn’t mean it like that. It’s just…Since Scott, Jackson, and who knows else started their possibly steroid induced workout regime those of us who used to be good can’t even hold a candle to anyone else. That’s why I’m going out for the baseball team this year instead.

If I want to go to college I’m going to need at least a partial scholarship, but a sports one would be pretty nice.” Danny explained pulling his ball glove out of his bag instead of his lacrosse one.

Ethan’s face lit up. “Sty you should come with us. The baseball team is having open fields today and I bet it would be a lot more fun than lacrosse.”

Stiles had to take a moment to think about that. He had to play lacrosse, he was a lacrosse player, right? Thinking back to the past two years he recalled all of the times the lacrosse team had put him down or used him as their own punching bag. Even coach treated him horribly, so why should he want to be on the team with them?

It was sort of making sense that he should do something else, but his self-doubt decided this was the perfect time to rear its ugly head. “I don’t know guys, I don’t know much about baseball. Is switching sorts now really such a good idea. I am barely coordinated enough to be a bench warmer and doesn’t like everyone have to play on the baseball team?”

Ethan gave him a sad look before coming closer and putting his arm around him supportively. This was something his new friends did a lot and he would never admit it, but he is a big fan.

“How about this; you could just come and hang out at the open field with us and we could let you know the rules and give you a few pointers. If it’s something you’re into you could keep coming back and if you’re not you can still try out for lacrosse later. Open fields aren’t mandatory for any sport.”

Stiles thought about it for a moment before deciding to just go with the flow. Who knows, maybe he will really like baseball?

SWING

Turns out he really likes baseball. The open fields were less of the captains leading drills, like lacrosse, and more of a bunch of people just hanging out and having fun.

To start they just threw the ball around and warmed up a little. The four of them formed a group (thank goodness Aiden had an extra glove) and the other three started explaining things to him.

The rules seemed simple enough and it’s not like he lived under a rock. He had a basic understanding of the game already. They talked about positions and the twins let them know which people had been on the team last year. Apparently, there were a bunch of open spots on varsity since they had a large senior class last year.

Once they were done with warmups they moved onto playing and hitting. They were divided into two groups (not teams the captains were clear) and sent to either the field or to bat. It reminded Stiles of The Sandlot because they weren’t actually playing.

A batter would be told where to hit the ball and they would try their best. Then the people in the field would be told how to pass the ball around before getting it back to the pitcher’s mound where three seniors were standing.

Stiles was sent to the outfield and he did surprisingly ok. He caught the ball when needed and was able to throw it where they asked. He figured he could have been a little cleaner, but for being his first try he was proud of himself.

It was at bat where he really started to shine. When he had been putting his lacrosse stuff back in the truck he found his old monster beating baseball bat. When he stepped up to the plate and was told to hit the ball to the outfield he crushed it all the way to the back fence.

The pour outfielder had to work really hard to catch the ball. He felt bad, but the others had looked impressed with him. His next time up he had to hit a ground ball to second. Once again people seemed impressed with the way he hit the ball.

“You’re doing great Sty.” Danny said clapping him on the shoulder.

“Well, when you're used to swinging on monster’s baseballs are amazingly easy.” He said in a joking tone. Danny laughed with him for a moment before brushing his comment off.

The ended the open field with conditioning. Stiles was prepared for all the fun to be over and to have their asses handed to them by the seniors. They were called into a circle with the seniors in the middle. “First grade with everyone out has to stay and take care of the diamond.”

Everyone else nodded, so Stiles just went along with it. “On the count of 3. 1…2…3.”

On three everyone took off away from the seniors. Stiles followed their lead and ran as far away as fast as possible before he turned to get a look at what was going on. He watched as the seniors hunted down those younger than them.

Once they touched another person that person would stop what they were doing and drop to the ground in a bridge position. Then someone from their same grade would come and army crawl under them and the two of them would run off again.

“Freeze tag. Seriously?” Stiles questioned before taking off in a different direction to avoid being tagged.

They played for a while and Stiles had to admit. This was a good way to condition. Everyone seemed to be having a lot of fun and they were running faster than Stiles had ever seen the lacrosse team condition.

The freshman were the first grade out and when they lost their last man they all dropped to the ground. It went on with the sophomores and juniors for a while, but while the seniors were distracted by the last sophomore Stiles un-froze most of the juniors.

“Is there any way we can win?” He questioned starting to get winded.

Some of the other juniors thought for a moment before shrugging. “We could try escaping the field.” Someone suggested.

“Any objections?” Aiden asked.

When no one spoke up the plan was set and just in time too. The sophomores were finished and panting on the ground.

The enter junior class took off in different directions looking for ways off the field. Some made it to the dugout, some started climbing the outfield fence to get out. Stiles and Ethan decided to climb up the chain link fence and onto the dugout while the last remaining few climbed the big fences on the side and jumped to safety.

The seniors looked like they were trying to figure out what to do when there was a loud whistle. All eyes turned to see Mr. West who was laughing quietly behind home plate.

“Well, boys that was great to watch.” He yelled.

Everyone started making their way towards him with grins on their faces. “Good to see you all are enjoying your time without me. Remember to enjoy this time while you have it because in season we are only going to have a few chances to goof off.”

Some people laughed at that and the twins had matching smirks. Things ended quickly after that and Stiles had to admit that he had a lot of fun. Maybe this was something he would enjoy after all.

“So, Stiles, are you thinking about joining us?” Mr. West asked with a smirk.

Stiles couldn’t help the shy smile or blush. He had really enjoyed himself and now that he knew Mr. West was the coach this was defiantly something he could see himself doing. Looking back on it lacrosse had always been Scott’s dream. He had like the sport well enough, but he mostly wanted to do it because he wanted to hang out with his best friend.

Why shouldn’t he try baseball for the same reason?

“I think I might.” He replied with an actual grin.

“That’s excellent, but you know what that means don’t you?” Mr. West laughed again at his confused look. “Now Stiles I get to actually get on you about your grades because I have high expectations for my players.”

The smirk slipped off his face and was replaced with a look of fear. “Don’t worry about it Sty.” Aiden said with a smile. “I’ll share my notes with you.”

Danny let out a howl of laughter. “Yah your notes aren’t going to do shit for him. Ethan, maybe you could give Stiles a hand with his school work.”

Ethan looked like a deer in headlights but nodded his head quickly. His face turned bright red with a blush and he hurried towards the parking lot with his stuff causing both Aiden and Danny to full body laugh.

“What was that about?” Mr. West asked in a disapproving tone.

“Don’t worry about it Daddy-O. Ethan is just dealing with a little something right now. He can handle it himself.” Aiden said grabbing his bag and heading in the direction of the parking lot. “Keep the glove Sty.” He called over his shoulder before running to catch his twin.

“Do I want to know?” Stiles asked Danny.

His friend just gave him a small shrug. “Probably, but I think it’s better if you find out naturally. Believe me, you will know soon enough.” With that, he grabbed his own bag and headed after their friends.

“Here’s your bat Stilinski.” One of the seniors said handing the object over. “Good work out there today. You will make a great asset to the team.”

Stiles preened at the praise. Yah, it was never like this with lacrosse. He could get used to this.

“Are you and Danny coming over for family game night tomorrow?” Mr. West asked.

Stiles found himself smiling again at the thought of being included in their family. “You bet. See you tomorrow coach.”

“See you tomorrow Stiles. Stay out of trouble.” Coach called after him with a sincere smile.

SWING BATTER BATTER SWING

NEW
GOALS FOR JUNIOR YEAR

1. Spend some more one-on-one time with his bff/brother from another mother. Since getting a girlfriend Scott ditched him quite a bit, but this summer was going to be better. Make a new best friend! CHECK

2. Make better friends with the pack. Find new friends CHECK

3. Get a date with someone.
3a. Lydia?
3b. Derek?
3c. Don’t ever let them see this list!
3a. Ethan?
3b. Don’t ever let him (or Aiden) see this list!

4. Start working out/practicing for lacrosse baseball.
4a. Make Varsity-Baseball team
4b. Start on Varsity-Baseball team

5. Improve relationship with Dad!!!

6. Actually get good grades.
6a. If relationship improves with Dad then ditch this, cause teachers suck! most teachers suck!
6b. Improve grades to stay on team.
6c. Improve grades enough to make Mr. West/David/Coach proud!

SWING BATTER BATTER SWING

Five months after being kicked out of the pack.

Baseball was a great outlet and his dad was really proud of him for deciding he wanted to play. It might not have been football like his old man played, but his dad was proud that he was trying something new.

It helped a lot that Coach had personally taken the time to talk to his dad about how happy he was to have Stiles on the team. Sure, they hadn’t had tryouts yet, but apparently, Stiles had natural talent and had a good shot at making varsity.

This, of course, inspired his father to buy him brand new baseball equipment for Christmas. It took up way less space than his lacrosse crap which was now sitting in the garage.

His dad took some time off over break and the two of them were starting to talk like they used to. Stiles found it a lot easier to talk since he didn’t have anything to hide from him anymore. They could sit and talk about their days and there was no fear of spilling the beans about mythical creatures that were not so mythical.

Stiles also spent a lot of time with not only his three other friends but his other new baseball friends over break.

All of the guys were being cool about him missing a lot of baseball knowledge, so they were having a bunch of viewing parties to get him caught up to speed. They would sit around and watch old games so they could explain some of the less obvious things to him.

Some of the guys even started coming to family game night once a month. The other three weeks were reserved for the original group, but it was nice having the others there when they came. They even had enough people one time to have two different groups for cards against humanity.

Cathy was so kind for letting all these boys into her home. Stiles did what he could to make it easier on her including showing up early to help her cook and staying late to clean up after his hooligan friends. She was always trying to wave him off, but he liked helping her.

When Coach (new coach) had walked in on him washing the dishes and putting them back in their proper homes he offered Stiles a key to the house and made the twins come observe the proper way to be a good son.

“Well, in that case, we're just going to have to keep him forever so he can be the son you have always dreamed of.” Aiden said smugly.

Break went on and one of the seniors on the baseball team was having a New Year’s party that the others had dragged him to. There were plenty of people from school there and Stiles was a little nervous.

Danny brought a bottle of Jack for the four of them to share and the plan was to crash at Stile’s house because the sheriff was working the entire night. His dad had felt guilty, but Stiles knew this had to happen sometimes.

As the night went on they all became a little tipsy and Stiles found himself sitting on a couch in-between the twins. Danny was sitting with them on Aiden’s other side and they all had their arms around each other.

It was close to midnight and people were starting to pair off. Stiles knew it meant they were planning to kiss and thought maybe he should get up and find someone of his own, but he was feeling really relaxed here.

There was less than a minute left and people started counting down.

“Sty?” Ethan said pulling them closer.

“Yeah, Ethan?”

“Would you maybe…want to…I mean…we could…if you wanted to…it might be kind of nice…yah, nice if we…” He trailed off breathing heavily through his nose.

“He wants to kiss you.” Aiden supplied pulling his arm out from behind Stiles and giving him a soft shove towards his brother.

Ethan just nodded his head several times. “That!” He practically whispered.

Stiles thought about it for a moment, but his drunk brain could see no reason that it would be a bad idea for the two of them to kiss. “That would be cool.” He whispered praying that his breath didn’t stink.

“10.9.8.7.6.5.4.3.2.1 Happy New Year!” Could be heard through the whole party, but Stiles was more focused on the most amazing feeling of Ethan’s lips on his.

The kiss might have lasted a few seconds, or it could have lasted several minutes, but one thing was clear. When the two of them pulled apart Stiles wanted desperately to pull Ethan closer and kiss him again.

Ethan was looking at him with something Stiles could only describe as love in his eyes. “Will you go out with me?” Stiles practically screamed.

God, his heart was beating way to fast. Ethan just nodded his head quickly before pulling him back in for another kiss. This time when they broke apart they were greeted with a thunderous round of applause from all of the partygoers around them.

Aiden and Danny were grinning like fools and were kind enough to get the others to go back to their business and ‘give the lovebirds some room’. Had Stiles not been so caught up in the moment he might have noticed Lydia, Scott, Allison, and Jackson standing across the room looking like they had just eaten something sour.

The four of them walked back to Stile’s house which was only a few blocks away and spent the night watching movies and having their own version of a puppy pile. They all were tired the next morning and spent the day being lazy and watching tv.

Danny and Aiden had to roll their eyes and complain several times to get Ethan and Stiles to stop being all couplie, but they sent constant happy glances at them throughout the day. They were just happy the two of them were finally together.

Their first date was simple. They went to the movies and then to the diner to get some food and milkshakes. The spent most of the night talking, not like they normally do, but talking about things you would only talk about with someone who wants to know everything about you. By the end of the night, Stiles was head over heels for Ethan.

Ethan drove Stiles home and the two of them stood on the porch awkwardly for a few moments before they just went for it and kissed again.

“So, does this mean we're like a thing? Cause I would really like to be a thing.” Ethan asked almost touching their noses.

“That would make me the happiest teen in the world.” Stiles said before going in for another kiss.

That night Stiles was jumping around the house like a kid again. His father was happy to see his son so happy, but he did want a chance to get a word in with his son’s boyfriend about how he expects him to treat his little boy. He was just glad Ethan was such a good kid.

SWING BATTER BATTER SWING

Six months after being kicked out of the pack.

Stiles was nervous for tryouts. Nervous might not be the right word; he was terrified for tryouts.

He was jittery the enter day and he had no appetite at lunch. Coach looked worried for him, but there wasn’t much he could do for him other than to tell him to relax.

Ethan was doing his part to try and calm him down and Stiles felt bad for being so snippy all day. Aiden was by far the best at distracting him, but they only had three classes together outside of lunch.

If Aiden wanted to distract him all he would have to do would be to pull up some crazy fan theory about one of Stile’s favorite nerd things and pose it as a question. The theory that all of his favorite SYFY shows were set in the same universe kept him distracted for an entire period.

Stiles was calming down a little towards the end of the day, so of course, everything needed to be ruined by Scott, Jackson, and Isaac. They cornered him before last period after he had already parted from his friends.

“What do you fuckers want?” Stiles grunted out.

Scott and Isaac shared concerned glances while Jackson took point. “Look Stilin…Stiles. We are just wondering why you haven’t been to any of the open fields?”

If it was actually possible Jackson Whitmore managed to say those words sounding like he was actually interested in Stile’s life.

He had to actually compose himself (i.e. pinch himself to see if this was real) before replying.

“I’m not trying out for lacrosse this year.” He said as calmly as possible.

Isaac looked like his words had physically wounded him, but Stiles was having a hard time feeling bad for him. Jackson even looked a little guilty and he had no idea what to do with that. It was Scott who decided to take the bull by the horns.

“Stiles when we told you that we couldn’t be friends with you anymore we didn’t mean…well…we didn’t mean that you had to give up lacrosse. I can see how it would have seemed like…um…like that, but we don’t want to take something…something you love away from you.” His former best friend said with a frown on his face.

He wasn’t sure if he wanted to laugh or yell. Were they serious about this? What being friends was out the window, but they could handle being teammates?

“The team won’t be the same without you.” Isaac tried weekly.

Oh, it was all starting to make sense now. The ‘team’ was missing their whipping boy. They weren’t doing as well without a dumb teammate that they could push around and make fun of. He would bet it was hard for them to bond without someone to pick on. The nerve of these guys to come and say this to his face.

“Well, that sucks for the team. I guess you guys will just have to find a freshman to push around this season instead. You just better hope he doesn’t wizen up to your crap faster than I did.” He said before shoving past them (darn her forgot how strong werewolves were) and heading to class.

The others could tell something was up when he met up with them in the outside locker room. It was a long way to carry his bag, but it was right next to the field, so he sort of got it. They had to take their bags to the dugout anyway, so they really only used this building to change and to have team meetings.

“Sty are you alright?” Danny asked in a concerned voice.

He took a few deep breaths to calm down before striping to change into his practice clothes. “I think I will be. I had a run in with some jerks, but I think after everything that has happened I’m going to be alright.”

“Fuck those guys man. Now, let’s go play some ball.”

Tryouts happened and Stiles was pleasantly surprised with how well he had done. Instead of doing them over several days tryouts lasted several hours. Coach said it was partially a test of endurance and partially a mental test.

Aiden said it was more of a ‘he wasn’t planning on cutting anyone, so he didn’t want to stress them out over nothing’ type thing.

Every single one of them smelled horrible and was feeling sore by the time they were done. “Everyone did great work today. I am really proud of all of you. Now, get a good stretch and make sure to drink plenty of fluids today. I will be making my decisions tonight and posting them first thing tomorrow. Nice work everyone.”

It was a stressful night and coach needed his space (yes there are assistant coaches and the twins said they were having a sleepover with their dad to make the choices), so the sheriff said it was alright for the boys to spend the night, Ethan and Stiles could not stay in his room, even though it was a school night.

The next day they got to school way earlier than necessary to wait for Coach to show up. Even the twins were anxious about their spot.

They had not made varsity before and both really wanted it this year. They knew they would need to work extra hard to prove they could be on the team since their dad was the coach, but they felt like they were finally ready.

Coach pulled up about thirty minutes before school started and was quickly followed into the building by a large group of teenage boys.

He made his way to the trophy case, the one out of the way of most students, before taping the list up and walking away quickly. Ethan and Aiden spotted their names quickly on the varsity roster and pulled each other into a tight hug.

Danny was next and he let out a small victory cry when he saw his name.

Stiles kept getting elbowed and people kept stepping in front of him, so he was having a hard time seeing anything. One of the seniors who he had come to know as Ham, he had no idea what his real name was, but that was what everyone called him, noticed he was having a hard time getting a look. He grabbed Stiles by the collar and shoved him forward so he could get a look for himself.

He scanned the list once and then twice not seeing his name anywhere. His heart was crashing into his stomach and he felt like running away. He hadn’t made it. His name was not on the list. God, why did he even bother trying out? There was no way this could have worked out for him. He shouldn’t have even tried.

Stiles was about to walk (run) away when Ham gripped him tighter and pushed him a little more forcefully towards the list. Clearly, it was not easy holding him there when everyone was trying to get a look.

Realizing he wasn’t going anywhere Stiles forced himself to look over the list one more time. He was about to force his way out of Ham’s hold when he saw something that almost made him drop to his knees.

Under the word, varsity 12th from the top was the name Mieczyslaw Stilinski.

Coach had used his real name. The name that everyone seemed to have forgotten belonged to him.

He hadn’t noticed Ham moving him away from the list or Ethan taking the seniors place in holding him up. Instead, he was focused on trying to keep the tears out of his eyes. Honestly, it was much harder to keep them in when they were from happiness rather than from being angry.

“Mieczyslaw. I like it.” Ethan said pulling Stile’s attention back to him. “I think we might even use it for one of our kids one day. What do you think?”

Ok, he was done. He let a few tears escape, but he buried his face in Ethan’s shoulder to cover it. “Promise me we would never do something so awful to our child.”

It came out sort of muffled, but Ethan heard him all the same and let out a deep laugh in response. Stile really liked feeling that laugh through his boyfriend’s chest.

“Well, I guess it could be a good middle name instead.” Now it was Stile’s turn to laugh.

SWING

Later that night Stiles figured it was time to update his list once again.

NEW
GOALS FOR JUNIOR YEAR

1. Spend some more one-on-one time with his bff/brother from another mother. Since getting a girlfriend Scott ditched him quite a bit, but this summer was going to be better. Make a new best friend! CHECK

2. Make better friends with the pack. Find new friends CHECK

3. Get a date with someone. CHECK
3a. Lydia?
3b. Derek?
3c. Don’t ever let them see this list!
3a. Ethan? CHECK :)
3b. Don’t ever let him (or Aiden) see this list!
3c. Ask Ethan to PROM!

4. Start working out/practicing for lacrosse baseball. CHECK
4a. Make Varsity-Baseball team CHECK
4b. Start on Varsity-Baseball team

5. Improve relationship with Dad!!! CHECK
5a. Invite him to baseball games and use that as a bonding point.

6. Actually get good grades.
6a. If relationship improves with Dad then ditch this, cause teachers suck! most teachers suck!
6b. Improve grades to stay on team.
6c. Improve grades enough to make Mr. West/David/Coach proud!
6d. Work on getting good grades for myself.

It was strange to see how much his list had changed in such a short amount of time, but he was proud of all of the accomplishments he had made. He was also proud of the new goals he was setting for himself.

SWING

A few days later Stiles was sitting in Econ with Mr. Flinstock when the teacher gave him a questioning look. There was no way this was going to turn out well, so Stiles gripped his desk tightly and held on for whatever this was going to be.

“Bilinski! Mahealani! Why have I not seen you two at practice this week?” He asked in that agitated tone he gets.

Stiles had to blink a few times to actually comprehend what Mr. Flinstock was saying. He turned slightly in his chair to give Danny a questioning look.

Scott and Lydia were giving him worried looks and he was betting if he turned around the same look would be on Boyd’s face. Well, maybe not Boyd, but his face would defiantly not be his normal stoic self.

“Well, Mr. Flinstock were not on the lacrosse team this year.” Stiles said calmly hoping the conversation would be done.

If it was possible their Econ teacher looked angrier than usual. “Bilinski what are you talking about. Of course, you two are on the lacrosse team.”

“Nope.” Danny said quickly. “Neither of us tried out this year. Were actually on the baseball team.”

At his words, Scott made a choking noise and Lydia was quick to check on him. The teacher was only distracted for a moment before turning his attention back to his original focus.

“Baseball team? What do you mean baseball team?” He questioned. “That’s just ridiculous.”

He turned away from his students and started walking around. This was quite possibly the moment he lost it. “Coach are you alright?” Scott asked.

Instead of answering the man simply walked out of his classroom leaving behind confused students. Scott was debating going after him before their teacher came back into the room pulling a worried Mr. West behind him.

“Robert, what is the meaning of this?” David asked. “You had me leave my students unsupervised, so this had better be important.”

“What do these two…” He paused to point at Stiles and Danny. “Mean by claiming they are no longer on the lacrosse team and instead members of the baseball team.”

David took a moment to look at his son’s best friends before turning back to his coworker. “I think they mean that they are both members of the varsity baseball team. They tried out this year and I must say they are both really good.”

“Why in the world would those two leave the lacrosse team for the baseball team? I mean no offense, but come on. It’s like the worst downgrade of all time.”

Stiles was about to jump up and defend his choices, but a strong hand on the shoulder from Danny stopped him from getting up. “I’ve got this.” Danny whispered before standing himself.

“With all due respect Mr. Flinstock I think I speak for both Stiles and myself when I say our decision to switch sports was not a malicious one, but rather an attempt by us to try something new. As Coach told you it turns out that both of us seem to have some skills when it comes to the sport. Apparently, more than we had in regards to lacrosse which is why we made the decision to use our talents where they would be better suited.”

Danny finished his nice little speech before nodding to both adults and sitting back down. Offering a calm fist bump to Stiles.

Robert looked even more confused by his student’s words. “Why are you calling him Coach? I am your Coach.”

Stiles couldn’t help it. He allowed his head to fall on his desk with a put-on thud. Clearly, this man was never going to understand what they were saying.

David decided he should save his boys. “Robert, what they are both saying is that they weren’t doing good at lacrosse anymore, so they decided to try baseball instead.”

The econ teacher looked confused for a moment longer before finally nodding his head. “Well, alright I guess. Enjoy baseball boys. McCall, you and Whitmore need to figure out which two players from junior varsity should be pulled up.”

Scott looked ready to protest, but a crazy look from their teacher made him keep quiet.

“Well, now that we have this settled I will be getting back to my class. See you at lunch boys.” Coach called before leaving them.

“Why is he going to see you at lunch?” Lydia asked loudly earning an eye roll from Stiles and a questioning look from Danny.

SWING BATTER BATTER SWING

Eight months after being kicked out of the pack.

The team was having their best season ever so far and Stiles was grateful to be a part of it. So far batting was one of his best assets, but he was improving in his field play every day. His dad had never been so proud of him and they were as close as ever.

His father even took an enter weekend off work to take Stiles to L.A. to see a Dodgers game. They laughed and talked and had the most amazing time. They got someone to take a picture of them at the game and it was now hanging proudly in their living room. The first new picture to be added since Stile’s freshman year.

His grades were also in top shape and he was on track to make the honor roll depending on how finals went next month. Coach told them that if they all managed to get straight A’s he would take all of them camping this summer like they had been asking for weeks.

Stiles felt bad because he was the wild card in that scenario, but he had busted his but all semester. He even managed to go three weeks without getting a detention.

Things seemed to be going really well for him, so he was not sure why he was so nervous to ask Ethan to prom.

“How are you going to do it?” Danny asked with a knowing smirk.

“Well…Um…I have some ideas, but nothing seems...” He explained as they sat in the diner grabbing an after-practice snack.

Danny took a sip of his shake considering. “The option to just go right up to him is always open.”

Stiles had thought of that, but it felt like he needed to do something more than that. Ethan deserved something truly special, but he was having a hard time finding something that seemed right.

“Maybe you could make one of those cheese signs? Or you could go on a romantic date and ask him there.”

Stiles considered his options again, but none of it was sounding right.

“Are you going to ask anyone?” He asked to change the subject.

Danny shook his head no. “I think Aiden and I are just planning to go and chill. He mostly just wants to be there to make sure you and Ethan have a good time and I want a chance to see everyone all dolled up. He considered asking Clair Gibson but decided to encourage Johnny to ask her instead. I think he thinks the two of them would be good together.”

They let the conversation fall to other things after that and it wasn’t until a week later that Stiles finally figured out how he wanted to do it.

For Ethan getting others who loved and cared about him involved seemed like the way to go. It was a family game night that the team was invited to. Everyone knew the plan and Stiles was terrified.

They were supposed to be playing charades and they made sure Ethan and Stiles were on the same team. All of their phrases were written on brightly colored pieces of paper that were sitting in a baseball helmet. Everyone on both sides knew when Stiles pulled a red piece of paper out that it was go time.

He waited until his second turn at the board before pulling one out the right color and giving everyone a mischievous grin.

To start he drew two stick people standing close and others dancing around them. Things were being thrown out by everyone, but the others were basically saying nonsense. The next thing he drew was a few music notes around the tops of his stick people’s heads.

“Music…Music…um…Dance…Dancing.” Ethan called getting into the game.

Stiles clapped at him signaling that he was on the right track. Next, he drew two horrible crowns on top of his two little figures heads.

“Royals…Royals dancing…Dancing Royals…Crowns…Crowns and Dancing…Crowned people dancing…OHH…Prom…Dancing at Prom!!!” Ethan yelled.

All of a sudden, every single person around them held up a single sheet of paper catching Ethan’s eyes and causing him to look.

WI LL YOU GO TO PR OM WI TH ME ->

The arrow was pointing to Stiles who was holding up a paper with a big question mark on it and a nervous smile.

Ethan looked so surprised for a few seconds and Stiles could swear his body was starting to shake. After a moment his boyfriend shot up off the couch and pulled him in for a deep kiss. The others around them were clapping loudly, but Stiles need to know for sure.

“Is that a yes?” He asked softly when they pulled apart.

“A million times yes!” Ethan laughed kissing him again.

SWING

The same night Stiles asked Ethan to prom surrounded by their friends and family a werewolf pack was sitting around their base of operations looking somber.

“Are we going to talk about this finally?” Isaac questioned in a sad voice.

Derek gave a strong nod signaling they were opening up the floor to discussion.

“Well since we kicked Stiles out of the pack.” Lydia started getting some angry looks. “For his own good.” She added quickly. “We have had a horrible time dealing with every single monster since then, so of which could arguably be said have gotten the better of us.”

No one wanted to admit that it was true, but they all knew it was. The last big bad they had dealt with was only moments away from killing Scott before the others were able to save him. It had taken him almost a month to heal from that and things were looking kind of bleak.

“What do we know about what has been going on with Stiles?” Derek asked. “Jackson you mentioned some concerning stuff about his behavior.”

Jackson nodded weakly. “I guess, but I mean…Why do we care now? It’s not like we cared before?”

Several growls were let out in protest to the lacrosse captain’s words, but he just gave them a helpless shrug. “Seriously guy. We can pretend that we kicked him out to keep him safe, but you all know that’s a load of crap. All of us voted to drop him because we were tired of taking care of his ass. Serves us right that it turns out he was the one taking care of us all along.”

“Not all of us voted to kick him out.” Erica snapped from in-between Peter and Isaac. The three of them had gotten a lot closer recently.

Scott also let out his own protest. “We voted to kick him out because we were trying to protect him. He was safer the further away from us he was.”

Allison let out a weak laugh at her boyfriend’s words. “If that was true then none of us would be thinking of ways to get him back. He had been safer in the past few months than he ever was with us and he is finally happy with his life.”

“He was happy here with us!” Derek challenged in his Alpha voice. “Look I know you all are worried about him, so I say it’s time we let him know that we made a poor decision and ask him to join us again.”

There were a few soft nods around the room.

“Well then, let’s get to planning.” The leader said hoping it was not too late to save correct their mistake.

SWING

Prom had been one of the best nights of Ethan’s life.

They had great photos that he would forever cherish. His mom fussed over them for almost a whole half an hour. She kept talking about ‘her boys’ as she straightened their shirts and moved them around for more pictures. At least she was nice enough to invite both Danny’s parents and Sherriff Stilinski over instead of keeping their children all to herself like normal.

He knew for a fact if it was possible his mother would have gotten custody of both his boyfriend and his best friend if it was at all possible. She really cared about all of them.

They finally escaped their parents and took off to the school in Stile’s jeep. Even though they were there as a couple the four of them stuck close together for most of the night.

There was dancing and laughing and even some drinking of the spiked punch. All in all, it was a great evening.

Ethan got the strange feeling that they were being watched all night, but Stiles shrugged it off as people not knowing they were together.

Some senior none of them knew very well won prom queen and Mason from the baseball team won king.

They decided to leave soon after that. The four of them were going to head back to their house and change before going to after prom. Since they left early they had some extra time before they were supposed to get there so they went to the diner to get some food.

Stiles had forgotten to pack a shirt, so he had to borrow one and if Ethan was being completely honest with himself there was nothing hotter in the world than Stiles wearing his clothes.

They stayed there for a bit before going to the large warehouse they were having after prom in. They spent the entire night and well into the morning eating junk, playing on inflatables, and running around playing games. It was a great time.

When the night finally came to an end they were all exhausted and ready for bed. All four of them slunk back into the house David and Cathy greeting them with kind smiles.

The four of them crashed in the living room where an air mattress had been set up and there were already Friends re-runs playing on the tv. Aiden flopped onto the couch quickly claiming it as his own. The other three just nodded laying down on the air mattress with Stiles in the middle.

Stiles let out a big yawn before wrapping his arms around Ethan and burring his facing in his neck.

“Night babe.” The black-haired boy whispered.

“Night,” Ethan replied giving the top of his head a quick kiss. “Love you.”

Stiles blushed in his arms. “Love you too.”

With smiles on all six faces in the house, the four teens fell asleep.

SWING BATTER BATTER SWING

Nine months after being kicked out of the pack.

This was the biggest game they had all year. If they won this they would be in the sweet sixteen of the state playoff tournament and if they lost their killer season was over. This was the farthest their school had ever gone, but they wanted to go farther.

It was the bottom of the eighth inning and they were down by two runs. They had two runners on base with two outs. Stiles was up to bat and his heart was beating way to fast. He could help tie the game right now.

The crowd was packed and people were chanting his new nickname ‘Bat-Man’. Just thinking about it helped to calm him a little. His teammates had come up with that name after he had scored the game-winning home run against some stupid prep school.

People were holding up signs with the ‘Bat symbol’ and cheering for him. His dad was in the stands on his feet and looking happier than he ever had.

“Stiles.” Coach said pulling him off to the side. “Stiles you need to calm down son.”

“I…I’m not sure I can do this one Coach.”

Coach just gave him a sad smile before pulling the boy who had become like a son to him into his arms. “Stiles this game does not rest solely on your shoulders. Every member of this team had a hand in the score right now. No matter what happens right now we have another inning to try and make a run at it.

You can’t put the weight of the world on your shoulders. If you go out there and hit a home run, or you go strike out you are still going to be a member of this team. You are still going to be the young man one of my sons is in love with and the young man my other son calls his best friend. You are a member of my family and no matter what happens that is not going to change.”

Stiles had to admit of all the great pep talks he could have gotten that was a good one. He took a moment to look back at his team and another look at his coach before stepping up to the plate.

There could have been one pitch or there could have been twenty. It doesn’t matter, because Stiles feels the ball connect with his bat and fly off in the other direction. He moves in what feels like slow motion watching the ball go further and further towards the fence.

At some point, he must have started moving because his bat was no longer in his hand and he was moving further and further down the first base line.

The outfielder was moving back with the ball, but for the moment it was still in the air and they were quickly running out of room on the field. The kid stuck his glove out and kept running even as his body impacted with the outfield fence and the momentum from his run flipped him over the fence.

Stiles came to a stop at first base still looking off into the distance.

His heart shattered as the kid from the other team jumped up with the ball sitting safely in his glove.

The other team was celebrating like they had just won the game and the fans from his side had all fallen silent in their seats. He couldn’t look his team in the eye as he made his way back to the dugout.

He kept his head down as he put his helmet back and grabbed his glove. If he thought he hated himself before this was a whole new low.

“Hey, Stilinski.” Ham called getting not only his attention but the attention of the entire team. Stiles swallowed thickly before turning to face his captain.

“Yah?”

“Damn good hit Bat-Man. Now let’s go get even boys.” Their captain called trying to get their spirits up.

His teammates gave him strong looks before they took the field once again. Ethan gave him the warmest smile he had ever gotten and Coach was looking at him with nothing but pride. Maybe this was what it felt like to be accepted no matter what. If so this was something he could really get used to.

The game ended and they lost by three. The other team managed to score another run in the ninth inning and their pitcher closed out. The mood back in the locker room was somber, but unlike how it would have been back on the lacrosse team no one was looking around with accusation in their eyes.

Coach gave a great speech about teamwork and pride. He talked about how far they had come and how proud he was of each and every one of them. “Boys tonight you are going to learn one of the hardest lessons to learn. You are going to learn that just because something is over doesn’t mean the bonds are broken.

It is my hope that one-day you boys can get together and talk about this game with pride in your bones. You might feel sad about it for a while, but you accomplished something that a few months ago people would have laughed at the mere thought.

Now, I could keep going on and on, but I think I will leave you with this. Thank you to our seniors who have spent their last year of youth with us. Good luck to all of you in everything you do and remember you always have a team here with us.”

As they packed up their things Stiles was trying to shake the guilty feeling off. He knew it wasn’t his fault only, but he really wished he could have pulled this out for his team.

“Stiles.” Ham said once again getting the attention of the entire team.

“I think you are going to need this next year.” He said before tossing Stiles his captain band.

There were no words for what he was feeling right now. Everyone around him started clapping and Stiles did the one thing he had been afraid to do for a long time. He allowed his tears of pure joy, love, and acceptance to fall down his face.

Ethan moved over to him quietly with a few tears of his own. “Here let me help you with that.” He said taking the band and wrapping it tightly around his boyfriend’s arm. When he finished he gave him a soft smile followed by a long kiss.

Their teammates clapped and cheered for a few moments before they decided they were done with this couple stuff and started booing and throwing their towels at the two lovers.

“Aww. You guys know you ship it.” Stiles yelled when he finally broke the kiss.

Later when they were walking out to their cars four best friends were stopped by a man a few years older than them wearing a black leather jacket.

“Stiles, can I have a word?” Derek Hale asked in his rough voice.

Stiles thought about it for a moment before nodding his head softly. “Sure Mr. Hale, but can we make it quick. We have a celebration party to get to.”

“Celebration, but you guys lost?” Derek questioned.

“Yes Mr. Hale, but we are celebrating the season we had together. We are celebrating our team.” Stiles explained as his friends climbed into Coach’s car. Ethan gave him a quick kiss before following his brother.

“So, is he your boyfriend or something?” Derek asked sounding bitter.

Stiles just nodded his head softly. “Yup, boyfriend is the word we have been using.”

Derek looked like he was shocked by that revelation. He seemed to be deep in thought before squaring his shoulders like the Alpha he was.

“Stiles I wanted to come talk to you because we…the pack have been talking and we have decided that maybe you would be safer if you came back. I know that sounds strange considering we kicked you out to keep you safe, but with all of the random deaths that have been going on we think it is better for you to come back.”

Stiles had to admit once upon a time he would have jumped at the chance to have Derek Hale ask him back, but one look at the car full of people who truly loved and cared about him was enough to make him take a step back.

“I’m going to have to turn you down. Sorry Mr. Hale, but I’m not interested in getting involved in any monster business.”

Derek’s eyebrows shot up into his hairline. “What do you mean? Are you saying you’re not coming back to the pack?”

Stiles nodded his head quickly not really wanting to have this conversation. “That is what I’m saying.”

“Stiles that is crazy, why wouldn’t you want to come back to us?”

“Well Mr. Hale, I will admit I was a little lost when you guys dropped me, but I have found other friends and gotten my life back on track. I’m happy with how things are now and don’t really want to go back.”

Derek shot a questioning glance over at the car that had three teens and an adult looking at them before giving Stiles another questioning gaze. “Is this because of the boyfriend?”

He had not meant that to sound as angry as it did, but he was shocked Stiles would put something as trivial as a high school relationship in front of his pack. Derek regretted it seeing the angry look on Stile’s face.

“He is one of the people who helped to pick me back up after you all knocked me down, but now he is not the reason I no longer want to be a part of your pack. I don’t want to return to the toxic environment that the pack was for me.”

“Stiles. I…I’m sorry if we did not treat you as well as we should have, but I promise that will change. We are going to teach you how to defend yourself.”

“I don’t think you're hearing me, Mr. Hale, I am not rejoining the pack.”

Derek was visibly getting frustrated now. “Stop calling me that Stiles. You always call me Derek or that stupid nickname.” He would never admit how much he missed being called ‘Sourwolf’, but he wanted to hear it again.

“Mr. Hale, I don’t want to give you the wrong impression, but we are not friends anymore. I’m not sure we ever were friends, so no I am not going to be all buddy buddy with you and use nicknames like old chums.”

Derek was hating the sound of all of this. Not only was Stiles saying he didn’t want to be back in the pack, but he was pushing Derek away. This could not be happening; of course, they were friends. Once upon a time, Derek had thought they might have had the chance to be more, but then Stiles kept getting hurt and they had to push him away for his own safety.

There were so many things running through Derek’s head. From one moment to the next his wolf had taken over and he was gripping Stiles tightly pushing their lips together.

For a moment the werewolf was floating in heaven. The next Stiles was beating him on the chest trying to get away from him. The teen managed to pull back and tear himself from the wolfs grip. Derek was confused why Stiles would be trying to get away from him. They had just shared such a powerful moment. Surly Stiles could see now that they needed each other.

“What the hell was that?” Stiles screamed as the others got out of the car and rushed over.

Ethan got to Stiles quickly putting himself in front of his boyfriend. Stiles was on the verge of a panic attack as Ethan got his arms around him. The others got there quickly blocking the boyfriends from Derek.

“Mr. Hale, I don’t know what you think you are doing, but that boy you just assaulted is a minor. I suggest you get out of here before I call the police.” Mr. West yelled looking ready to murder someone. Where was Stile’s real father when they needed him? It seemed like the Sheriff had a bad habit of not being where he was needed.

Derek looked shocked at the man’s words. He did not assault Stiles. He kissed him to show the teen that he did not love his current high school fling, but instead that Derek was the one who truly cared about him.

A larger group was forming as the other members of the baseball team took notice of the small group. Derek wanted to stay and talk some sense into Stiles, but this was way more attention than he was meant to attract. He grunted before leaving quickly getting to the woods and sprinting away in his Alpha form.

Everyone turned their attention back to Stiles who was panicking in his boyfriend’s arms. “Ethan, I swear I did not want him to do that. I…I have no idea…why would he do that? I told him I have a boyfriend and he still…Ethan, I promise I did not kiss…kiss him back.”

Stiles was panicking losing his shit, so his boyfriend did the only thing he could think of. He dropped down to one knee and grabbed Stile’s hand. “Mieczyslaw Stilinski will you marry me?” He asked holding up his class ring.

That stopped the panicking all at once, but Stiles went as white as a sheet.

“Ethan are you serious right now!” His boyfriend demanded.

“Well, I was not planning on doing this any time soon, but…yes…yes, I am asking you to marry me.” He got a wide grin on his face.

Everyone was looking at them with wide eyes, but David was the first one to regain his composure. “Ethan, don’t you think you boys are a little young for this kind of thing?” His dad questioned in a panicked voice.

Ethan thought about it for a moment before nodding his head in agreement with what his dad was saying. They were only seventeen after all, so maybe a marriage proposal was too big of a step.

“Alright then. Sty will you accept this as a promise ring and a token of my love?” He asked. Yup, that is way better and age appropriate for them.

Stiles still looked like a deer in headlights. “Um…Yes. I love you so much. Yes.”

Ethan jumped up with pure excitement grabbing Stile’s hand trying to find a finger his ring would fit well on. It seemed like the right pointer was the closest fit.

“I can get a chain or something tomorrow.” Stile cheered throwing his arms around Ethan and kissing him sweetly.

All of the teens around them started clapping and whistling showing their support.

“Well, that was a whirlwind. How about we end this crazy day like proper high school children should? Let’s party.” Aiden called earning, even more, cheering from the teens.

They all started going back to cars getting ready to head out. Mr. West took the opportunity to wrap his arms around Ethan and Stiles. “Boys I just want to make myself clear about something. Stiles, I already see you as one of my sons and that is never going to change. With that said, however, I want to make it perfectly clear that there will be no marriage proposal until after high school graduation at the lease. After college would be preferable, but I will take what I can get.”

Both boys grinned at him. “Don’t worry dad. I think we're fine waiting a bit.”

Coach let out a heavy sigh before getting them in the car. “These boys are going to be the death of me.” He grumbled.

SWING

Stiles sat down at his desk looking over the list he had made so many months ago.

NEW
GOALS FOR JUNIOR YEAR

1. Spend some more one-on-one time with his bff/brother from another mother. Since getting a girlfriend Scott ditched him quite a bit, but this summer was going to be better. Make a new best friend! CHECK

2. Make better friends with the pack. Find new friends CHECK

3. Get a date with someone. CHECK
3a. Lydia?
3b. Derek?
3c. Don’t ever let them see this list!
3a. Ethan? CHECK :)
3b. Don’t ever let him (or Aiden) see this list! CHECK
3c. Ask Ethan to PROM! CHECK

4. Start working out/practicing for lacrosse baseball. CHECK
4a. Make Varsity-Baseball team CHECK
4b. Start on Varsity-Baseball team CHECK

5. Improve relationship with Dad!!! CHECK
5a. Invite him to baseball games and use that as a bonding point. CHECK

6. Actually get good grades. CHECK
6a. If relationship improves with Dad then ditch this, cause teachers suck! most teachers suck!
6b. Improve grades to stay on team.
6c. Improve grades enough to make Mr. West/David/Coach proud! CHECK
6d. Work on getting good grades for myself. CHECK CHECK CHECK

Looking down at his list he was proud of everything he had managed. He had thought about keeping it, but now that it was summer and junior year was officially over he picked up his list. It was fun crumpling it into a ball and tossing it in the trash.

Things sure had changed a lot since he first sat down to set goals for the next year he had not imagined things would turn out like this.

His bags were all packed for their camping trip that weekend. Cathy made the rule that Stiles had to stay in a tent with Danny and the twins had to share. They were all looking forward to it. His dad had even bought him a new fishing pole just for the occasion.

“Well I guess now it’s time to work on goals for senior year.” Stile said to himself as he rubbed his hand over Ethan’s class ring which he wore on his neck constantly. “After all you have all summer to add stuff.”

GOALS FOR SENIOR YEAR:

1. Stay away from magical creatures!
1a. Mostly werewolves.

“Yup. That’s as good a start as any.”

He quickly put his list in his desk drawer before getting up and heading off to go see what his friends were doing. After all, Danny’s birthday was coming up and he had no idea what he was going to get him. “Maybe a new ball glove.”