because you're young,
you're wild, you're free,
you're dancin' circles
around me, you're
Sean Walcott did not get the note because he asked the senior out.
‘The senior,’ referring to the guy with brilliant amber eyes, broad shoulders, upturned nose, messy brown hair, and a constellation of moles. The senior being Stiles Stilinski. Or that was what the captain of the Lacrosse team called him.
He really did not get the memo. Because when Stiles fleetingly looked his way and smiled, Sean was sure he was infatuated. It took a week before he caught the name finally. And being the new kid, who’d only transferred in Beacon Hills Public High School from Devenford Preparatory High School in the middle of the year, also did not help. But it was alright. He got toured and later invited to join the Lacrosse by the captain, Scott McCall, himself. And that’s how he later caught sight of the senior.
But anyway it happened this way: Stiles Stilinski had tumbled down the bleachers that one time when Scott was showing him the morning drills of the team. But it was Sean who fell.
The coach was aggressively spouting something that suspiciously sounded like a line from a movie, while he timed the laps. Scott had asked him to stay for a bit so he could explain to the coach his absence for the drills.
Sean caught his eyes then. He was a very pretty guy sitting on the bleachers with some friends. Pretty Guy had turned towards their direction and then he smiled. But only for a moment.
Pretty Guy was many things but at that moment, he was a cunning smirk on full lips. He had this expression like he knew something Sean didn’t. And Sean had to look down to make sure he hadn’t worn his shirt wrong or there was no pole standing in attention between his legs. When he looked back up, Pretty Guy was looking towards the field.
A figure makes a bee line towards the bleachers, and Sean didn’t need to be close enough to recognize him. Liam Dunbar.
He knew Liam distantly, from a few classes and the Lacrosse team in Devenford, as bad news. That, at least, he knew certainly. The boy was raw talent but all anger issues with a particular inclination to violence. Sean remembers some recurring jokes with the guys back in his school that he might as well be buddies with Liam since he’s transferring. It was an old Devenford joke about Beacon Hills High after that asshole totaled their coach’s car back. He’s bad news.
Pretty Guy sitting in the bleachers had shot up and then jogged down. For a moment he feels bad about those jokes because evidently he jinxed it. Liam is friends with Pretty Guy. But it gets cut short when everything just happens so quickly.
Sean didn’t know how but somehow the boy managed to slip or tangle by his own legs and fall flat on the grass. His friends who had sat on the bleachers were in different sorts of faces: some laughing, the others trying not to; and one that looked too frustrated.
Sean winced. When he turned to Scott, his face was doing something akin to an expression in between worry and humor. Lips pursed tightly like he was holding down a laugh and deeply furrowed brows.
“What’s wrong with you? You’re not even supposed to be here!” The coach had demanded bolting towards the commotion. And from his standpoint, if that closed fist the coach was waving was any indication, he hadn’t bolted out of concern. But Stiles had picked himself up, refusing Liam’s hand, and ran off himself leaving the coach in dust.
“What’s wrong with him?” He had asked when Scott got close enough to hear. The captain only shrugged and simply said, “You know seniors.”
That’s how he figured the guy was a senior.
Okay so maybe he did not exactly fall right on that moment. But it did started there; itching curiosity in him.
It was a week later that Sean met him again, in the cafeteria. Scott had invited him to eat with the rest of the Lacrosse since he’d be joining as soon as his coach from Devenford could send in a reference about him for the team. Sean had wanted to say he does well in swimming too, but obviously this worn down school didn’t have much on their swimming team. And the team captain is the worse.
Then the senior had literally spilled his body on the table much to everyone’s chagrin. Sean had sat at the end, and Scott right beside him. So when the senior had spread half his body on the table, Sean had a gracious view of his shirt hiking up. There might have been some wicked laughing but he was too distracted by the skin to notice.
“Hello, Scotty,” the senior had greeted with a smile, as he turned his head to the side. Scott had given him a scathing look holding his and Sean’s tray up. He even puckered his lips at the captain, turning to his side fully.
“Hey, Stiles,” Scott greeted back with a scowl. “Delicious food goes on the table. Stiles does not go on the table.” The captain adds in slow placating voice. It’s hard to determine if he was actually upset, but Sean had been caught up with both the name and the trail of dark hair disappearing in the hem of boxers and that boxers disappearing behind the jean button right in front of him.
“What?” The Pretty Guy—Stiles had exclaimed. One hand on his chest, and another propped to supports his head; the pretty senior gestures in mock hurt. Sean didn’t need to turn around to know everyone was looking their way. “I am delicious, excuse you!” Then he’d pulled down his shirt, and then shooting a look to Sean. To which he had reacted by holding up both his hands, intending to show the pretty senior he didn’t think about it. Not at all.
“I can agree with that,” another senior Lacrosse player, someone who Sean hadn’t known yet, said from across them. Stiles rolled his eyes, and slowly lifted himself in attempt to avoid the other trays on the table. Well, those he hadn’t manage to crush on yet.
“Okay, I literally walked in on that.” Scott only sighed exasperated then. Stiles made a face at him, while Scott gently put down their tray back on the table.
“Why don’t you sit like a normal person and eat with us for once, Stilinski?” The same senior asked as the another beside him groaned in protest. “Shut up, Greenberg,” he snapped at the other. Sean looked over Scott curiously, and saw the captain look up hopefully at Stiles.
Stiles Stilinski. Well, that was a very memorable name. When Sean turned to the boy who had finally gotten off the table completely. He was wiping down his plaid from a few stray vegetable and mashed potato. Then he looked up to them, realizing they were staring at him. Sean held his breath when Stiles’ gaze lands on him. But other than confusion, Stiles only said, “Nah, I’ll sit with them guys.” He gestures behind him.
“But thanks for the invite, Danny,” he had added like an afterthought. He scratched his temple, but then stood on the same spot. The senior snorted and returned, “Well, don’t go landing on the table next time. Or at least when you do wear jeans that bring justice to your rear.”
Stiles gaped disbelieving, and Sean had seen his cheeks growing redder. He licked his lips, and the senior’s eyes landed on him. “Well, uhm, I’ll have you know I’ll take note of that but—also it was Erica who pushed me over,” he sputtered hands waving erratically, eyes still staring back at Sean. “But I’m just. Okay. Wow. So like—” he started then grimaced, looking away. “I just like sitting with people who like me ok?” He said carefully, stepping backwards.
The captain beside Sean piped up, “I like you.” But that was drowned by a tray slammed on the table, and the captain of the swim team stood on the other end of the table. “Oh cry me a fucking river, Stilinski,” he sneered viciously.
Sean turned back to Stiles trying to figure out what he was missing. Stiles Stilinski—but there’s already a guy standing between them and the other senior. He looks over the table fleetingly, before he turns to Stiles. “I was sent to fetch you,” he had said blandly. Stiles made an indignant sound but the other makes a grab on his nape and turns his body around.
“Hi, Scott. Bye, Scott,” he threw over his shoulder briefly. Sean watched them leave, the guy still holding Stiles by the nape.
“Boyfriends?” he had asked when they had gotten to some reclusive corner. “More like assholes,” Scott replies, but he’s staring at intently at his food. Sean turned again and watched as a couple of students made a big bee line away from the table where Stiles is currently in.
He looked towards the table again, but his sight of Stiles was covered by a big burly student. And across that student is another one who was another guy glaring right back at him. Sean frowned at that, but the senior across him had started addressing to him so he turns away.
But it’s there that it starts.
Stiles Stilinski hanged out with the Hales and their crowd. Sean recognized them finally because of that one time they walked the hall together. And he watched the Hale cult-following literally paved way for them to pass through. It was something straight out of a teen movie.
The Hales just had to be something of a urban legend to Beacon Hills of course. It isn’t like he hadn’t heard of them from Devenford Prep Brett had let it out once, that Beacon Hills Cyclones didn’t know how to pick up the talents in their haystack of nothing—like the Hales. But they weren’t that big of a deal as it was here. Then again, he was in the shittiest school in California, so he digress.
There were three Hales in senior year: Derek Hale. Laura Hale. And Malia Hale-Tate. One in sophomore year: Cora Hale. All dark haired, and light eyed aside from Malia. All clad in dark clothes. Behind them followed a bit more students. Sean can’t say he had been surprised when he saw Stiles among them. They’re all objectively beautiful. But something else caught his attention. The guy from the corner table who had sat with Stiles apparently was Derek Hale.
“It’s not always like that,” Sydney from Biology told him when they were caught in the same side of the crowd. “People just remember viciously because the Valentines is coming up.”
“Remember what?” He remembered asking but she’d been long gone in the crowd.
At lunch, Danny approached him with an answer. Because he was the new kid, and nobody told the new kid old shit. So Danny had volunteered himself for the sake of the preppy student. Or so he said.
“Look, you’re the new kid, right?” To which Sean had responded with a crooked flirting smile. Danny bats his eyes at him before averting his gaze towards the lunch tables in the corner. “How about we eat lunch outside?” He nodded anyway staring at the thin line of Danny’s lips and then at the scowl in Jackson’s face. He stole a glance towards the lunch tables in the corner, and then he finds Stiles Stilinski looking at them with bright eyes and open lips. They’re not eating lunch outside. They left their trays in the table. Which was not ominous at all.
Sean follows Danny far out in the parking lot. Sean should really avoid ominous boys. “This was supposed to be Scott’s job,” Danny starts as they head towards one of the cars. “But he’s sort of MIA and someone needs to tell you before anything gets messy.”
“I like it messy,” Sean returns. And Danny rewards him with a grin before sighing. “Okay fine serious talk. What am I missing? What is everyone remembering?”
“Seven years ago, there was a fire in the Preserve.” Sean nods at that because he remembers sneaking out. Then seeing the smoke, from the other side of town, reaching up and up that he’d thought the smoke was trying to go to heaven. “It started in the house in the woods,” Danny continued carefully.
“Right,” Sean says, leaning against the blue jeep that Danny had led him to. “It was an arson, right? It was reopened because of new evidences. I saw it in the news years ago,” he squinted through the in betweens of the conversation and then at the actual history he knows about.
“What’s her name—Kate Argent. There was a warrant and ah—” It’s been a while since he’d said that name. Kate Argent was like the boogeyman to everyone in Beacon County now that he thinks about it. Danny stares at him impressed, but then he averts his eyes. So Sean continues, “—aggravated assault of two minors. There was even curfew because she was on the loose.”
“The house in the woods she set on fire—it was the Hales’ house.”
That night, when Sean came home, he’d waited for his mom in the living room falling asleep over some stupid game show. And when she finally did, he gave her a long tight hug.
It was an open secret. The Argents were one of the old money families in Beacon Hills, much like the Hales. They’re respected and well regarded. So it was a big news when Kate Argent, the only daughter of then Mayor, Gerard Argent, went psychotic. Like an urban legend, the perfect girl, all curves and alluring smile turned out to be so fucked up she tried to burn down a house on Valentines. Nobody would have believed it but everyone had seen the clues.
Then she ran. Next thing they knew she attacked two minors, two years later. Sean remembers vividly the 7 PM curfew it led to. Because she didn’t simply attack them—she bit them.
Danny said details were blurry. But Beacon Hills has never been the same. From the empty chairs the Hales vacated for two years after the fire. From the parents who still looked over their shoulders when a girl with blonde curled hair walked pass them. From the children who grew up with her name whispered in horror stories in sleepovers. Keep your windows locked, Kate Argents gonna crawl up!
It certainly had never been the same for the Hales who still walked through the halls like high school pariahs.
Sean was eleven years old when the fire happened. And the worst thing he thought could happen to him was to be transferred to a shit school after choosing to stay with his mom instead of staying with his asshole of a dad. Being enrolled in Beacon Hills High School was his rock bottom.
“¿Qué pasa, hijo?” She asked carefully when he finally let her go.1 But for a moment they just stood there still until Mamá held a hand over his shoulder and gently guided him to sit down. “Luces enfermo. ¿Tienes fiebre?”2
¿Estás teniendo pesadillas otra vez?3 It went unasked. But he could see it in his mother’s eyes.
“Por favor, Mamá. Mi español es terrible,” Sean replied with a quick grin; too may teeth.4 “Can’t a son hug his overworked mother? It’s my first week? Two weeks? Four. First four weeks in BHHS.” Mamá snorted but tells him to go up and sleep in a proper bed.
“The sofa does not fit a boy of your size,” she had scolded him playfully before barely hiding a yawn that breaks their conversation. Sean thought of the Hales; the window in his new room he wanted to bolt close; and then about being locked inside a burning house. But he nodded, as his mother turns to her heels and towards her room.
“There is a board inside the cupboard. Puede cubrir tu ventana.”5
1 ¿Qué pasa, hijo? What’s wrong, son?
2 Luces enfermo. ¿Tienes fiebre? You look sick. You have a fever?
3 ¿Estás teniendo pesadillas otra vez? Are you having nightmares again?
4 Por favor, Mamá. Mi español es terrible. Please, Mama. My Spanish is terrible.
5 Puede cubrir tu ventana . It can cover your window.