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Second Chance To Try Again.

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Scott woke up, disoriented. He remembered - a laugh, something strong and powerful, but nasally, awful, painful to hear - and words, chanted - then the nemeton exploded.

They'd lost. Scott sucked in a breath - had they gotten away in time? Scott had been closest, but Stiles was right behind him, reckless as always and newly-minted FBI approved firearm in hand - but human, so very human, had - had it hurt? Had it killed him? Scott couldn't think about that. He'd - he'd need to call someone. He wasn't -

He was in his room, in his mom's house. Scott let out a relieved breath, allowing himself to relax. The damage done wasn't as bad as Deaton had theorised - the town wasn't levelled, Beacon Hills wasn't just a crater in the ground. This was good. This was great. That meant -

Well, he didn't know what that meant, but it meant - it meant that they survived, at least, hopefully. That what the witches (a gender-neutral term, by the way - there were women and men in the group, split about two-thirds, leaning more towards the female side, with a female leader, the head of the coven) had planned hadn't worked, possibly, that everyone lived to tell the tale, at best.

Scott should call someone, still, but it's late, and he's tired. He yawns and falls back onto the bed - strange, his legs were hanging off the end - was he just dumped here? Were there injured? - but he was so tired, he felt wiped, and he should - he'd been run through with a javelin, after all, and it had stayed in his gut for about four hours - so he didn't, or rather, couldn't concentrate on that line of thought for too long, so he went back to sleep. 


Scott wakes up to the sun streaming in through his blinds, and then he does a double-take. He's not in his apartment, he can't hear Malia doing what she normally does, in the kitchen -

Oh. Right. Scott yawned, sat up, and took stock. Then, he did another double-take, because... his old room doesn't look like this anymore. He must have been really out of it, last night, to not notice - but it's his old bedding, a bit of a mess, nothing like the nice and neutral beiges and geometric prints of the last redecoration when the room had finally been permanently converted into a guest room, since... well, they needed one. Scott and - well, mostly Scott, tended to pick up a lot of strays.

Scott clutched his hands tightly into the fabric of his duvet and didn't rip it, which wasn't surprising, exactly, because he has a lot better control of his strength now than he used to. But - Scott sees his hands, then looks down, and he flexes the smaller, softer fingers holding the fabric. They move.

His hands haven't looked like that in a while. They're the hands of a kid, someone who's young and inexperienced - he tries, but no claws come free. Scott sucks in a breath, and it's harder than it's been in a long time - he nearly chokes on the air, can't quite gasp, and he realises his asthma is acting up again. He wonders if someone hid some wolfsbane around, but he can't smell it, and Scott's got this sinking feeling in his gut because he can't smell much of anything. Can't hear, either, now that he thinks about it - it's not just that Malia isn't here, because it's likely she isn't, she's probably keeping an eye on Stiles if he's hurt, because he surely was, by that blast, while Scott can't - but... it's also that it's too quiet. Scott can't hear anything beyond his own breathing, and the faint and occasional sound of a car passing by the house, but even that fades in and out quicker than it should. He licks his lips, nervous, and pulls the duvet off his legs.

Oh, man.

Scott stands, walks into his on-suite, and looks at himself in the mirror. His breathing quickens, as he fumbles for the inhaler he'd left on the sink last night - Scott takes a few puffs, attempting to calm, as he stares at the floppy hair and soft skin and wide eyes of his youth. Scott had never gained any scars, not physically, but you could still see the wear and tear in his countenance, you could see the shadow in his eyes - and you could see it now, which is the only thing keeping Scott from falling over, but it looks wrong on this face, on this body, the body of a sixteen-year-old boy, with hard-worked-for but human muscles, with asthma, and no worries, not really, other than money and a missing father, and really, who doesn't have that to worry about? Those are normal worries. The worries of a normal person. Scott hasn't been normal in so long, he's unsure of how it works, anymore.

Scott clears his throat, and so does the boy in the mirror. It's... disassociating, to see that version of himself as his reflection, but the mirrored movements help to ground him, as he exercises his younger voice-box for the first time in five years. Thereabouts.

"Fuck," Scott says, clearly, and the boy's mouth moves along with him. Fuck. Scott coughs, watches his Adam's apple move with the action, watches his lips twist as he grimaces at himself. This cannot be good.

Scott goes back into his room, as if in a daze, and then checks his phone -

fourteen missed calls.

Stiles. Scott looks at the messages, and there's that sinking feeling in his gut again. Hello, old friend, how Scott has not missed you. He hates that feeling, because - it's like how Stiles gets when he doesn't trust someone; Scott has a sense for when things are not going to go well. Like a pit in his stomach, a shortening of breath. Maybe that's a leftover from his asthmatic days (which, unpleasantly, he is now back in) but when Scott feels... wary, nervous, anxious, when there's a foreboding feeling in the air - Scott feels like he can't breathe, like the air he sucks into his empty lungs is insufficient.

Scot

Scotty

Scottttt

cmon man pick up!!!

thrs a body in th woods

dads gone out 2 find it

dude

dude dude

cmon dude

ur my best friend dont leve me hangin like this

ugh fine

ur no fun

guess ill jus go mself

tell u how it goes!! lmao u wont even know until 2morrow anyway

u rlly arnt pickin up r u

dude cmon

!!!!!

thrs a BODY in the WOODS

how cool is that

.

um probably not cool but u know its interesting

RLLY ITS LIKE THAT IS IT

wow twelve times and ur still leaving me hanging

man u must rlly be worried abt school huh

man

cmon scotty

scotty

scottttyyyyy

no?

alright

oh wow u must be wiped u cant even hear me

ur fast asleep wow how boring

dude one question

why r u half on the bed??? at least get undr covr jesus christ

anyway

see u 2morrow

ima go see a body in the woods now

im bored mr goody two shoes THATS  my resaon

and yes ive had my adderall dont even try

well

bye then

HOLY SHIT

DUDE

DUDE FUCK OW

DUDE JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR HOW AM I ALIVE

FUCK

u know what glad u didnt come 2nite wat the ever loving fuck was THAT

not a fuckin wolf thats for sure or at least one thats not been found yet

hey scotty i found a new breed of wolves go me

but FUCK OW

took a fukin chunk out of me then ran

what hte fuck am i not good enough does this wolf have picky taste buds

well at least i know i taste horrible now anyway

what the fuck was that

...

god

my god

OH MY GOD

dude scotty

scotty i think

oh wait fuck dads here gotta go shit bitch what bad timing

ok im home yo I THINK THAT WAS A WEREWOLF

SCOTT PICK UP YOU BITCH

Fuck.

"FUCK!" Scott half yells. He dials the sheriff, partially by accident. Man, Scott can't wait for newer phones. Future phones? This is... still very overwhelming, but Scott isn't thinking about all that right now.

"Scott?" Noah asks when he picks up. "Stiles called me fourteen times last night," Scott says. Well, two of those were this morning, but, whatever. "Did anything happen?"

"As it stands, I caught him coming back from the preserve," Noah says, and Scott can hear Stiles' muffled protests. "This morning. An hour ago. He tripped, apparently. Got himself something nasty on a log, apparently."

Not a wolf. Looks like Stiles doesn't change, across the years. He didn't tell Noah back then, though, which is true. Keeping things from his loved ones... Scott knows he does it with the best intentions, it's not like Scott hasn't done the same. But still.

Scott supposes - the way Stiles is... it does make it less likely for him to tell his dad when it's Stiles who got bit. Doesn't it?

"There's no wound?" Scott asks, dread filling his gut.

"Nope," The sheriff says. "See? Even Scott knows you're lying. You're going to school, Stiles."

Scott can hear a very loud scoff, and then Stiles runs upstairs - his door slamming is particularly loud.

"Don't slam the door!" Noah yells, having the decency to cover the mic on his end enough to muffle the sound. Scott's breath is quick, close to hyperventilation, and he feels like screaming. He is screaming, at least internally, and he holds onto the phone like a lifeline.

"He's alright, though," Scott says, and there's an unhealthy sort of desperation in his voice, because he's nearly lost Stiles too many times to count, and because Stiles isn't alright, and he won't be, because Stiles - Stiles never wanted this, not really. He'd never wanted to be a werewolf. It wasn't - it wasn't him. Stiles was human and proud of it, and now...

Noah sighs, softly. "He's just fine," The sheriff promises, gently. "Just an idiot." There's muffled yelling, again. "Stop eavesdropping and get ready for school!" Noah yells, and Scott winces, pulls the phone away from his ear, the wince for more than just the volume.

"See?" Noah says as if Stiles' eavesdropping from all the way upstairs is a normal thing for him to do. Well, okay, it was, because it's Stiles, but - should he be able to hear them? Where is he in the house?

Scott missed something that was said, and catches the tail end of Noah's sentence "- Might as well let Stiles drive you to school - you're both going to be late, anyway," And Scott nearly curses out loud, but doesn't - checks the time, and winces.

"Right," He says, awkwardly. "Alright."

"Goodbye, Scott," Noah says, amused, and the call drops out. Scott hangs his head, for a moment, and then grabs all the stuff he'll need, all the stuff he took last time, and then bolts for the kitchen to grab himself something to eat, and something for Stiles, who had a habit of skipping breakfast last time Scott checked - although, thinking about it, Scott's forgotten if he did that in the beginning or if it's just something he picked up along the way. Something they all picked up when three score meals a day stopped being feasible.

Still. Given the likely fact that Stiles was bitten last night - Scott grits his teeth at the thought of Peter being back to his old tricks, again, for the first time around, is it again? What was he like, before the fire? Because he hasn't done this before, not yet, because... now is before, now is during, this is the first time he's done this, is it not, so it' can't really be classed as his 'old tricks' -

Scott breathes, slowly.

Well. Stiles is likely a werewolf-to-be, or something similar, depending on what the bite decides Stiles is at his core (Stiles probably won't be anything other than a werewolf; he's no Jackson, and he's certainly not Kate), so - food. And enough of it, which means lots of it, which means making sure he has brunch.

Stiles beeps the horn of the jeep, a comfortingly familiar sound in all this uncomfortable familiarity, and Scott exits the house - oh. He hadn't said anything to his mother, this day.

Oops.

Scott gets into the jeep. Stiles grins at him. "You won't guess what happened last night," He says. "I got bit by a wolf. Here's the best part! There are no wolves in California. Even better? It's no wolf I've ever seen on any documentary or wiki spiral, so it's got to be something undiscovered, or even -" He grins wider, "Something supernatural."

Scott feels like crying. Instead, he raises an eyebrow. "Like what?" Scott asks.

"Werewolf," Stiles says, nonchalantly, as he drives towards the school. Scott isn't surprised at how he's taking this - Stiles was the first one, last time around, to take the idea of lycanthropy seriously. "Bit annoying, though - the bite healed before I could prove anything had happened last night. Can't tell dad I got bit by a wolf without a bite to prove it, can I? One good thing came out of it, though - told my dad where he could find the body. They'll be looking again today. Anyway - it healed! How cool is that!"

Scott grimaced out the passenger side window. "Great," Scott says.

It healed faster than it had for Lydia, and faster even so than it had for Scott.

Scott doesn't know what that means.

There's a pause.

"You don't believe me," Stiles accuses. It's emotional whiplash, and Scott remembers what that was like, how everything was so - out of balance, those first few... god, weeks? Months?

Oh god. Stiles. Out of balance.

Lord have mercy.

"I do," Scott says, turning his head to look directly into Stiles' eyes, tone as genuine as he can muster, which is incredibly genuine, because Scott knows more about this than anyone. Well, maybe not, but... he went through it. He knows. "Trust me, I believe you."

"Well, I wouldn't expect you to," Stiles sighs, looking out the windshield. "No proof. Gotta get you proof, got it," Stiles nods.

Argh.

"Stiles," Scott says. "I believe you."

Stiles pauses, drums his fingers against the wheel. "Do you really?" He asks. "Dad didn't, though I guess the fault lies with a lack of a wound. He thought the fake blood was very funny, and the man calls himself the Sheriff, honestly." Stiles pauses. "Well, thinking about it - glad he thought the blood was fake because otherwise, I might be in a jail cell about now."

Scott knows Noah would never put Stiles behind bars - it's... something of a good thing, something of a bad because Noah really would cover it all up if his son did anything bad, which would eat them both up because really, they're good men, the Stilinskis. A little bitter, a little broken, but good. At least, Scott thinks so... but even good people can have skewed morals. Stiles' relationship with thieving and being a certifiable stalker (see; how he dealt with Theo, upon his return) isn't exactly great, after all. And neither, really, is Noah's excessive family loyalty.

"It's his job, he doesn't call himself that," Scott says, something he probably would have, back then. Then, he tries again. "I do, really. You wouldn't lie - well. You wouldn't keep something like this from me. And I know you believe it, and you're my best friend, so I do. I believe you."

Stiles presses the gas pedal when the lights go green, and he's quiet, for a street or so. "I could hear you on the phone, earlier." Stiles looks over at him. "Which was one of the first things that clued me in on what happened, last night."

Scott closes his eyes, briefly, and mourns Stiles' humanity for him, because he doesn't know yet that he should. "Lycanthropy, then," Scott says.

Stiles hums in affirmation, as they pull up to the car park. A few people are milling about - The Sheriff was wrong; they were just on time. Somehow. Scott frowned, thinking. They'd left - and with the way the roads had been, they should've gotten here... hmm.

Thinking about it, the roads had been pretty empty. And the timing had all been great - they'd only had to stop at the red lights once, and that had been fortunate actually because some idiot had come speeding down the road and if they hadn't, they'd' have surely crashed...

That's a little weird. Scott's frown deepens.

"God damn it." Stiles sighs. "Something cool finally happened and what do I get for it? Disbelief and a sad best friend." Stiles lightly pushes Scott's arm, smiling. "C'mon, man. This is the most interesting thing that's happened in a while, and aren't you the one always bitching about Beacon Hills being boring as shit?"

Scott did do that, back then. Oh, how naive he'd been. Scott misses that. Misses the simpler times. He wishes the nemeton's explosion (of magic, the physical force of centuries of its existence and decades of its corruption) had sent him further back, to the better times, times when he could have just... been. Not now, not this, not at the moment they're dropped into the thick of it. Scott had never wanted to do all of this again, because - well, things can always go so much worse. And here's a change for the worse, Scott thinks because Stiles is no true alpha. There's only one of those a century, or more; it'd be very, very impossible for Stiles to be one, too. As much as that might've been kind of cool, for the both of them to be equals in that measure, it's just... not how it works.

The world isn't that fair.

"That's true," Scott says, for lack of anything better to say. A smile tugs at his lips, half-hearted. Stiles sighs as he squeezes Scott's shoulder - then shoves open the door, which swings wide, as he drops, none too gracefully, to the ground. Scott does the same, but with less effort, just opens the door and exits the car. Stiles locks up after Scott shuts his door, and then they go inside, find their homeroom, and sit down just before the bell rings.

Just on time. Exactly on time. Scott frowns, again. It's probably nothing but - time. What was messed with, what sent him here, it had altered time, or at least the timeline. Sent him where he wasn't, at least with the memories he has and the growth he's gone through.

Scott fidgets and waits, and, sure enough, on the twentieth glance out of the window, there she is. Scott's breath hitches in his throat, lungs constricting and heart pounding in his chest as he watches her, unable to hear this time around, unable to discern what she's doing but knowing, regardless, exactly what she's saying.

Stiles is a few seats away, closer to the front, bored out of his mind as he always was, in this period of the day - homeroom, to be fair, is kind of pointless - and he's not listening, because why would he? He can't see Allison. He'd have no reason to be curious, no reason for his hearing to kick in.

Scott looks back outside, just as Allison leaves the section of the outside area Scott can see through the window. Scott counts the time, and it's only a few minutes until the same Vice-Principal from the last go-around comes in, introduces her - "Class, this is our new student, Allison Argent," and Scott notes Stiles' shoulders straighten, and he feels his phone vibrate in his pocket. Scott, surreptitiously, looks at his phone under the table, and reads Stiles' text.

silver

first werewolves and then a family with the last name silver

they couldn't be more obvious if they tried jesus christ

when i was reading abt werewolves too long weres frm now on

when iw as reading abt weres i found a bunch of stories abt famous cases and bs

like that

u know what there was this one gal marie or whatever the fuck

marie-jeanne thats it maid of gevudain or somethin it sfrench

the one surviving painting of her looks fukin familiar look at this shit

Scott saves the image.

 

... Right. Scott knew about this already, of course; Lydia had told him, what Gerard had told her. And then he'd looked it up on the internet, and lo and behold; he'd found this very painting.

It was still an odd thing, the identical nature of Allison and her ancestor, much like how it was strange Kira looked exactly like her mother when the kitsune was younger. Odd, for certain... and possibly a magical occurrence, given how things tend to work out in their world. With supernatural means, Scott means. Things don't tend to work out without the supernatural being associated, at least in some way, shape, or form, and it seems rather unnatural for such identical people to exist, in the way Allison and Marie look exactly the same, centuries apart.

... Marie was the start. And, in truth, Allison was the end. Marie started the argent's hunting profession - Allison revamped the whole family, or at least, tried to. And then she died.

Scott closes his eyes, for a moment. He turns, holding a pen, and offers it to Allison, who's been sitting awkwardly, rummaging through her bag, then sighing, and then tapping her desk every now and again in worried agitation.

"You need one of these?" He asks, quietly. She nods, and smiles. "Thanks," she says. "Was it that obvious?"

Scott shrugs, smiling a little, because - here she is, happy, and whole, and healthy and -

Scott's not a werewolf.

Scott doesn't let the realisation show on his face, as he turns to look at the board. The teacher drones on, and Scott just stares.

He's not a werewolf.

He remembers, suddenly, how difficult his relationship with Allison had been, because of his curse, how difficult it had been, in general, how it had affected every facet of his life. Improved on as many aspects as it harmed; no asthma, a tendency to not die, the ability to heal and super strength and super hearing and the ability to never get ill - but people out to kill him around every corner. Relationships ended because of his being a werewolf. Having to sneak around, and lie, and fight for his life, and other people's lives and every single day having to worry about how long it would take for the blood around him to be on his hands as literally as it ended up on Stiles', on Lydia's, on - too many people's.

Scott swallows, as he stares at the board. The bell rings, and he stands, packs his bags.

"I'm Allison," Allison says when he catches her eye as she moves to leave the classroom. "Though - you heard that," She smiles.

"I'm Scott," Scott introduces himself. Stiles is frowning at them, moreso at the back of Allison's head, but when she looks where Scott is looking, Stiles is already smiling. He offers a little wave, and she returns it.

"Stiles," Stiles says. "I'm Scott's best friend," He introduces himself, lips quirking up more genuinely at the corner.

"I'm the new girl," Allison offers, smiling still. She smiled so easily, always. At least, at first.

"Heard that, too," Stiles says, lips still quirked up. "Come on. What do you have next?"

She shares their classes because of course, she does, she did last time, so they all walk to class together. Stiles drops down into one of the only remaining seats - and there's one near the back and one next to Stiles. Allison offers a smile and a wave as she moves to the back of the class.

Scott sits next to Stiles and waits for the teacher.

Probability, he thinks, as he frowns. Everything's gone just right today, except, of course, for what happened to Stiles last night. But other than that...

Scott's frown deepens. When the teacher arrives, he tries to put his mind off it, smoothing out his expression, and instead, he pays attention to the lesson.

(Might as well put the fact that he's done all these classes before to good use, right?)


Scott hates to say it, but he'd forgotten, about Harley. Rebecca 'Harley' Harlowe, a friend of theirs for a while, if not a necessarily very close one. Just a friend, that Scott had cared about, once, and grown apart from, as the weeks went by and - life happened. Werewolves happened.

"- she's already hanging out with Lydia's clique?" Harley finishes

"Because she's hot. Beautiful people herd together," Stiles replies, to what Harley had said. She scoffs, as Stiles cranes his neck a little to get a better look at the people on the other side of the corridor.

"Too bad really; she seemed nice enough," Stiles says.

Harley scoffs again.

"She does," Scott agrees because it's true. Allison is nice. She's a good person, a nice person, a kind one, who will, eventually, sacrifice her life to save her friends. She's the best sort of person, the best example of the kind of person Scott admires, someone who knows what they believe in, who sticks to it, who can make friends easily and just...

Scott loves her, he does, and he never won't. But he's not in love with her, anymore. He likes Malia, well enough, as much as she likes him, and it could be love, he supposes, eventually. But it won't be, not while they're in love with other people - and Scott's heart is taken, by a girl he's not even met yet, technically.

Kira is happy, alive, healthy, and not overtaken by her fox, right now, and the best part - she's not here, in this town, where everything always seems to go wrong. She's safe. And that's all Scott could ever want; for her to be happy, and healthy, and safe. Even if that's not with him.

Allison smiles at him, and he smiles back, both glances fleeting. He wants her to be happy, and while they were, for a time, it wouldn't last - not with him. She needs... something less complicated. Or more complicated, he could never figure that one out - her relationship with Isaac wasn't exactly smooth sailing. Still. They're both better off, with other people, and that's just something Scott's learned, through experience. He's done all this before, after all.

Scott's going to have a - something about that, at some point. Maybe a breakdown; he's not sure yet. 


Scott's not sure what to do, at practice. He doesn't... it's almost funny, but he doesn't want to let Coach down. Not this Coach, who, to be fair, does know him about as well as he had the last go around at this point - but the Coach from Scott's previous run of things. The Coach that had once said 'Those boys are like sons to me." That Coach. And it feels like it, to sit on the bench, but Scott's just not going to be any use on the field, not this time around, and he doesn't fancy getting hit in the face. It's been a long time since he healed like a normal human, and he's still sort of relying on reflexes and senses that aren't there, he knows - or at least, he will be doing that, once he's on the field. And maybe he's improved, in general, but Scott's just not good at Lacrosse without supernatural aid.

It's a shame, really.

Still. Coach, like last time, demands he go in goal, but unlike last time, Scott does miss nearly all the balls thrown his way. Not all, because, as he said, there are general improvements - but his brain thinks he's taller than he is, that his reach is a bit longer, that he's got more muscle and his balance is different, so he misses what he might've caught, and he misses because his senses don't warn him, and he does in fact get hit in the face. It hurts, and Scott's almost surprised by that, because it's nowhere near close to the pain of dying, or a gunshot wound, or being skewered, but it really does hurt, and Scott realises, dully, that this body isn't used to pain, not like his older one is. Or was? And would it be newer, even though the body is older, because he's lived longer in it, though he hasn't, because it hasn't happened yet?

Scott misses a couple more balls, this time due to the mild existential crisis he's having. Lydia cheers for Jackson, who smirks. Scott doesn't really care, anymore; he's seen Jackson at his worst, and at his best (after a lot of character development, years into the future). Nothing the boy does now can really bother him; he's just petty, and insecure, and mean because of that.

Another reason he won't date Allison - they're all so young. Scott's twenty-one, ish. Maybe. But he's sixteen, again, and so are all the people he's friends with (except the adults, obviously, that would be a weird one). So it's just - strange.

Very, very strange.

"Nice going, McCall!" Someone jeers, Scott doesn't care who - as Coach blows his whistle. "Drills!" He yells, and there's a unanimous groan around the field. Suicide drills aren't called that for nothing, after all.

Stiles jogs over to him, claps him on the shoulder. "Good try," He says. "That was terrible. I felt actual pain watching you, Jesus. C'mon, we'll lag behind, I need to tell you something."

Scott nods. They follow the others to the start, and once Coach blows the whistle again and starts shouting encouraging insults the team's way, Stiles starts talking, low but not too quiet for Scott to hear.

"So, dad didn't find the body," Stiles says, "Which means either he didn't understand my directions, which, granted, given I was being chased by a werewolf and then trampled on by a herd of deer - is it a herd? - you know, probably weren't the best instructions in the world... or it's been moved. Or eaten. There's are actually quite a few options, but, you know. Still! They found the other half of the body, so at least that's something."

Scott nods.

"Anyway! That's... literally all I needed to say," Stiles nods. "Don't push yourself too hard, buddy." Stiles claps him on the shoulder, and then does what he always does - pushes too hard at the beginning of the run, so he's halfway to dead by the end of it, hence why he always collapses at the finish line. Stiles doesn't take his own advice, but then, he never really had, Scott knows, his thoughts exasperatedly fond, and fondly exasperated, in equal measure. 

Scott sighs, and jogs. Coach never did push him too hard, specifically, given his asthma, which was honestly better than previous PE teachers. Finnstock was just abrasive and loud and probably inappropriate, but under that, he's a good man. A bit like Stiles, really, now Scott thinks about it.

As Scott had both feared and expected, Stiles is just fine once the drills are over. He's sweaty and gross, like the rest of them, of course - but he's still energetic like he hasn't taken his -

Oh no.

Liam's medication stopped working - and that had been a nightmare, at first. Stiles... Stiles has anxiety and ADHD and - Jesus. This... isn't going to be fun.

"Good time, Stilinski," Coach nods, "Everyone! That's how you do a suicide drill! I want you all smiling like maniacs afterwards, understood? If you're tired, then you're not in good enough shape. Get to it! Do some practice throws."

Stiles walks over and helps Scott up from the ground, smiling like a maniac, and not because of Coach's instructions. "So that's useful!" He says, happily. God, Scott hates how this is going to go. It was good, for the first while. There's a sort of strain around Stiles' eyes, though, and Scott remembers - when the bloodlust will start to kick in.

Stiles will have done as much research as possible, won't he? Maybe not as much as last time, not having as much time to do it - but he will have. So he'll know at least the vague pop-culture about what is coming.

Oh. Of course.

Silver lining. He's - he's trying to appreciate the good side while he can and - ignoring the problem until eventually it just goes away. Stiles stopped doing that fairly quickly, in the future, but... they're not there yet. They haven't faced a problem where you can't actually just do that, until now.

"Seems so," Scott says. They head towards the bench to pick up their sticks, but, of course, Jackson accosts them. "Greenberg's free," He says, glaring at Scott.

"Greenberg's always free," Stiles says, dryly. "Your point?"

"Coach wants to swap pairs," Jackson says, shortly. "So we get used to throwing to other people. And I'm not pairing with Greenberg."

"Fine," Stiles says. "Have fun-"

"Shut up, Stilinski," Jackson's jaw clenches. "I'm supposed to pair with you. Go on." He glances at Scott. "Let's get this over with."

"Well I'm not doing that," Stiles says. "Screw you. Maybe if you weren't such an asshole, you might get your way sometimes, you know?"

Oh no.

Oh, this is not good.

"It's fine," Scott says. "We can swap, right?"

"Don't just dally around like a group of old ladies," Coach says, appearing in their midst. "Actually, I take that back, I've seen old ladies do some insane things when grouped together - you're worse than a group of old ladies! Go. Throw." He looks at Scott, with some genuine sympathy. "Greenberg needs a toss partner, unfortunately," He says, "So that's you, mostly because he's even worse than a baby at this game, and you're slightly better than a child."

Scott nods.

"And you two," He points at Jackson and Stiles, who are scowling at each other.

"Stop that with your faces, and get to work! Teamwork, there's no 'me' in team!"

"Actually -" Stiles says, "There's an 'm' and an 'e', so if you put the m before the e..."

"Shut up, Stilinski," Coach says. Stiles glowers at him, now, and Scott winces as he walks away.

Scott keeps an eye - okay, he keeps both eyes on Stiles and Jackson and completely ignores Greenberg, who Scott has never actually looked at in all his years of being on this team, which is... strange - but, anyway - he keeps both eyes on the disaster that might be about to occur, with newly-bitten Stiles and young-insecure-asshole Jackson having to throw shit at each other for an unfortunate length of time.

They're not even aiming for the nets, anymore, just each other's faces. They're getting angrier by the second, but Scott can't hear what is being said.

"They're insulting each other," Greenberg says, and Scott jolts. "Something about Stiles' state of mind, and Jackson's state of parents, and then something about Stiles' lack of a girlfriend, and then something about Jackson's lack of - oh, ouch, that's gotta hurt -"

"You can hear them?" Scott asks. Still not looking at Greenberg.

"Well, I hear a lot of stuff," Greenberg says. "You can look at me, you know." Scott blinks, and it's like - like a strange pressure is suddenly gone, from his right side, and he looks in that direction, suddenly aware of how he hadn't known where Greenberg actually was.

"Hi," Greenberg says, holding a hand out. Scott blinks at him, and he - winks? Nope. He blinks. He has one eye. Just the one, and not in a 'lost the other eye in some horrible way' sort of one-eyed.

"Uh," Scott says, eloquently.

"My dad's a witch," Greenberg says, dryly. "My other eye was payment for something, so I never had one. The spell is for my own safety. Coach can see me, but not the one eye. There's a different spell for adults, you see."

"Oh," Scott says, a great use of his vocabulary.

Greenberg smiles, a normal smile with a mouth full of very normal, if very straight, teeth. He'd actually probably be considered fairly objectively handsome if it weren't for the weird cyclops vibe he was giving off.

"Why..." Scott trails off. If - If he... he'd never known, last time. Was - was this even the case, last time?

Was this - was this not just his past but... a different past, that of a different him?

"Well, we got paired up," Greenberg says, sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck. "... Can't exactly toss a ball at a guy you can't be aware of, can you?"

"No," Scott says, slowly, "I guess not."

"It's why I'm so bad at the game," Greenberg continues. "I mean - I can't really pass, because no-one knows where I am, and I can't catch, because no-one can throw anything my way on purpose. I would actually be pretty useful in goal if it wouldn't give the whole game away, you know - of me being just beyond your ability to perceive."

That's... true, actually.

"Oh, ouch," Greenberg winces, and Scott's head snaps in the direction of - oh no.

Jackson's launched himself at Stiles, forgoing all pretences- but Stiles just steps aside, too close to the last moment to seem quite possible, but Jackson's grabbed his ankle - but that works against his favour, and Stiles ends up being the one pinning Jackson down.

"Boys!" Coach yells. "The hell are you doing?"

"No idea, Coach!" Stiles yells back.

"You - fucking -" Jackson can't actually move, Scott realises... but Stiles is only holding down his arms. He's not even pinning him, really, not like how Stiles has done to others in the past. He's just sort-of holding him down, and Jackson is straining to move - but he can't. Not even his legs, which are free from anything at all, which is -

... not possible. Not without magic.

"Shut up, Jackson," Stiles says, and he does.

"What is going on," Scott hears, from Danny, this time. "I try that all the time and it never works." He mutters, and that gets a few laughs.

"Get off him!" Oh great. Not that it isn't great to see Lydia - but this isn't the Lydia Scott knows now, she's the Lydia he knew then. And much like Jackson, she'd gone through significant character development, too, into the truly good person she is, openly and without restraint - unlike now. Now - well. There's a term isn't there, for her role in their school's social system.

"Lydia," Stiles says, as he stands. "What the hell were you doing?" She demands, but she's looking at Jackson. "We're better than that, aren't we?"

Jackson grimaces, then glares at her.

Not out in the open, please, Scott thinks. God, drama. That is something he really does not miss, at all.

Lydia glances at Stiles, calculating. "You did very well, earlier," She says. "What's your name?"

Stiles smile is strained and a little sharp. Scott winces. "C'mon, Lydia," Stiles says, pointedly. "We've been in the same school system and the same classes since third grade."

She purses her lips. "Have we?" She asks, tilting her head, blinking in that way she did when she was trying to pretend she was stupid.

There's laughter. Coach isn't doing much of anything, which is - a choice, certainly. Oh, actually, he's just gone. Scott wishes he could also just disappear. He's very glad the teenage melodrama fades out, at least eventually.

"Yep," Stiles says. "Stilinski. Ring any bells?"

Which is true. He's the sheriff's son, and in a town like this one, you really do just know who that is.

Lydia hesitates.

"Jackson knows," Stiles says, tone even dryer. "Come on, you're not stupid. In fact, you're actually very smart. Your name is Lydia Martin. What's mine?"

"I don't know how to pronounce it," Lydia snaps. "Happy?" She flicks her hair over her shoulder.

"Stiles isn't that hard," Stiles says, lips twitching. "I wasn't expecting you to bring up Mieczyslaw, though."

"Did you just - what?" Jackson looks at Stiles like he's insane.

"It's Polish," Stiles rolls his eyes. "Now you are stupid, that's just a fact."

Stiles is going to get himself punched in the face, at some point. Scott feels like an idiot, just standing here, but he's really not sure what to do.

Lydia huffs links her arm with Jackson's. "Don't bother coming to the party this Friday," She says, cooly. "You're uninvited."

"Ouch," Stiles says, and he's still got feelings for her at this point, Scott knows, so he's fully aware the dry tone is the fake part of that statement. "That hurts, really."

The couple walks off, Lydia dragging Jackson in the direction of the locker rooms. Allison is standing awkwardly to the side, and she looks at Scott when he looks at her. She smiles awkwardly, as she walks over.

"Does that happen often?" She asks.

"Around Lydia?" Scott asks. "Kind of. She's... not always very nice. Around Jackson? All the time."

"Stiles?" She asks.

"Sometimes." Stiles is stalking over to the bench. He slams his stick down, which he'd picked up at some point, and the structure rattles, the sound loud. Scott winces. "Not as often now, but..."

And it did use to happen more, confrontations and spats and near full-out brawls. Stiles was a precocious child, and an angry tween, caught between grief and guilt and a whole load of other bullshit, and Scott had sat with him outside the nurse's office more than once. The most when he was eleven, but he'd gotten stuck on the 'anger' stage for a... long time.

Noah's developing alcoholism was halted and stabilised to a fairly functional level, after one too many visits to the principal. He's technically 'recovering' now, but... Scott's pretty sure he's still on the 'functional' stage. He's definitely recovering when they're sixteen, and he's recovered by the time the Anuke-ite takes centre stage, but...

Yeah.

"Oh." She looks over at Stiles, quiet, and they watch him, for a moment, as he takes off the gear and sits there, in his uniform, hands clenched too tight on the bench, eyes hard as he stares into the middle distance.

Scott's not sure what he's thinking about. He might've gotten to Jackson, sure, but Jackson had gotten to him, too.


Scott remembers what happened at the animal clinic today perhaps a little late, but it's alright. He was used to going into the vet's anyway - it was his job, after all. So maybe he only remembered Allison's unfortunate incident with the dog on her way home - or whatever it had been - when he sees her banging on the door.

At least the cats hadn't hissed at him, this time around. He'd always liked them, so it was nice they didn't hate him, again.

"- out of nowhere!" Allison finishes. Scott belatedly realises he forgot to say 'hi.'

Scott takes a breath, but Allison gestures to her car before he can speak. "I don't - I don't know - I didn't know what to do, so, so she's in - she's in my car." She says, frightened and miserable and worried, and Scott nods, slowly, expression hopefully comforting, calm.

"It's alright," He says, "Where?"

"The boot," Allison says, and leads him over. The rain from earlier has stopped, so Allison's just standing there, shivering, as Scott opens the boot and looks at the dog. She growls at him, but this isn't something he needs, specificially, to have his powers for. It takes longer, but he calms her down enough to pick her up, and then they go back inside the vet clinic.

"She's just frightened," He explains, as he places her down on the table.

"That makes two of us," Allison says.

"You look cold," He says, "I have a shirt in my bag, if you want? You don't want to get hypothermia on top of everything else," He smiles, genuine. "She's just got a broken leg, nothing major, I've put a splint on plenty. I'll do that and give her a painkiller, and she'll be fine soon."

"Oh, I don't want to trouble you," Allison says, an awkward sort of half-laugh, soft and kind and genuine. "You're not," Scott says. "It's no trouble, I mean, I don't think either of us want you to get sick, right?"

Allison inclines her head. "Thanks," She says, softly, as she takes the shirt from his bag. She goes to change, and he simply turns his attention back to the dog, getting all what he needs to put a splint on, and then doing just that. Allison returns before he's finished, and watches while he works, smiles a little as the dog takes the painkiller he gives her.

"All done," Scott says. "Go on, you can pet her, if you want."

Alison hesitates, but she reaches out and places a hand on the dog's side. Encouraged by the positive reaction, Allison strokes the dog's side.

"She'll be alright," Scott says, smiling.

"Thanks for doing this," Allison says. "I feel really stupid," She admits, looking back down at the dog, half hiding behind her hair. She's a year older, almost, than Scott is physically - but she's just so young.  

 "Don't," Scott says. "It's natural. Hard to see at night, and they don't keep the streetlights like they should, here."

"That's not it," Allison sighs. "I just - I freaked out like a total girl."

Ah, jeez. He'd forgotten about that.

"You are a girl," Scott repeats his younger self, wincing internally.

"I freaked out like a girly girl, and I'm not a girly-girl."

"What kind of girl are you?" Scott asks. "'Cause I think it's the good kind of person, any person, who worries when they hit an animal. I mean, I know I'd be bawling my eyes out. Better than not caring, leaving it to die on the side of the road."

She laughs, properly. "Tougher than that," She says, "But - I guess you're right."

"I am," He smiles.

She smiles back. "You've - got an eyelash, on your cheek," Scott points out. "Oh, thanks," Allison says, wiping it away.

She pets the dog a bit more, as the creature, very tired from her ordeal, falls asleep, due to a mix of that and the painkillers. "She'll be okay, though?" Allison asks.

"Definitely," Scott promises. "Perfectly fine. We'll find who she belongs to, once she's better. And if she's a stray, then we'll find her a good home."

"Right, you work here, duh," Allison smiles. "Can I... can I visit?"

"Sure," Scott smiles. "Dr Deaton won't mind, I don't think."

Allison nods, slowly. "Cool," She says, a small smile on her face.

Scott doesn't ask her to the party.

"Um," Scott asks, "You know - I was wondering - but is it really family game night friday?"

She blinks at him. "Oh, no, that was a total lie," She laughs.

"Well, since we're banned from the party - me and Stiles, that is - do you wanna hang out?" He asks.

"You and Stiles?" She asks.

"Well," He says. "It was implied. I don't really wanna go, anyway. Last time I went wasn't very fun, and I'm pretty sure someone spiked my drink, because there were some really awful hallucinations going on."

"Yikes," Allison says. "Yeah, okay." She smiles. "What do you wanna do?"

"There's an ice rink, an arcade, a cinema. A video rental store," Scott says, "And a bowling alley?"

"Oh, I love bowling!" Allison smiles wide, happy. Scott smiles back, fond. Her smile softens. "I'd love to," She says. "It's... thank you."

"For what?" Scott asks.

"... For tonight," She says. "For the shirt. For - being kind. For offering friendship, without weird fashion-related and popularity-oriented caveats."

Scott smiles. "No problem," He says. "Really."

She nods. And that's that. 


Stiles has been having a weird few days, that's for damn sure, and he's a bit sick and tired of Jackson's bullshit, and he's been sick and tired of it for like, a decade, probably. Stiles hasn't liked Jackson for as long as he can remember, and they've known each other for about that much time, so...

Anyway.

Jackson has the audacity to accost him in the hallway, catching him on his way to homeroom. Scott isn't here yet, for some reason, and Stiles hasn't been able to sleep much, lately, too wired, so he showed up early, for once. He's never doing that again if it lets assholes ambush him in the hallway.

"Okay, Stiles," Jackson shoves him, and Stiles, taken by surprise, slams into the lockers. "Where. Are you. Getting. Your juice?"

"Local corner shop," Stiles quips. "Price isn't so bad, there - orange and apple and all the rest, much cheaper than at the bigger place, and closer too."

"Don't be a smartass, Stilinski," Jackson says. "Where are you getting your juice, Stiles?"

"My dad's the sheriff," Stiles says, tone laced with exasperation. "You think I could get away with that shit?"

"I think he'd let you get away with murder," Jackson says, frankly. "What is it, huh? Steroids?"

"A good attitude and dedication, asshole," Stiles says.

"Nobody improves like that overnight. Nobody."

Stiles shrugs. "What can I say?" He says. "I did. I don't know how or why," Which are, by the way, total lies, take that jackass, "but I did."

"I - I am going to figure you out," Jackson threatens. "Aww, don't waste your brain cell, Jackson," Stiles says, "It's just raw talent, man. There's nothing to find. You're just not as good as me."

"You haven't even played in a match," Jackson fires back.

"And you're still threatened by me." Stiles grins. "What's that say about you, Jackson? What's it say?"

Jackson grinds his teeth together and shoves Stiles, who doesn't budge. "Try that again," Stiles finds himself saying, "And you'll lose an eye."

Something of a threat must show in Stiles' own eye (or eyes, as the case may be) because Jackson does, in fact, back off.

"Something's going on with you, Stilinski," Jackson says, warily.

"Oh, I know that much," Stiles says. "But that's always the case, isn't it? How's Lydia? Still angry with you? Something's always going on with everyone, genius. My something's just a bit more positive than your something, so you're jealous. Given your severe levels of insecurity, I'm not even remotely surprised."

"Fuck off," Jackson bites out. "I'm going to find out what you're doing, I swear it."

"Looking forward to it," Stiles says, dryly. He claps Jackson on the shoulder as he passes, which sends the guy stumbling towards the lockers. Stiles flexes his fingers, for a moment, tests the strength, but they feel the same as they always have. He tested it, yesterday, once Scott had fucked off to the animal clinic, and it seemed... odd. He could pull over a vending machine like he always could, punching a wall did nothing, but then he got surprised by someone turning the corner and broke a door handle. A metal door handle. In half.

And that surprise? Was really random, annoyingly so. Sometimes, he'd know, because he'd hear someone coming a mile off. But next thing he knows, he's in a nearly empty school hallway, and Jackson, of all unsubtle people, manages to take him by surprise! And sometimes, Stiles can resist being shoved, unlike Before, but other times, he goes as easy as a sack of potatoes, which is more reminiscent of what it used to be like.

It's annoying, really. Stiles just wants consistency in this whole lycanthropy thing. That'd be nice. 


Stiles shows up to the tryouts, for once. Scott knows this makes sense because even if his place on the bench is guaranteed, he's got enhancements, now. Scott had done the same, but with less awareness of what it all meant, so he gets it.

But it does mean Stiles isn't listening in on his Dad's calls, which means the clues they get - got, they got - they aren't getting.

Scott keeps an eye on Stiles - and Jackson, who is glaring very directly at him. Stiles' grip on his stick is too tight, Scott can tell, and from the set of his jaw, that's from anger. Him being here right now isn't really for him, Scott knows; it's to prove something, to antagonise Jackson like he's been antagonising Stiles for years, like Stiles has been doing the same to him. You could definitely call Jackson a bully, sure, especially when they were younger, but it's not like Stiles has ever been the type to just roll over and act like a doormat - nor is Scott, really, but Stiles was the one who threw the most punches, not Jackson, and definitely not Scott.

Alright, well, Theo was the one that threw the most punches, but Scott's pretty sure that's just by one (to the face, against someone from Stiles and his old little league team), but... you know. Theo doesn't count, much. God. He's out there, somewhere, right now, helping the Dread Doctors kill innocent kids, probably making his plans as Scott stands here, on the lacrosse field, only here to make sure Stiles doesn't do anything really unfortunate.

There's a lot of people Scott's going to have to watch out for. It's a daunting thing, having all this future knowledge, and not even being sure of if it's accurate. After all, he's not even sure if this is his own past. It could be any past, of any Scott - things could be totally different. It'd be too easy, for Scott to have gone back to his own past; magical explosions aren't that precise. Something else probably happened to the Stiles from when Scott was, and the witches, and Malia, and Lydia, and Liam, and Mason, and Theo, and Corey, and... everyone.

Yes. Even Theo, because Scott's a good person, thank you very much, and Theo has redeemed himself, for the most part. He can't have done enough to make up for it all, just as Chris can't make up for all the years of being a hunter with the old code, just as they all have things they've done they can't fix - but he's proved himself capable of being better, over the years. Even Stiles has forgiven him, mostly, in about the same way Stiles - and the rest of them - have 'forgiven' Peter. So, you know. Close enough that it counts, thereabouts. 

"McCall! Pay attention!" Coach says, very loudly, and Scott winces, looks up from where his head had drifted down to stare, contemplatively, at the grass on the ground. "Great. Okay. You know how this goes. If you don't make the cut, you're most likely sitting on the bench for the rest of the season. You make the cut - You play. Your parents are proud. Your girlfriend loves ya! Huh? Everything else is, uh - Cream cheese. Now, get out there and show me whatcha got! Come on!"

Scott does his best, which is to say, he passes a lot to Greenberg, which is still the oddest thing in the world - finding out what this Greenberg looks like, and why, at least here, Scott had never actually seen the guy. That's still really weird. But, regardless, he does his best, which... eh. Stiles does a lot better, granted, because of course he does, but not unbelievably so. Something must have happened for Stiles to show caution, and then Scott remembers - Jackson accosted him, of course. He would have because he did the same to Scott, last time this happened. 

And if Stiles can keep manslaughter in self-defence that the man in question considered to be a murder - and not only that but two of those occurrences - from an entire group of supernatural creatures and his dad, the sheriff, for - way, way too long... yeah. Stiles can be discrete, which would be surprising to anyone who doesn't know him as well as Scott does.

Oh, fuck, this is really going to be frustrating. Stiles was cagey enough as a human, and Scott remembers how much he'd been 'encouraged' to be cagey in the first few months. How south things had gone, how quickly, because of that.

Scott grimaces, as he catches the ball from Greenberg, and passes to Stiles, who catches, despite Scott's mediocre aim. Hey, at least it's not abysmal. Even without werewolf senses and reflexes and... everything else... Scott still did quite a few years of this sport; being anything less than mediocre would just be embarrassing, at this point.

Stiles, on the other hand, scores when he means to, misses when he doesn't, and catches what he needs to, and misses what he doesn't. He's doing better than Jackson, easily, who's distracted by his mounting anger and frustration, and he's doing far better than he used to - the increased reflexes are helping majorly with his previous clumsiness. And, honestly, he seems to notice things more than Scott did, and Scott wonders if that's something to do with his ADHD or whatever - he's not really used to focusing on one thing anyway, attention generally split unless he's really invested in what's going on, so all these extra senses are either overwhelming, or easily manageable, Scott guesses, depending on the day. He's acting a bit like he'd only taken half his adderall dosage, but not necessarily in the bad way that usually means - Scott hopes to god Stiles without medication is going to be easier to deal with than Liam was at first.

... that's really not likely. Stiles wasn't very easy to help be stable when he was human and had missed a dosage or two. Got... very paranoid, very - hyperactive, much easier to feel more strongly about things - anger, mostly. They ran short a lot, when things were going down - Stiles was mostly off medication for the entirety of the darach-nogistune debacle, because of how close they were together, and then again for the dread doctors, and then again for the wild hunt. It was a major issue, Scott knows, and half the reason he was acting the way he was during the time between Donovan's death and Theo being sent to hell. Or wherever he went. 

Scott manages to catch a ball, and he's in just the right place and the right time to throw it into the net, which is a nice feeling. That's one more goal he scored before getting the bite than he did in his last life, so human Scott isn't totally incompetent at his favourite sport. Scott sighs, because he notes, now, that Stiles had been the one to throw the ball his way - and that's been how it's going, hasn't it? Scott frowns. Whenever - whenever Stiles doesn't score a goal, he's passing to someone who does. This whole match, he's been the second-to-last person with the ball, if not the last, in regards to scoring.

Huh.

Stiles doesn't do any fancy gymnastics, but he does avoid being tripped flat on his face by Jackson and a few others - ah, the time when Jackson commanded enough 'power' to get the other students to do that sort of thing, how Scott does not miss high school social dynamics - and... yeah. That's that.

Stiles gets Scott's old place on first line - and there's an angry huff of breath as one of Jackson's buddies, who didn't score a single goal and in fact, missed one, probably because he was too busy trying to trip Stiles up to actually play - is sent off the pitch to be benched for the season. "Stillinski! Finally! What the hell was that?"

"I practised," Stiles says.

"I thought so! You made the shot! First-line. McCall, you scored more than Elliott, you're on too."

Elliott is glaring at Scott, who shrugs, awkwardly. He should really be blaming himself, and if not, Jackson, for this whole issue. It's not Scott's fault he wasn't trying hard enough.


Scott doesn't call Stiles over that day. It makes sense, of course, but it's just another difference. Instead, he shows up at Scott's house in the jeep. "C'mon, dude," Stiles says. "You've got a date with a girl, don't you?"

"It's not a date," Scott says. "Yeah, 'cause I'm there, third-wheeling up the place," Stiles says, pulling off the curb and driving in the direction of Allison's house, via Scott's texted directions, which Stiles probably memorised then looked up on google maps, satellite view, because... Stiles.

"No, it's not," Scott insists, because it's not. "She just seems lonely."

Stiles presses his tongue between his teeth, for a moment. "Yeah," He says, softer. "I guess she does, at that."

They arrive at Allison's house a little later, and the door opens to - a woman long dead. Scott had almost forgotten, about Victoria, and not in the way that he'd forgotten about her because of course he hadn't - she'd tried to kill him, after all - but... a lot of people had done that. The most she was to him was Allison's mom, and... eventually, that didn't mean much, either, because the girl in question was dead too. Other stuff just got higher priority, and... Victoria faded into the past, like the rest of the dead. Gone, but not forgotten - just... not thought about much, because they couldn't afford to do that. Not with everything that was happening.

"You must be Scott and Stiles," The Argent Matriarch says, eyeing them with a rather insincere smile. Stiles offers a wave, from his side of the car, Scott acting as a barrier between them. "That's us," He says, cheerfully. "We're here to show your daughter around town," He adds.

"If that's alright," Scott finishes for him because Stiles is not really the sort to ask permission.

"Perfectly fine," Victoria states, standing aside. "Why don't you come in?" She asks, pleasantly, and it sends shivers down Scott's spine, because he remembers that tone of voice from last time, and it never meant anything good. Stiles nods, smiling, eyes wary, and he exits the car, so Scott follows, more hesitant. At this age, Victoria Argent was one of the worst things he'd faced, which is really very awkward, given at this age he'd been dating her daughter.

"Alright," Stiles says, locking the car up behind Scott. "For a minute. Only got a few hours before all the things close, and there's enough stuff but not so much that we won't get to show everything off before eleven."

Victoria's smile thins, slightly. "Eleven?" She asks.

"Yeah," Stiles says, walking inside. "Beacon Hills is fairly safe, we don't really have a curfew -" Not yet, Scott thinks - "I mean, if my dad, the sheriff, thinks it's cool for his kid to be out at night, it's fine for everyone else, you know?"

Victoria's smile returns, polite and proper. "It would seem so," She states, not agrees, and Stiles fidgets with the hem of his plaid shirt. Victoria works in fashion, Scott knows, and he kind of wishes he'd worn something a little nicer under her scrutinating gaze; she was controlling about Allison's love life, Scott's pretty sure her friends went under similar evaluation. Got to make sure no supernatural beasties are weasling their way into knowing about the family business, right?

Scott shudders, slightly, but Victoria doesn't notice because at that moment, Allison bounds halfway down the stairs. "Hey," She says, smiling, dressed nicely but not date-nicely. That's good. Scott smiles back, and Stiles inclines his head, wary eyes still firmly fixed on Victoria.

Well, at least he had some instincts. Scott wishes it wasn't just paranoia, though. Stiles got it right as many times as he got it wrong because he always just assumed the worst of people. Except for Malia, of course. He'd never assumed the worst of Malia. And Scott? Out of the question. Stiles would've punched his dad in the face before he thought the worst of Scott, Scott knows. He hated himself for Theo's manipulations probably the most out of all of them, if that was possible - because Scott certainly didn't feel blameless. But the point there is... his internally aimed hatred seeped out, during those dark months, and... spread towards other people. And he was still, at the age of twenty-one, upset with himself for how he'd treated Scott, and Malia, and the rest of them, even though by that point it was - it didn't even matter, anymore. But Stiles was no stranger to a hefty dosage of guilt complex, just like Scott, so...

"Be back by eleven," Victoria states, simply, smiling more genuinely at her daughter. Allison sighs, longsuffering, but nods. The three exit the house, Victoria closing the door behind them, and once they're in the jeep, Scott watches the house and notes Victoria watching them go from the living room, curtains half-open.

"Well that was - mildly terrifying, is she always like that?" Stiles asks Allison, glancing at her in the rearview mirror. Allison laughs awkwardly, and Scott winces.

"My parents are - overprotective," She admits, shrugging in a 'what can you do?' sort of manner. "Scare more people off than they don't."

That's a side-effect from their profession, Scott knows.

"I can figure," Stiles says, dryly, as they turn onto Main Street. "Video rental to your left," And good lord, video rental. Scott watches the store pass them by, and racks his brain for when Peter attacked the place, but the date eludes him. It's been so long, and it's not like Scott ever had time to write everything down, and date it accordingly. He's going to have to try and do that, at some point, he knows, but...

This all still doesn't feel quite real. Scott catches glimpses of himself in the passenger side window, as the streetlights pass by overhead; an odd, ghostly reflection, and it makes him feel even more out of place than he already does.

"So what do you enjoy doing, then?" Stiles asks.

"Scott mentioned bowling," Allison says, sitting up straighter. Stiles' attention is only half on the road, but he's driving better than he did in their last life. Scott's last life. Must be the lycanthropy. "Ooh, bowling," Stiles says. "Scott's terrible. I'm alright, you?"

Allison smiles, dimples making themselves known. There's a pang in Scott's heart, but it's fleeting, and it's more for not ever getting to know what they'd look like on her face, as it aged. How would she have changed, like the rest of them had? What would an adult Allison have looked like, sounded like, dressed like, acted like? An Allison that lived past seventeen.

Allison is exactly the girl Scott remembers, and she will be because Scott didn't really know her for all that long. One year, and that's generous. She never turned eighteen, after all.

Older than them all, but younger than they got to be. Scott watches their conversation through the rearview mirror, at intervals, but it passes over him, sugar-sweet but bitter; the tang of things long lost to him, the weight of 'what-could-have-been's heavy on his shoulders.

They arrive at the bowling alley. Scott drops out of the jeep as Stiles does, as Allison does, and then Stiles locks up as Scott and Allison go inside to buy access. It doesn't take long, and then the three of them are bowling, and Allison's laughing and smiling and telling them anecdotes, ones Scott knows and ones he doesn't, and Stiles is joking and smiling and telling Allison things Scott once told her himself, along with things he'd never said - meaning, what neither Scott nor Stiles had ever said - and...

It solidifies, at that moment, that this is different, and it is real.

Scott makes mostly gutter balls, and Allison never tells him to think of her naked, and all he feels is dreadful relief. Because...

He doesn't - he doesn't want to have to go through this again. He doesn't.


Stiles shows no signs of werewolfitutde, to steal his word, over the course of the night.

After they do three matches, ending with Allison reigning supreme, mostly because Stiles seems to be not using his new nature for this task, much like Scott couldn't, at first, without motivation, or encouragement - they hit the arcade. Allison wins at the shooting games, but Stiles, still flailing but more co-ordinated, wins at Dance Dance Revolution. Scott wins at the claw machine, and his prize goes to Allison, because - she's new, and she needs friends more than anything, really. Scott sinks all the cash he has on hand into the evening, and he can't bring himself to regret it, because he enjoyed himself, and they had a good time. And Stiles just acts like himself, humerous and edged, slightly, in that way of his, with something a bit more serious. Not all of his jokes land, but most of them do, and... he's not acting out, or acting up. He's - fine. And not in the acronym way, just - genuinely fine.

Stiles drives them both home, Scott first, because he's closer. Scott watches them drive down the street until he can't see or hear them anymore, and it still feels like he's got wool stuck in his ears and stuffed up his nostrils. The world is muffled in a way he's unused to, having spent so long as a werewolf it became second nature to rely on his newer, better, improved senses of hearing and smell and taste and touch and - everything, that he just... it's difficult. To deal with the changes. About as dificult as it had been, when those abilities had first started to show through.

But it's his own fault, he supposes, as much as it isn't. He hadn't realised that first night - and if he had, it would've just gone the same way as last time. Maybe? Or maybe not. Maybe, if he'd noticed when he was that night, he'd have gone with Stiles. And maybe, when the sheriff caught them, he'd have gone with Stiles, again, allowed the sheriff to catch the both of them... and then neither of them would be caught up like this.

In fact, Scott wonders, momentarily, how things had gone that night... because Stiles hadn't been caught. The sheriff hadn't known he was out until he got back, after all - so what changed, there? How was Stiles not caught, this time? What differed, from when Scott had been there, for that to not happen?

But those thoughts wouldn't help, Scott knows. He pushes them aside, for now, and enters the house. His mom is on shift, he thinks, because she's not inside, so Scott just trudges upstairs in a whirlwind of thoughts, about the future, and the past, and the things that could change, the things that could've changed already, and when Scott flops onto bed, he falls fast asleep almost instantly.


Scott stares at the ceiling as he wakes up. There's a missed call and a voicemail on his phone; the former is from Allison, and that's probably because she wants him to tell Stiles she left her coat in the back of the jeep - there's a text from her, as well, about just that - and the voicemail is from Stiles.

Scott plays it.

"So I was reading," Stiles says, "Did a lot of research - oh, wow, it's six am, funny that - and I found... some bullshit," He sighs, and Scott imagines him massaging his eyes, drained, but not ready to quit just yet. "Looks like werewolves have this thing about 'bloodlust' on a full moon, but hey, didn't know that last night! Didn't happen, though, thank god. Starting to think wikipedia isn't a great source of information on this stuff, but the books haven't been helpful either, and they're old and dusty and everything, which means they should be great information about the supernatural according to every show I've watched, which admittedly is limited to only buffy, and while the werewolf that took a chunk out of me then fucked off did look a lot like a transformed Oz, I don't think we're dealing with that." Stiles pauses, and Scott thinks he's probably - rifling through notes, or the dusty old book he'd just mentioned. "There's some stuff in here that seems more accurate, though," Stiles states. "Hunting families, that tale about the Maid of Gevaudan - the same painting of that woman, Marie. Oh, look at that, she married an Argent. Looks like we found our hunting family."

Scott sighs. Stiles pauses, probably writing that down. Or typing, Scott can't be sure anymore. He can't hear well enough.

"Glad the bloodlust thing seems to be a bunch of bullshit," Stiles says. "And - yeah. I was worrying a bit about that earlier because I've wanted to kill Jackson a lot lately - you know, more than usual. But that's just probably because he's being more of a dick than he has been lately and, annoyingly, I'm losing my touch at dealing with assholes, or something. Anyway. Just figured I should tell you. Bye."

Kill Jackson, huh? Well. It's not like Stiles hasn't said that before, multiple times, and very vehemently. Scott - Scott knows he hadn't really meant it then, because of how he dealt with Donovan's death, and what happened with the Nogitsune, but - for some people, being a werewolf makes you more volatile. And Stiles... Scott hates to say it, but Stiles isn't the most stable of people, even on a good day.

Or at least, he isn't, when Scott's from, because - well - none of them are.

Maybe he's better now. At least, a bit, because none of that's happened yet - but... he's still got all the other shit. The stuff that had nothing to do with the supernatural at all.

Regular trauma can fuck you up just as badly, Scott is very well aware of that fact.

"Alright." Scott stares at the ceiling. "What am I going to do now?" He asks.

He's not sure. First things first, he things, swinging his legs out from under the covers - write. He's got to write everything he knows down, write a timeline, keep it straight. He's not sure of all the dates, exactly, but if he gets a calendar - lunar calendar - he can probably time things a bit more accurately than if he just puts a pen to a notepad, so, first things first, get a lunar calendar up on a computer, and make a list. Maybe a spreadsheet?

That might work. Or a table in Word - Scott doesn't really like working with Excel, it's just a kind of annoying program. Anyway.

Scott gets up, gets dressed, and heads of to the local library.

He's got some work to do.