Jackson couldn’t take a break for one day it seemed, slamming Stiles yet again into his locker.
Of course, years of this kind of treatment had gifted Stiles with amazing reflexes and he managed to get his hand up in time, saving himself a broken nose as his forehead got real intimate with the metal door.
The lanky kid peeled himself off his locker, hand going up to rub his forehead while easily imagining the size of the bump he’d have tomorrow.
Stiles hated this, getting pushed around and coming home with more injuries from walking down a hallway than he did on the lacrosse field.
It wouldn’t have been so bad if there had actually been a reason for this bullying, if he’d been a dick or stole Jackson’s girlfriend, not that he didn’t dream about that last one plenty of times.
But no, Stiles was a perfect gentleman if you asked him anyway. Or Scott. Dad too.
Well, okay, not dad. He’s paternally obligated to say that, Stiles’ brow creased as he tried to think of someone other than Scott that would agree, someone who wasn’t twice his age, worked with his dad, a relative, or tried to pinch his cheeks every time he helped them cross the street.
He was coming up pretty short.
“Why do I feel like Pinocchio?” He muttered to himself, picturing Scott as a little cricket with an umbrella
“What?” Jackson’s voice rang loud in his ear, the blonde boy’s breathe ghosting along his cheek in an unpleasant way. It was also sudden and made him jump and bang right into the metal again, Jackson and his friends laughing as Stiles cursed the locker’s existence.
Thinking it was over, Jackson having had more than his usual share of morning fun, Stiles bent down and grabbed his backpack off the floor, turning to leave, when a firm hand pushed hard against his chest and pinned him to the cold metal.
“I said.. “ Jackson pushed even more, making it slightly harder for Stiles to breath, “What did you say.”
And he knew that look, that crazy mad glint in the lacrosse captain’s eyes that was usually reserved for semi final matches and when Stiles really screwed up. It screamed dominance, demanded he submit. And really, what could Stiles do?
Scott was on the other side of the school drooling on Allison, sorry, kissing Allison and wasn’t that just great?
His best friend was getting his tonsils licked out before first period and Stiles was about to lose the ability to breath normally for the rest of the day.
“I said.. Good morning, Jackson.” He managed to get it out without too much wheezing and using his best impression of a wounded doe, because he really didn’t need Jackson and his posse calling him Pinocchio for the rest of his life.
Jackson stared at him, really stared, as if he could get Stiles to admit he was lying, tell that really embarrassing story about when he was five and found his mom’s make-up and the answers for next weeks Calculus test.
As Stiles had no intention of doing any of that, or just didn’t know, he kept his mouth shut. For once.
Obviously getting bored, Jackson let off, stepping back and throwing a smirk at him that said he was a good boy for sucking up, that of course he would suck up and that yes, Jackson did have amazing hair today.
And okay, that last bit was untrue, Jackson implying it in his smirk, not his hair looking great. Because it did, it looked fabulous.
But the point was, Jackson was really good at non-verbally communicating his thoughts and emotions. Multi-tasking with a lift of an eyebrow.
So Jackson smirked and then looked to his friends before back at Stiles, somehow seeming even smugger, “I thought so.”
And that was that. He walked away and Stiles could breath, more or less, and no one was getting hurt. More specifically, Stiles wasn’t getting hurt.
And it pissed him off.
Jackson thought he was better, thought that Stiles was mere entertainment, a toy that could be pushed and poked and laughed at, with no consequences.
But Stiles was tired of it, tired of relying on Scott’s presence getting him to class without any encounters, of the way his dad looked when he knew just exactly how Stiles got that new bruise, or how Lydia didn’t even notice him, even though they’ve been in almost every class together since 5th grade.
But it was mostly how he felt, watching Jackson walk away and each time hearing that small voice in his head that agreed with the bastard.
“I’m better than you.”
Jackson stopped walking, his hands freezing mid-motion as he’d been regaling tales of their last match and slowly tuned around.
It took Stiles a second to realise that the entire corridor had gone quiet, the sudden silence leaving behind a soft buzzing in his ears. That could have also been the blood rushing to his head.
I just said that out loud, didn’t I?
“What. Did. You. Say.” And it wasn’t even a question, Jackson punctuating each word by taking a step forward, a step that brought him closer to Stiles, who was still pressed up against his locker.
His brain was failing him, Stiles finding himself without a single thing to say because right now, he did feel like a doe. And that doe was about to be eaten.
He made to move back, but found he couldn’t, felt utterly cornered and sure he was about to die. And completely at peace.
Because, Hell, he knew he was going down, it was inevitable if Jackson’s growl was anything to go by. But he could atleast decide how.
“Y-you heard me. I’m better than you.” And he’d somehow gained confidence as he spoke, making it sound like he’d put an emphasis on the last word.
Of course Jackson snarled and of course, he had to grab Stiles’ shirt and twist his fingers in it, making a fist and pulling him closer so they were almost nose to nose.
Stiles was glad he wasn’t wearing his favourite shirt today.
“You are not better than me.” And again, Jackson’s breath just made Stiles’ skin crawl, which made his body do this weird thing were his face ended up looking like he was looking down at Jackson condescendingly, which he couldn’t help with the whole being taller thing and the skin crawling feels.
Jackson, of course, didn’t know this and took it as insult.
Blue eyes told him of murder, the six different ways his death had just been planned and also that there was most likely a swirly on the way after he’d been beaten black and blue. And red if you counted the blood, because Stiles could already taste it, see it even as Jackson drew his fist back almost further than he thought possible.
He didn’t look away, couldn’t. It was like watching a train wreck, his own personal train wreck, in slow motion, the danger coming right at him and then the world spinning as- as what? Why was he spinning anyway?
Stiles didn’t manage to get into that problem as his back slammed against the wall, head following shortly after, making him lose control of his feet and coherent thought for a moment as he slid down to the floor.
He blinked away the dizzy spell, seeing nothing but darkness in front of him till the world focused and it turned out to be a pair of legs clad in black denim.
Confused eyes followed the legs up, and they were pretty decent looking from where he sat, to a leather jacket that covered an otherwise important area just above the approved limbs, and Stiles realised that a biker had just saved him from getting his ass kicked.
This, of course, didn’t make sense.
This was a high school, not a biker bar and was about to mention this when he realised that people were talking.
Though it sounded more like growling to Stiles, which was good enough reason for him to stay exactly where he was and as quiet as he could manage.
The guy that had saved him was built, because Stiles couldn’t see Jackson no matter which way he casually leaned till the jock in question took a step back, hands raised in surrender. Which contradicted the edge of fight in Jackson's features.
“Whatever man. You wanna hang out with losers, be my guest.” For good measure, he glared at Stiles before throwing an indignant sneer at tall, dark and does he has bow legs? That’s so adorable.
Slightly distracted, Stiles missed Jackson stalking off and only just caught on when movement started back up in the hall and people milled about, staying clear of Denim and Leather.
“Uh, so, tha-anks.” And if Stiles’ voice broke and went a little higher than usual at the end, he was not to be blamed as his mysterious saviour had turned around and, yeah, Stiles’ brain had pretty much shut down.
Stubble on his chin, sharp features and eyes that did things to Stiles no amount of high quality porn would ever do. The leather jacket certainly wasn’t helping.
“You gonna keep staring?” And Jezus that voice went right through Stiles, the words taking a moment to register before he realised that damn, yes he was staring, with his jaw hanging none the less, and that this guy was staring back, a hint of amusement in his eyes.
“I uh, I hit my head.” Stiles tore his eyes away and gestured vaguely around his head before clearing his throat, because that was not a lame excuse no matter what all the little voices in his head was telling him, then looked back up at his defender, a thought that brought on more which lead to, “I’m not a damsel in distress.”
The corners of his mouth twitched, tongue darting out to lick lips as he shook his head, “Never said you were.”
That pink sliver, it was entrancing to watch, but Stiles managed to get more words out and act like he was actually capable of speech, like a normal person, “I know. Just saying. Getting it out there. Letting it be known, you know.”
He sniffed, licked his own lips and realised he was staring again. Shit.
“You gonna get up?” The guy then tilted his head a little, eyebrows creasing, and they were glorious as far as Stiles was concerned, “.. Unless you really did hit your head. How many fingers?”
And he crouched down, hazel eyes bright with concern and intent, his face really kind of close to Stiles' that he could smell the leather, a hint of after shave and oil and then he was suddenly eleven and having to listen to his dad explain why if he pulled on a girl’s pigtail that he should be expecting the kiss.
“Stiles. Stiles Stilinski. My name.” And he managed to not quite look at those lips, darting down to the fingers when he felt himself lingering and kept them there, “Three.”
Neither of them move, nothing but the sound of Stiles’ breathing that he’s sure sounded like he’d just run a marathon and the bustle of people on their way to class.
And he starts to think that this guy might not be looking at him anymore, might have lost interest in the poor being he saved from a pummelling and just these thoughts make him feel cold inside, which is utterly ridiculous, yet he still finds himself raising his gaze back to his biker’s face and oh. Oh.
Stiles is being stared at this time and those bright eyes are still bright, but there’s something dark about them now too and there’s this bell that’s ringing in his head, but he’s ignoring it because he kind of doesn’t mind that look. He likes it actually.
“Derek Hale.” Low, rough and almost secretive, his voice had Stiles’ eyes darting back to his mouth and then flickering back up almost guiltily before frowning.
The guy sighs, but it’s not quite an annoyed sigh because he’s back to looking amused, only now the darkness in his eyes had gone, “Should I have ended it with ‘my name’?”
And Stiles knows when he’s being quoted, it’s like a sixth sense, because he honestly can’t remember introducing himself and nods and says, “Hi, Derek.”
Still amused, Derek stood, pulling Stiles up with him and woah there! Those muscles aren’t just there to look nice.
Stiles actually touched a bicep before he could gather enough sense to not do it and got distracted by how soft the jacket felt.
“Tell you what, I’ll let you try it on if you show me where the principal’s office is.” Derek was now actually sounding full out amused and Stiles had to blink.
“Oh my god I’m petting your arm.” And he had the decency to look horrified at his hand, not that he could blame it, “Principal’s office, right. Let’s go. And no, I don’t want to wear it.”
Stiles snatched his bag off the floor, slinging it over a shoulder and purposely walked ahead of Derek. Out of sight, out of mind, right?
This didn't last long though, Derek matching his long stride easily so they ended up walking side by side.
“I can tell when you’re lying, you know.” And he looked at Stiles from the corner of his eye, that hint of a smirk on his lips that seeming almost wolfish, which was weird but somehow suited Derek.
And Stiles needed to stop thinking about him, needed to stop looking, so he started grasping at straws till he blinked at the empty hallways, “Where’d everyone go?”
Obviously bored by the subject, Derek shrugged, “Bell went five minutes ago.”
This cause Stiles to stop walking, mouth open as he gaped “F-five minutes! Oh man, I’m late for Economics. Finstock’s gonna kill me. And then kick me off the team. Which, I guess, would spare me from getting killed by Jackson on the field.” There’s always a silver lining, mom had said.
“So?” Derek shrugged again and really, shoulders rolling like that shouldn’t be so distracting. Stiles is all for blaming the leather jacket. “Just say you were helping the new kid. Stuff like that gets you points, don’t it?”
He was halfway through agreeing with him, because yeah, it’s true, school spirit and kindness unto strangers and all that, when he’s back to gaping, this time at Derek , “Student? You?”
And Derek obviously didn’t see the big deal and was getting a little annoyed at their prolonged stop as he gestured for them to move, “What, no one else at school is growing whiskers yet?”
And the whole calling it whiskers part needs more thought later, but Stiles didn’t want to be left behind as Derek had already resumed walking and he jogged to catch up.
“So, you’re new.” There’s a nod, “Which makes me your superior, really, doesn’t it? You’re trusting me to lead you. Like a leader. I could lead you to the biology lab and you’d never know-” And now there was growling and Stiles swallowed down whatever he was about to say, but not entirely out of fear, “Uh, yeah, it’s around the corner here.”