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Quiet, Heart

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His mom’s working so they’ve spread out all the books on the kitchen table, among plates and plates of food. Every time he turns a page, his watch knocks against the edge of a plate and it’s slowly working its way to being really frustrating. Scott glances at the sliced bananas again, looks up at Stiles.

“We couldn’t put it all on the counter?” he asks. It’s the third time, but sometimes he has to repeat stuff for Stiles to take notice. It’s just how Stiles works.

“We could,” Stiles finally answers around a highlighter cap. The words miraculously not garbled, but then, Stiles has a lot of practice speaking with a full mouth. Scott frowns at himself for thinking that, for what it leads to him thinking about, and hunches down further in his chair. “But isn’t it easier having it all right here?”

“I actually think it’s making me hungry.”

Stiles nods, absentmindedly. “Yup, and, oh, look, a plate of energy replenishing delicious fruit to gnaw on, rather than your best friend.”

Scott kicks at his chair. “Not cool, dude. I haven’t tried to eat you for almost this entire year.”

“I know. That’s what I’m worried about. I feel sure any day now you’re gonna be poisoned with the kind of monkshood that makes you wolf out beyond your control. Everything’s been suspiciously calm. This is the moment in a horror movie when someone dies, and I don’t care if you’re half-Mexican, I’m the witty side-kick, I’m getting killed first.”

Scott swipes the front chair legs from under Stiles, but doesn’t let him fall. He grasps hold of his hoodie just as he’s tilting back, holds him there, suspended in mid-air, lowers until they’re eye to eye. They’re close, like this, close enough that Scott doesn’t have to extend his senses to see the flecks in Stiles’ irises, or smell the differences between the laundry detergent he used with his sheets and the detergent he used with his clothes. Close enough that Stiles’ sweet breath plays against his skin. Close enough that he can hear Stiles’ heartbeat kick up a notch, and knows it isn’t from fear.

“If I eat you, it’ll be entirely intentional, believe me,” he says, and smiles at Stiles’ wide eyes and developing grin.

He sets Stiles back down and settles into his own chair, lifts up his textbook.

“That was kind of awesome. Your reflexes are, like, off the chart.”

There is an actual chart. Stiles started it when the Alphas first rolled into town and he demanded Scott start ‘shaping up’ (air quotes used and everything.) It wasn’t the worst idea Stiles had ever had, really. He’s pretty sure that pushing him to be faster resulted in him narrowly evading capture by Deucalion on two occasions. Shame it hadn’t worked the third. Scott brushes his hand over his abdomen. The scars may be gone, but detailed memory of his insides nearly spilling out remains. He owes Derek so much for saving him and he’s not even going to try to deny it.

“How’s it going?” Stiles asks several minutes later, this time through a banana slice.

Scott passes his book over. “You tell me. Test away.”

“Wolf’s got confidence,” Stiles says, rubbing his hands together. He gives Scott the small, private smile reserved only for him. “Good.”

Scott gathers up a few banana slices, claws through the skin because it’s easier. He notes the way Stiles eyes linger on his hands before he starts asking him about the Resumption Act. After about five questions (all answered correctly, because Scott’s been working on his studies in his spare time now that he has some), one of the plates is clear and he slides it under another so that there’s more space.

“You need to test me, now,” Stiles demands, flinging Scott’s book into the few square inches he cleared up.

“Who did Jack McCall kill with a shot to the back of his head while they played poker in Deadwood, South Dakota?”

“You chose that question because it sounded vaguely threatening, didn’t you?”

Scott smiles.

*

Scott thinks, for the first time in a long time, that he’s getting to the point where he can be himself again. He heard that in a song once and he didn’t understand it. He was eleven, remembers it clearly; his dad was singing along. Yelling, more like. His dad never could carry a tune. That was when he was still living with him, washing the dishes (because you have to have some use, you frail little layabout), doing his best to be inconspicuous. It’s a good line, even if the memory he associates with it isn’t, and he gets it now.

It’s like his life is divided into stages. For months he thought those stages went: 1. Before Allison, 2. During Allison, 3. After Allison. But now he knows that isn’t true. It’s more like: 1. Learning who he is and what he wants, 2. Gaining the courage to go after his desires, 3. Having to contend with rejection, dismay and the realization that what he wanted wasn’t feasible, 4. Rinse and repeat from stage 1. He’s cycled around again, and that’s okay, because even though there’s a lot he doesn’t know, that’s better than the despair he’d been living with for a while. He thinks this is acceptance, or some shit.

He doesn’t devote a stage in his life to the whole werewolf thing, because he’s beginning to see that’s part of everything, now. He’s a werewolf and there’s no turning back from that and maybe if there were a cure he wouldn’t want it anyway. He’s seen and done too much and it’s not like being made fully human would absolve him of all that, clear the slate clean. No, instead, he’d have an idea about what those noises that go bump in the night are and he wouldn’t be able to do a damn thing about it.

When he says this to Stiles, he’s all mockingly spread hands and “welcome to my world”, but there’s a downturn to his mouth that Scott translates as proud. And yeah, Scott thinks it’s possible. He’s learning how to be himself once more and that’s something to take satisfaction in.

*

Isaac doesn’t like it when Scott and Stiles have whole conversations without words, but they’re doing it anyway, because Stiles brought up that time they went to Disneyland when they were eight and Scott mimicked the milk with his fingers and they were giggling and falling apart and continuing the discussion in gestures for ten minutes before they finally got a handle on themselves.

Isaac goes silent and sulky and Scott only cheers him up by promising they’ll order pizza for dinner.

Stiles doesn’t like it when Isaac stays over at Scott’s, but he doesn’t say anything about it, just goes stiff and weirdly formal. Scott tried to talk to him about it once, explain that it’s to protect Isaac when Derek goes out of town or is doing nightly patrols, but Stiles shut him down with an “I know”. Somehow, Scott doesn’t really think he knows. About the way Isaac sometimes screams at night, or how he’ll alternately get a creepy murderous glint in his eyes and Scott will have to talk him down from something he doesn’t want to analyze. All Stiles knows is that he’s lost part of his best friend. The all-access pass. And Scott maybe relates to Stiles’ bitterness over that a little too much.

Stiles grew his hair out over the summer. Joked with everyone else that it was because he was too busy battling ancient forces to worry about finding his clippers, told Scott it was because he finally realized he had to start living his own life and not dwell in the past. Scott and Stiles’ dad were probably the only ones who knew that Stiles having a buzzcut started when he was ten, in solidarity with his mom. Since Stiles grew his hair out, and they drove the Alphas out of Beacon Hills, Stiles has been on approximately nine hundred and seventy two dates. It could be rounded down to twenty-four. Not all of them have been first dates, either. In fact, Stiles has been on five dates with a perfectly sweet guy called Ben that Danny hooked him up with and any day now Scott’s expecting Stiles to introduce him as his boyfriend.

It shouldn’t bother him. It does. Every time Stiles swings by smelling of Ben, Scott feels his canines reflexively elongate and he has to center himself by thinking of his mom. She’s been his anchor for two months and it works well. He’s able to access his inner rage by remembering how his dad used to belittle her, able to calm himself by recalling the soothing brush of her hand through his hair. Sometimes, all he has to do is hear her voice in his head calling him a dumbass, and he’s instantly back to normal. Nothing like his mom’s wisdom to deflate his ego.

Scott knows he shouldn’t be jealous regarding Stiles, that he should be happy he’s getting the attention he deserves. He shouldn’t be possessive over his friendship or a body he has no claim on, but he is. So he gets Stiles’ own hang-ups over Isaac and doesn’t attempt to admonish him for them. He tries to subtly hint that Stiles has nothing to fear, but when Stiles concentrates on six things at once, he tends to miss nuances.

When Isaac beats Stiles at Mario Kart for the fifth time and does a dance about it, Stiles says he’s out of there.

“You could stay the night too,” Scott says, going for casual. He knows he hasn’t succeeded when Isaac narrows his eyes at him.

“Your couch is the most uncomfortable piece of furniture in the world, and last time I slept on the floor I had a back ache for a week. It’s a medical certainty that healthy seventeen year olds should not suffer from such ailments.”

“You could sleep on my bed,” Scott says with a carefully timed shrug.

“I’m not pushing you out of your own bed in your own home, buddy,” Stiles says, nudging into his side. “Anyway, I promised Dad I’d cook him tofu and broccoli in garlic sauce for dinner tonight if he wants us to have turkey for Christmas as well as Thanksgiving. It may have been more of a menace.”

He leaves with a fist-bump and Scott manfully resists rubbing his nose into the indentation he left in the backrest of the world’s most uncomfortable couch.

“Really?" Isaac asks, piercing Scott with a look. “Why don’t you just talk to him?”

“I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about,” Scott says. “If you’ll excuse me, I have a five game winning streak to break.”

*

Seeing Allison around school never hurts anymore. He feels weird about that, like it’s some kind of betrayal, because he thinks he should still be heartbroken. There’s always going to be a part of him that cares for her with the fervor and passion of a teenager’s first requited love. But it’s a small part that’s locked away and doesn’t bother him with pangs of longing these days. He misses chatting with Allison, he doesn’t miss kissing her. He wishes they were at the point they could glance at one another without having to immediately look away, he doesn’t want to spend hours staring soulfully into her eyes.

Scott knows that it’s possible to go on living once you break up. That loneliness is easily shattered by friends and favorite tv shows. He’s seen first-hand how you don’t have to become cruel and twisted and use words like “bitch” and “whore” about a person you once proclaimed you loved. He knows he would never get to the point where he’d physically hurt an ex. So he isn’t scared about that anymore, not like after his parents split. It isn’t the end of everything.

But it is painful. And things with Allison don’t appear to be getting easier, even though it’s no longer like salt on an open wound, or Alpha claws tearing up his insides. This disaffection is terrifying in its own way.

*

Ben breaks up with Stiles and Scott does not internally cheer, jumping up and down with manic glee. He asks Derek to buy them alcohol, ignoring the eye roll of doom, and holes up with Stiles on the world’s most uncomfortable couch as he steadily gets wasted. They were going to go to the Preserve, but Derek’s eyebrows forbade it. Scott also doesn’t internally scream when Stiles is sprawled all over him, a hot, sinewy line all down his left side, shoulders perfectly solid under his left arm. Nope, he simply sits and watches shit blow up in HD and surround sound.

Stiles talks through the movie, pointing out all the goofs. He’s always done that, but usually he sounds ecstatic rather than miserable. There’s a definite hiccuping sob in Stiles’ tone that Scott wants to smother. With his lips. Rather than capitalizing on Stiles’ vulnerability, Scott cards his hand through Stiles’ hair, scratching gently at his scalp. It’s slightly more than the familiarity they’ve always had, but Stiles doesn’t complain. He even looks sideways when Scott stops with bleary, disappointed eyes, mouth gone slack and cheeks hollowed.

“I’m getting you some water, dude,” Scott whispers. He doesn’t know why he’s whispering, they’re the only ones there, but the house is quiet and it seems appropriate, somehow. Like the world outside is slumbering and they don’t want to disturb it.

After he comes back and forces Stiles to drink the glass of water he lovingly prepared (and no, Stiles, you’re not getting the bottle of Jack back, so there), Stiles escalates his sprawling on Scott to laying his head in his lap. Scott gets the hint and resumes his soft touches, smoothing Stiles’ frown lines and eventually playing with the shells of his ears, just because he can.

“I really liked him,” Stiles says, some time past four in the morning. There’s a trail of tears from his nose to his chin.

“I know,” Scott replies. “Remind yourself that he must be completely insane for not wanting you and you have enough insanity in your life already. It’s, like, a bullet dodged.”

“That makes absolutely no sense. I’m still half drunk and I’m making more sense than that. Seriously, Scott, that was a logical fallacy to end all fallacies.”

“You’re expecting eloquence at,” Scott peers at the Blu-ray player’s display. “4.07 in the morning? The world isn’t real yet. It’s all just a hologram out there. And you think I’m gonna make sense?”

Stiles laughs, as intended, and that expression in the dim light emanating from the appliances in the room and stretch of moonlight from the window is enough to settle something within Scott and give him hope.

“C’mon,” he says. “The spare mattress is set up. I don’t think Mom would appreciate coming through the door in two hours and being scared by us still awake.”

“Your mom has a werewolf for a son and she’s scared by teenagers awake at 6 am?”

“She’s never once seen me up before 7. So yeah.”

*

Stiles stops the constant dating after Ben and Scott is pathetically, shamefully pleased. He finds himself unconsciously doing things to ensure his scent lingers on Stiles, like borrow his shirts and wrap his arm around his shoulders whenever they’re standing an inch apart, use his spare lacrosse leg padding in the guise of having lost his own and lie on his bed whenever he’s at his house. Not all of it is unconscious.

Erica corners him in the boys’ locker room. Everyone’s long given up telling Erica where she can and can’t corner people.

“What’s going on?”

“I think I left my spare set of socks here and if I don’t wear them when I ride my bike my boots rub?”

“With Stiles.”

Scott fine-tunes his hearing, listening in for Stiles’ heartbeat. He hears it growing fainter, along with Stiles’ voice. “He’s driving home, singing along to Call Me Maybe,” he answers, blinking at Erica’s sudden snarl.

“He smells like you all the time.”

“He’s my best friend, of course he smells like me.”

Erica walks around Scott and he’s reminded of his instinct to always circle a cheeseburger before pouncing in for the kill.

“It’s different. You’re scent-marking him. Why? Is there a rival pack approaching? What isn’t Derek telling us?”

Scott sucks in a deep breath, collapses onto the bench. He kind of wishes he didn’t need to down three entire kegs to get the equivalent of a stiff drink. He stares at the tiled ground because it’s more comforting than looking into Erica’s mockery.

“It’s accidental,” he says. He shakes his head. That’s not true. Even he can hear the lie of it, the ebb of his pulse. “It’s instinctual,” he amends.

“Oh my God,” Erica says, and she doesn’t sound like she finds it funny. “When did this happen?”

Scott can’t answer that. He doesn’t know. Unlike his suspicion of the rest of Beacon Hills High, he knows it had nothing to do with a few more inches of hair and a seize the day attitude, but between a summer spent studying and practicing lacrosse and now, his affection for Stiles has taken a more physical turn. Actually, when he thinks about it, when he was thirteen, Stiles suggesting they be one another’s first kiss always made him blush. And when he was fifteen and discovering how awesome his mom’s new shower was, Stiles featured prominently in his thoughts. But he looked that up on the internet and all the websites said it was natural to feel that way about your best friend occasionally.

And it is natural. But that doesn’t make it any less a force to be reckoned with. Because Scott is fairly sure it means more than ‘Stiles is my best friend, of course I think about him’.

“You need to talk to Stiles.”

“Why do you all keep saying that?”

Erica grips his jaw and forces him into giving her eye-contact. “Who else knows about your latent sexual urges toward your best friend?”

“Isaac,” Scott says, challenging. Erica’s always teasing Isaac for his apparent obliviousness. He shrinks a little. “Derek.”

“Almost everyone except Stiles, is that what I’m hearing?”

“If I tell him, everything changes,” Scott says in a small voice.

“Yeah, you both stop being miserable and sexually frustrated.”

“No, Erica, we both become distant and uncomfortable for months because I can’t act on these feelings, I’m not about to lose Stiles’ friendship over hormones.”

“Part of you knows this isn’t a temporary hormonal glitch.”

“Part of me wants nothing more than to sink its teeth into unwilling flesh and taste blood against its tongue,” Scott counters.

“Okay.” Erica stands, brushing her hands down her jeans. “Nothing I say will change your mind, I get it. But I hope you remember that you don’t always have to lose something to gain something. Sometimes you just end up with more.”

*

By summer again, Scott’s grades are decent bordering on good and he, Stiles, Derek and the pack have successfully fought off a horde of weird little goblin creatures, witches who enchanted Boyd to talk only in rhyme, and Gerard Argent once more. Succeeding against Gerard led to a pack-Argent treaty and it’s comforting to know there’s back-up should rogue hunters or other mythical creatures make their way into town.

Scott’s exhausted and not totally content with his life, but not unhappy either. It always feels like there’s something out of reach and his mom says that’s because of the impending loom of college (she says ‘doom’, then self-corrects), but he doesn’t think that’s it.

He increases his hours with Dr Deaton and finds solace in taking care of wounded animals, doing menial cleaning tasks and keeping himself and, importantly, his thoughts, occupied. He goes to the movies with the pack, with the addition of Allison and Lydia, and that turns out better than expected because he and Allison get into a chat about French cinema. Or, well, she talks, he listens. She says she’s taken up photography again and he asks to see her work and there’s nothing awkward or strange about it, they’re not only ex-boyfriend and girlfriend, they’re two people who could become friends.

“Are you getting back together?” Stiles asks, with the same kind of nonchalance Scott sucks at faking.

“No, and you know what, that’s all right,” Scott replies. He smiles and hears the rapid increase in speed of Stiles’ heart, was listening intently for it, and everything in that moment is good.

*

Stiles is shirtless when Scott climbs through his window. He flails and grumbles at Scott about ‘knocking, wolfboy’, but makes no move to put a shirt on, because they’re in the middle of a heatwave and it’s nearing 90 degrees. That suits Scott just fine. He watches the planes of Stiles’ back as he uses his poor posture to arch over his laptop, the muscles of his arms as he types. He imagines what it would be like to put his hands over that expanse of skin. He’s never done that before, touched Stiles’ sides and back, slid his hands up his arms. Never kissed every one of his moles, or licked down the nubs of his spine. There are things about Stiles he has no clue about and that’s a revelation and a hindrance.

“You’re looking at me, aren’t you?” Stiles says, spinning in his chair to stare at Scott. “What’re you waiting for?”

You, Scott thinks and doesn’t say. And I really don’t know why, anymore.

“Your attention,” he says instead. “Undivided.”

“I’m afraid my attention doesn’t work like that, it’s easily divisible,” Stiles replies. “My attention is 24.”

Scott narrows his eyes. “I want it to be 24/7,” he replies, then grins at Stiles’ finger point. “I was thinking we should go and get ice cream.”

“My Jeep’s broken down again. The catalytic converter’s fucked up. Dad refuses to pay for it on the grounds that I refuse to get a summer job. I can’t tell him about my stupid unpaid volunteer work as the pack’s encyclopedia.”

Scott wonders whether Stiles thinks that by saying it so casually he won't hear the lie. “You have a push bike, I know you do.”

“Ugh,” Stiles whines. “Effort.”

“I’ll even buy it for you. Three scoops. C’mon.”

When Stiles doesn’t move, Scott stands up, goes close. He stares down at Stiles, angling his head one way and then the next. The view makes his blood pump faster. Stiles is fit by virtue of extensive running and lacrosse practice. He doesn’t work out like Scott does, but he doesn’t need to, because he’s naturally lithe and has a fast metabolism. He’s muscular, but not too muscular. It doesn’t look like you could cut diamonds on his abs, but Scott prefers that. He wonders what it would be like to place kisses over those abs, nuzzle into the treasure trail leading down to Stiles’ shorts.

“What are you doing?” Stiles asks, voice muted.

“Trying to plot the best place to tickle you.”

“Worst. Predator. Ever.”

The ice cream is delicious and made even more so by Stiles’ emphatic and blood-stirring sounds of appreciation. It’s dirty how erotic Stiles sounds as he licks and slurps at his four scoops (extra scoop for having to put on pants, Scott.) After they finish, Stiles has a line of melted cream smeared all down his chin, because he has the eating etiquette of a zoo animal and none of the awareness he’s on display. Scott doesn’t stop himself from using his thumb to wipe it up. Stiles stares at him, breath stopped still in his throat, as Scott pushes that thumb between his lips and sucks the mint chocolate flavoring away.

“Please, God, tell me I’m not imagining this,” Stiles whispers as Scott steps close and cradles his jaw.

Scott pauses for a moment, looks up toward the cloudless sky. “Doesn’t look like God’s gonna answer.”

Stiles punches him in the arm, hard enough that Scott can feel it, but not hard enough to hurt. Scott laughs in response, reels Stiles in close and kisses him as he’s still smiling. It’s an exploratory kiss, a tender one, the kind of kiss he’s always thought Stiles’ lips were made for. It’s soft and sweet and goes from cold to heated very quickly. Stiles arches into him, drags a hand into his hair, uses his height advantage to frame his body. Scott tilts his head and parts his lips and it’s immediately wetter and hotter and filthier.

“If this is your imagination,” Scott says when they pull apart. “I want to be in your mind at all times.”

“I’m fairly positive the thoughts I’ve had about you alone would strike fear into your little wolfie heart.”

Scott says what he’s thinking, because Stiles has known him for long enough he won’t be surprised by the levels of cheese. “There’s no room left for fear, it’s all taken up by you.”

And if Stiles thinks it’s cheesy, cheese must be his favorite food of all time, because he kisses Scott like he’s the most precious thing in the universe.

*

The best thing about Stiles allowing his hair to grow out is that it’s easy to tug. Scott’s careful as he does so, never wants to be rough, but Stiles looks up at him with darkened eyes and he can tell he likes it. Stiles continues to work his lips down Scott’s chest, mirroring what Scott did to him earlier. He’d said something about having the permission to touch rather than the torture of only being able to watch. To be honest, Scott was out of it at the time, trying not to hump the bed as he licked at the patch of skin where Stiles’ leg met the trunk of his body. It was so soft and smooth and hot there, it had all his concentration.

Stiles makes the same kinds of sounds he did when eating ice cream as he enjoys the taut skin of Scott’s stomach. It’s really going against Scott’s resolve to take things slow and discuss everything they need to before jumping into having sex. They’re both naked. They’re on Stiles’ bed. Yeah, slow was never going to happen. Stiles’ hair is artfully rumpled when he slides back up Scott to kiss him on the mouth. His lips are reddened, his eyes heavy-lidded. He looks like something Scott’s never seen before and that’s enough for him to forget why slow was ever a good idea in the first place.

Scott hooks a foot around Stiles’ ankle and tips them onto their sides. Like this, he can push one leg forward between Stiles’ and bring their cocks together, until they’re aligned. He can take them both in hand as his lips slide against Stiles’ collarbone and stroke using spit and precome until they’re fully hard. He presses firmly, loves the feel of the heat and length of Stiles against his palm, his own cock. It feels right in a way he never expected, not in any of his fantasies.

Stiles braces one hand over his sliding wrist, the other at the back of Scott’s neck. He moans out approval, exhaling his name with the kind of reverence Scott’s always wanted and never had the courage to seek. Scott stops attacking Stiles’ neck so he can look at his expression. Stiles’ eyes are half-closed, his eyelashes sweeping against his cheeks as he blinks, slowly. His lips are curved in a lazy smile. There’s an enticing blush of pink over his cheekbones that highlights the bright honey of his irises in the late afternoon sun. He looks as joyful as Scott feels, finally, after all this time.

They kiss again, sloppier now, as Scott’s hand speeds up and Stiles begins thrusting, canting his hips with a snap that’s off beat and completely unpredictable. The urgency of it is enough to make Scott shudder, have his strokes go erratic and uncontrolled.

“You have to take over,” he murmurs to Stiles, swallowing thickly. “Claws.”

Stiles' eyes go wide and he sucks in a breath as Scott tilts his head back during a partial shift. He really thought he’d learned how to stop transforming when aroused, but apparently not, obviously his body is a traitor. He whimpers and Stiles nudges up under his chin, kissing his neck, his jaw, over and over. It’s supposed to be a comfort, he knows, and it works. He lets go of any shame and disgrace, ignores his pangs of embarrassment. Stiles was the first person to realize what he was, the first to accept it. Most days, Stiles admits, he thinks it’s cool. He’s hardly going to be repulsed now.

Actually, if anything, Stiles feels like he’s more turned on. His heart speeds up, his scent subtly changes, his moans become even more pornographic. Stiles strokes them with single-minded devotion, thumb brushing over the head of Scott’s dick as if he knows it’s the exact right movement to drive him out of his mind. Stiles’ hand is slick and perfect and he fucks into it, over and over. His claws dig into Stiles’ sheets and his own thigh, his fangs bite into his lower lip.

All of Scott’s muscles tense and he comes, hard, thick ropes of come smearing over Stiles’ hand, between their stomachs and chests. He didn’t want to come first, he wanted to be lucid enough to watch Stiles come apart, but he’s not, because one minute he’s half-wolfed out and coming, the next he’s on his back again and Stiles is draped over him wearing the most adorable and gratified grin he has ever seen.

“You good?” Scott asks, sliding his hand up Stiles’ arm. He listens in to Stiles’ heart and smiles when it’s steady and even, beating in time with his own.

Stiles responds in nose-twitches and flails, but that’s answer enough.

*

They clean up and talk all through the night. Stiles’ dad’s home, but he didn’t seem shocked to see them in bed together, so that’s terrifying. It’s an open conversation, which surprises Scott, because Stiles has trouble expressing his emotions sometimes. He’s brilliant at talking and not saying much. But then he remembers Stiles has always made an effort with him and he thinks he should have remembered that sooner.

It’s funny how similar their reasons for not being the first to make a move are. It’s sad how sure Stiles was of his rejection.

Stiles asks him when he first knew, and it’s simpler to say when he was jealous over Ben than it is to admit it crept up on him over days and weeks and months and years. That he’s always loved Stiles and this is just another facet of that, one more aspect of their friendship, one more layer to the way they trust in one another.

They make a pact that Scott knows they probably wouldn’t be able to keep under the circumstances discussed; earnest and sincere, but naïve, even to Scott, and he’s been told by enough people that he’s hopelessly optimistic and guileless at the best and worst of times.

But he’s not going to think about the possibilities of a dark future when the chances for a bright one are endless.