Scott was up and out of the house, calling a goodbye to his mom, earlier than he ever had the next morning. He’d texted Stiles before he went to sleep asking for a ride to school due to a busted chain on his bike, and his friend had sent him a thumbs up emjoi before wishing him goodnight for the second time. He ran over to the Stilinski house faster than he’d expected, but then found himself pausing outside of the front door. He’d never knocked before, much like Stiles never knocked when coming over to his place but he wasn’t sure if he was back into Stiles’ good books enough to just waltz into the house. His decision was made for him when the door opened to reveal John, already in his uniform, seemingly intent on picking up the paper on the porch.
“Hey Scott,” the Sheriff greeted the teen, being friendly enough, but Scott could sense the man’s wariness around him. Well, that morning Scott was wary too. He couldn’t get over the fact that Stiles’ mom had abused him and he’d never known, so no matter how much he liked the Sheriff he had to be wary. He nodded at the Sheriff, whose eyes narrowed slightly at him but before either of them could say or do anything Stiles’ voice interrupted them.
“You coming in, Scotty?” he called as he came down the stairs, jumping the last three and turning to walk into the kitchen.
“Yeah, course.” Scott made sure to brush shoulders with John to remind the man that he was stronger now too. John didn’t react, but picked up the paper and shut the door, following Scott into the kitchen.
Stiles slid a plate of food over the counter to his dad when he appeared, an egg white omelette with tomato, cheese, and “Is this real bacon?” John asked, fixing his son with a look that was part surprise and part suspicion.
“Half-real, half-turkey. You won’t know the difference,” quipped Stiles from his spot by the stove as he concentrated on the other two omelettes he’d started making even though Scott had tried to tell him he ate. His friend’s stomach had growled at that exact moment and Scott had resigned himself to an awesome Stiles breakfast in the company of John. At least it gave him time to observe them together.
Stiles slid him his own plate soon after, turning off the stove as he grabbed a glass of orange juice that stood off to the side next to a plate with what looked like the remains of Stiles’ own breakfast. “Already ate?” Scott asked. Stiles nodded, then set about quickly washing and drying the dishes.
“So, what’s on the docket at the station today?” Stiles asked curiously, not looking at his dad as he finished putting away the spatula and pan he’d used.
Before last weekend his dad would have made some comment about Stiles’ ulterior motives and inappropriate interests, but today he didn’t. “We haven’t had anything new since the kanima attacks so probably just finishing up that paperwork. Jackson is going to be okay right?”
Stiles nodded, “Yeah, the pack he’s going to in London has a good reputation. Derek and I have both spoken to them on the phone and Skype. Peter visited them when he was younger too.”
“When did you have time to arrange that?” asked the Sheriff.
“The time difference helps.” Stiles shrugged.
“Making phone calls in the middle of the night…”
“On Derek’s phone plan.” Stiles interjected.
“When were you at Derek’s in the middle of the night?” The room flooded with tension. John was anxious with an undercurrent of anger cutting through his emotions while Stiles just seemed on edge, almost scared. His friend’s fear of what Scott could only assume was his father’s anger did nothing to settle Scott’s worries about the Stilinski men.
“Last Tuesday and Wednesday,” Stiles replied, his heartbeat steady.
“And where was I?” John asked, the undercurrent of anger growing stronger, outweighing the anxiety. Stiles’ fear seemed to increase too and Scott felt like growling at John. He set his plate down to stop himself from breaking it.
“You were looking into the latest attacks and then the aftermath of everything on Tuesday,” Stiles spoke calmly, completely at odds with the galloping rate at which his heart was beating, “That’s your job, dad."
Just then John’s phone rang, and knowing now that Scott could hear his calls in close proximity he answered it, then asked Tara to give him a moment. He pushed away his plate, not looking at the boys before heading down to his office.
Stiles’ heart rate slowed slightly, but it was still too fast for Scott’s liking. He reached out a hand to his friend, and seemingly on instinct Stiles, flinched. Scott pulled back his hand, “Sorry, bro, lacrosse reflex, you know.” Stiles started to ramble and he quickly loaded the dishes into the dishwasher, grabbing his school bag, looking down the hall to his dad’s office for a moment before heading out the door, Scott following him albeit unwilling. What Scott wanted more than anything at the moment was to have a talk with John Stilinski.
He texted his mom his updates as Stiles locked the house and pulled the jeep out of the drive way, then he put his phone away to watch his best friend, who did his best not to meet his eyes for the duration of the drive to school.
The moment they pulled into the parking lot, Stiles turned to say something to Scott when Erica appeared at his window, knocking on the door. Stiles hitched a smile onto his face and slid out of the jeep to greet Erica, Boyd, and Isaac. As Erica dragged Stiles toward the school Scott muttered, “Isaac,” to get the attention of his fellow beta.
Isaac slowed marginally giving Scott a weird look. Scott knew they weren’t exactly close, but they were pack, and Isaac was the only other person he felt he could ask to look out for Stiles given his personal history. Scott felt a bit shitty for talking to Isaac one on one for the first time since they really became pack about the other beta’s awful father, but this was Stiles and he was important to Scott.
“What’s up, McCall?”
“Do you have a free period now?” Isaac nodded slowly, “Can we talk somewhere?”
Isaac sized Scott up and seemed to consider his fellow beta before asking “Why?”
“It’s about Stiles.”
Isaac nodded and led Scott over to the lacrosse field where no one would be until next period. Isaac leaned against the bleachers, “What about Stiles?”
Scott tapped his fingers against his thigh, nerves spiking, catching Isaac’s attention. “What is eating you, McCall?”
“Have you noticed, Stiles being hurt or injured at all lately? Things we can’t explain away by the stuff we get into?” Scott rushed his words out.
Isaac didn’t respond at first but when he did he was serious and calm “What are you saying, McCall?”
“I think… I don’t know… I just need… Have you?”
“Now you’re rambling like him,” commented Isaac who nonetheless put a hand on Scott’s shoulder to help settle his packmate, “You think someone’s hurting him?”
“I don’t know… I don’t know.”
“You think it’s the Sheriff,” Scott snapped his eyes to Isaac, “You came to me. You’re freaking the hell out too.”
“Do you think…? Have you noticed something?”
“I haven’t sensed anything, but then again I haven’t been looking for it,” Isaac replied, “but I will now, okay. I’ve got your back, McCall. Stiles is important to all of us.”
“You’re pack, Scott; it comes with the territory, at least that’s what I’m told.” Isaac shrugged and smirked at Scott “Now, let’s get inside and eavesdrop on the principal’s office, you can learn fascinating stuff.”