Eyes focused forward, pausing the seemingly restless motions of his long limbs, Stiles wills his spine to straighten itself until he’s got the perfect posture, one that would not sell him out as a teenager who’d spent years trying to appear small and invisible in hopes of avoiding unwanted attention at school and the world at large. Lifting his head high in a false display of possessing the sort of arrogant pride that never managed to plant itself inside of him. He forced his entire body to display a confidence he lacked most days.
Stiles willed himself with a degree of stubbornness to appear as someone who believed themselves worthy to appear before the likes of Peter Hale and his nephew, and although he had a very negative view of the two male Hale’s he wanted nothing more than to prove himself beyond worthy and capable to perform for the two.
`Alright. This is it. ´ Stiles breathes out slowly when Cora signalled him that it was safe for him to take the stage.
`You can do this. ´ his uncle whispers surely before kissing the back of his head.
`Shine, nephew, shine like the star you are. ´ are the words of encouragement he hears before stepping out on the brightly lit stage, with his defiant heart Stiles took to the stage with a determination to prove Peter Hale wrong.
Stiles demands his long limbs and tall body to move with grace while displaying a degree of strength and elegance that Stiles didn’t feel he possessed most days, at least not until he was leaping through the air or performed in succession several fine and strong pirouettes without losing form or balance.
Stiles keeps his eyes forward, avoiding to even cast the briefest of glances in the direction of the two Hale’s, the fear of losing his nerve if he did catch the cold and cruel gaze of Peter Hale, but most of all he feared that the older-Hale would see the fear and doubt in his eyes.
`Who’s this? ´ Stiles hears Peter Hale inquire with an air of frustration seeping through the veil of boredom.
`No idea. ´ a feminine voice says with an air of panic, and Stiles can hear the poor woman going through the list of names she’d gathered before Stiles had arrived at the old theatre, and Stiles almost feels sorry for Peter’s latest assistant because she might just get fired today because of Stiles crashing the grim party.
Taking his chosen spot on the stage, Stiles takes a few more steadying breaths while waiting for his chosen music to start, and he almost smiles at the thought of just how much Peter would hate the none traditional music which would fit far better at a rave than for a ballet performance. The music created by the ever so clever Kira had struck him as perfection when he’d heard it, the electronic beats that fell and rose perfectly to fit the choreography his mother had created before both her mind and body failed her, and with how his mother wasn’t afraid of thinking outside the box Stiles had a feeling she wouldn’t have minded the music one bit if she’d still been alive to hear it.
Ignoring the demands of Peter Hale to know his name, and of course the demand for him to get off of the stage before Peter was forced to call the police. Stiles was there to dance, and dance he would goddamn it.
`Get of the stage right now, or I’m calling the police. ´ Peter hisses voice rising with the anger he no doubt felt over being disobeyed and ignored.
`No need. ´ Stiles hears his father call out from the far of distance, the heavy doors of the theatre closing with a bang that should’ve made Stiles jump, but for once he was focused enough on one thing that nothing short from an explosion could’ve shaken him out of this state.
`Sheriff? ´ Stiles hears Derek Hale say with an air of confusion, but whatever else is said is drowned out by the music that starts to play, and suddenly his mind goes to that special place he disappeared too more often than not while becoming the instrument of Claudia Stilinski’s art.
Stiles dances with his heart on his sleeve, something he does easily regardless of choreography or music, his father and uncle contribute it to everything Stiles had already been through during the short expanse of the years he’d lived thus far.
He feels no shame, none at all, when expressing the desperate want of a person reaching for those lost loved ones never forgotten and forever missed, nor does he hesitate to put as much bitter anger into certain steps and furious kicks, he leaps as if trying to take flight and escape the world that seemed to try and keep him down forever and always. There’s something almost manic about his pirouettes, and he feels no shame about it, not after working on perfecting them to the point that his feet were a bloodied mess. Performing the 540 Battement en Rond and executing it to near perfection after years of practising it, has him feel alive and strong, allowing him to forget for a moment all the times he’d failed at the leap and landing; forgetting for a moment those poor landings that had left him with broken bones, and the occasional split lip and scrapped chins and knees, not forgetting the dislocated shoulder or two.
The successful Five Double Tours, nailing each jump and rising higher than ever before, he feels not like the ungraceful youth he is when his body is not carried by music and dance.
All the broken bones, the dislocated limbs and fingers, the pain, and any sense of failure vanishes as he performs the Butterfly, succeeding in gracefully executing the landing, and when the music stops at his final landing Stiles feels an explosion of emotion that have been locked inside a batter box in the shape of his heart.
With tears in his eyes, tears that were not only those of joy, Stiles leaps up to his feet as if still dancing, performing a few rather childish jumps that express no doubt the pure excitement and joy that comes with unexpected success. With a hand resting over his rapidly beating heart, he frees some of the sudden burst of energy that makes him feel very much alive, and with the other hand he covers his mouth in an attempt to hold back the excited screams that wish to escape him.
It takes him a moment to seek out his father who stands near the stage, a look of pure awe on the face that had begun to age rapidly after the death of Stiles’ mother. There are tears in the pale eyes, but these tears appear not to be those of great sorrow or misery, there is sparkle in eyes driven dull by loss and the smile on the face of his father lifts Stiles spirit to the stars and beyond.
He is about ask his father if he thinks he’d made his mother proud, but Peter Hale finally breaks the moment with questions that in Peter’s mind demands answers immediately.
`Who are? And who is your teacher? ´
`Stiles, Stiles Stilinski. ´ he answers without shyness or a hint of hesitation, he speaks almost proudly. His name is repeated with a degree of disbelief by Cora’s brother, and for the short moment that Stiles’ eyes wander over to where Derek stands he can tell that this piece of information doesn’t settle easily within his mind; and why should it, after all, Derek had only ever seen him as the clumsy friend of his youngest sister.
`Is this young man of some relation to you, Sheriff? ´ Peter asks his father, his voice telling all that he cannot believe that someone related to the Sheriff had it in them to know how to do a respectable pirouette.
`Yes, yes, he is. ´ his dad answers for once without sounding like he was talking to one of Stiles’ unhappy teachers.
`He’s my son. ´ his father continues with an air of pride, and the answer shocks the man who held a degree of contempt for all who were not of his blood.
`Your son? ´ Peter asked, and there is something about expression that comes upon his face that says that he struggles to believe it true.
`That’s what his mother claimed, and I’ve accepted it to be true. ´ his father responds with a degree of amusement.
`Really? ´ the question slips out of Peter’s mouth, and his gaze turns from the Sheriff to the young man standing on the stage in a pair of faded grey and grass-stained sweatpants and an ill-fitting t-shirt that was at least white in colour.
With Peter’s now full attention on him, a nervousness begins to crawl up Stiles delicate spine, and when with a voice sharp and demanding he asked once more who his teacher had been Stiles cannot help but flinch a little.
`Who is your teacher? ´ Peter repeats, eyes narrowing before they travel from Stiles head to his toes.
`Who is your teacher, boy? ´ Stiles can positively see his father bristle by the way Peter address his only child, still, he holds his tongue but the sharp groves and lines on his face tells Stiles that Peter is walking on the thinnest of ice.
`I am very certain you haven’t taken any classes with me, ´ there were admittedly very few who managed to earn or curse themselves to be under the teaching of Peter Hale, and so he ought to know every dancer who’d suffered under his teaching, ` or any member of my family or hired help.´
`My parents have been my teachers, and whenever possible my uncle. ´ Stiles answers truthfully, still standing tall and proud, the restless energy that often tormented him still trapped while his muscles that tingled and thrummed from the demanding and expressive movements that he’d pushed them to perform.
His answer visibly shocks the great Peter Hale, the expression amusing enough to cause a small chuckle to escape from both the father and the son. Turning his attention sharply from the son to the father, the man who had brought many young men to tears with hard and cruel words asks the now smirking Sheriff, ` a great deal and he turns once more to look at Stiles father who smirks a little bit at the arrogant man who cannot hide just how difficult it is for him to believe the truth spoken.
`My wife and I, yes. ´ his father responds, voice soft but none the less solid with truthfulness.
The slight shake of Peter’s head expresses just how difficult it is for him to believe what he is told.
`And my brother. ´ his father continues with an air of bemusement, rarely did the Sheriff display such a thing before those who weren’t family or a close friend that could be trusted.
`Pardon me, Sheriff, but I find it very difficult to believe that some Sheriff and his wife, ´ Peter all but snarls as the anger born from being taken for a fool, `could ever - ever - teach anyone how to perfect a 540 Battement en Rond or a Five Double Tours. ´
`Oh, don’t forget about my brother. ´ Stiles’ father says then, his voice now less amused.
`Oh, and who might your brother be? ´ Peter questions venomously, ` A baker perhaps? ´
Stiles can’t help the laugh that escapes him, and it is an unflattering sound due to the snort that had accompanied it.
`Deucalion? A baker? ´ his father laughs heartily, a laughter mirrored from where Stiles had entered the stage, the sounds causing the younger male Hale pale ever so slightly.
`Deucalion? ´ the younger male Hale asks then, eyes widening, `Not Deucalion, as in…´
`Now, I dare say, I’ve heard my name be spoken. ´ Stiles hears his uncle say long before Deucalion comes out on the stage of a theatre that belonged to the Hale family, a great many things in Beacon Hills were owned by the wealthy family.
`Deucalion? ´Peter all but gasps at the sight of the man with whom he’d had a none-friendly rivalry with.
`Good day, Peter. ´ Deucalion greets the man he admired, but also loathed mostly due the wrongs Peter had done to his kin.
Stiles closes the distance between his uncle, and hugs him tightly, the excitement and joy still bubbling inside of him.
`Wait…´ Peter says as he begins to put two and two together, turning sharply to look at Stiles’ father eyes growing wide before asking, `You aren’t… No, you can’t be…´
`Don’t recognize me anymore, Peter? ´ although his father laughs, making it seem as though he’d forgiven and forgotten the reason why he’d been forced to give-up on a future that had been planned for him and his younger brother, but Stiles knows that it hadn’t been an easy for his father to give-up ballet, but the so-called accidental kick to the knee from Peter years had made it sure that his dad’s years of performing breath taking leaps and knee punishing landings were over.
`John? ´ Peter breathes out, almost as if he’d seen a ghost.
`That’s Sheriff Stilinski now. ´ John responds, his voice less amused now.
`But… but your…´ Peter starts as if willing to argue that the Sheriff didn’t know who he was or who he had once been.
`Oh trust me, Hale, ´ there’s a ring to Deucalion’s voice that held something dark and angry regardless of how softly his uncle spoke, and it reminds Stiles of the time his uncle had picked him up from school, and threatening to bring ruin to the group of bullies that had made Stiles ‘ hours at school hell.
`Our parents weren’t thrilled when John could no longer perform. ´
It didn’t matter that his dad had found a new life, and new passions that had nothing to do with dancing, the injury his dad had suffered and the pain of it still bother and angered his uncle.
`But oh, you should’ve seen them when they learned that John here had taken Claudia’s name instead of her taking his. ´ although Deucalion clearly found the reaction of his parents somewhat amusing, there was a look about him that seemed to show that Deucalion didn’t agree with the behaviour of his parents; then again, Deucalion had gone against the will of his parents by staying in contact with his big brother.
`Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. ´Peter all but chants with a hint of madness, before pausing and gazing up at Stiles as though he might be some yet unidentified organism, then pointing rather rudely at him Peter continued, ` You’re the son of Claudia Stilinski, as in the Claudia Stilinski? ´
Stiles chooses to respond with a short but none the less confirming nod, having the man who’d told his mother that she’d ruined herself by having a child now shocked to paleness was both amusing and irritating. It may have been a good number of years since he’d witnessed the last encounter between Claudia Stilinski and Peter Hale and that encounter wasn’t one he would ever forget; witnessing the man before him first berate his mother for having a child, and then refuse to give her even a minute of his time to show that she could do so much more than just dance.
Some memories never faded, no matter the years that came and went, for there are those few moments in time that seem to be branded upon ones very soul.
`Claudia married John? ´ Peter almost cries out, displaying by his voice alone just how absurd he found the idea that John and Claudia had settled down together.
Before Stiles can even confirm the fact that he was indeed the son of a once great male ballet dance and a ballerina that had made a name for herself, a name still spoken with reverence in some circles, before he can proudly declare himself the son of his father and mother his father speaks.
`That she did. ´ Stiles hears his father say, there’s fondness to be found in that reply but also a degree of sadness that simply refused to ease.
`She always did say she wouldn’t marry someone in her profession, ´his dad continues, his voice changing slightly to something like gloating, ` so you messing up my knee was a blessing, Hale. ´
Anger hardens the already hard like marble features, and Peter directs a short glare in the direction of the man who’d captured the heart of the once talented ballerina.
`And that - that boy – that boy is, ´ Peter starts pointing towards where Stiles was standing next to his uncle, cold and calculating gaze once more roaming across the mostly covered plains of Stiles body.
`Our son. Yes. ´ John responds easily enough while also giving Peter the look that warned anyone of saying anything bad about his kid.
`Imagine that, Peter, ´ Deucalion all but purrs from where he’s standing, one arm thrown over the shoulders of his nephew, `that the kid you called Claudia’s biggest mistake just performed a couple of moves not even you could master. ´ The laugh that leaves Deucalion is loud and bright, this whole situation playing out before him was clearly very entertaining.
`You’ve called my kid what? ´ Stiles hears his father roar and it wasn’t so much the volume that made him jump and move closer to his uncle, no it was the tone of his father’s voice that startled him. Stiles had experienced his father’s angry voice more times than he could count, plenty of times it was born due to his actions, he’d even heard the furious one that made people cower in fear, but this was a whole new tone of voice that even made the likes of Peter Hale’s appear fearful.
`I – I may have been a bit harsh, ´Peter starts feeling for once uncertain of what to say, all the while eyeing the man with both a badge and a gun as though doom would fallow with one wrong word, ` and obviously wrong about certain things. ´ the way the eyes of the Sheriff’s narrow there has the arrogant bastard correcting himself with haste, `I was wrong, very wrong. ´
Peter’s words do nothing to calm the anger that has bloom within a man that did not easily give in to those more volatile emotions, and Peter clearly senses danger as he begins to slowly back away from the husband of the woman he’d belittled and insulted years ago.
Sensing a disaster coming, Stiles rushes off of the stage all the while chanting on repeat a single word.
`Dad. Dad. Dad. ´ it takes him coming to stand between his furious father and Peter Hale who had enough power to ruin both of their lives, after all he’d made sure Claudia Stilinski’s attempts to return to the profession she’d loved failed miserably.
`Dad, let’s just go. I’m thirsty and hungry. Let’s just go. ´ Stiles continues spewing words rapidly, while his uncle calmly advices his older brother to listen to his young nephew, while also casually reminding John about the fact that he should be at work and not pestering people unless he intended to arrest them.
`I’m only in town for a week, and I’d rather not waste more hours of this day on the likes of Peter Hale. ´ Deucalion continues while gracefully making his way off of the stage.
`Fine. Fine. ´ John Stilinski relents reluctantly to the will of his brother and child, but still the glare at Peter Hale, `Let’s go. ´ but before he turns around to leave with his brother and son, John Stilinski points a furious finger at Peter Hale and with a voice full of venom warns him against ever calling his son a mistake ever again.