Edited: 22nd August, 2015

I do not own Teen Wolf, or any of the characters other than my own. All rights go to the respective owners.


There is something magical about being a child; when a wooden stick has the power to transform into a sword forged by woodland elves and blessed by a wizard, or a laser gun used by soldiers on the finest spaceship in the entire galaxy. When you are a child a name no longer has a simple meaning: Charlie who lives at number fourteen becomes Charlie the Ruler of the Universe (and this newly born title must be respected). In the world of a child there are no limitations: the ability to move objects with the power of thought is a real possibility and no matter what anyone says, the glass of orange juice did move an inch. Whole conversations can take place on a plastic block moulded to resemble a phone and the imaginary tea a child makes is the most delicious thing in the world. Life is full of colour and imagination and carelessness – the only thing a child has to worry about is getting caught while playing hide and seek. A back garden is a jungle of possibilities and hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered by an eager explorer. Children view the world with wide open eyes and can find fascination in the smallest of things; even watching a snail creeping across the ground can be transformed into the most exciting Formula 1 race. Children listen with rapt attention to bedtime stories about knights and princesses, dragons and mermaids, kings and queens and imagine themselves travelling on brave quests or diving under the sea to have lunch with an octopus. There are endless possibilities that exist within the mind of a child. A child can be a fairy, a wizard and a warrior all at once with only other children to tell them to pick one thing but of course the rule of "it's my game" stops all these arguments in their tracks. To be a child is to live with freedom and hope, to laugh at the silliest things and to cry without any true reason, to be able to stand under the tallest tree and want nothing more than to climb to the top and conquer the world. There are rarely any repercussions to any action and only minor consequences for misbehaviour. To be a child is truly a wonderful thing.

That is until the child begins to grow. Slowly the sword and laser gun begin to resemble a wooden stick more and more and Charlie really is just a name. The glass of orange juice does not move an inch nor even budge at all. The plastic box is replaced by a real phone and conversations are no longer pretend; the tea is no longer delicious but simply vacant air. Life remains full of colour but as the child grows the colours become less vibrant and are only really acknowledged when something spectacular occurs. Worries begin to increase and slowly but surely the child is no longer carefree. A garden is now just full of weeds which must be pulled from the ground and the grass cut regularly. Snails are simply snails and Formula 1 is watched on the television. Books allow an escape back to the fascination of a child even if the content has matured. A child begins to grow and: "it's my game" is no longer a valid excuse (the rule book must be consulted). The child begins to notice that not everyone is free and not everyone has hope. The child begins to learn to not react emotionally to everything and begins to learn the concept of internalisation. The child begins to think that they cannot climb the tallest tree and conquer the world and actions have larger repercussions and consequences; and, all too soon, the child is no longer a child.

At eight years old, Emma Moore stopped being a child. Her childhood ended sitting in a hospital waiting room surrounded by flickering florescent lights in the middle of a brutal storm.

As nurses and doctors scurried by her, they did not stop to notice the girl with crystal tears staining her cheeks, nor did they notice her silent stare. No one noticed Emma sitting on her hands as they gradually numbed and lost their grip on her innocence. Her eyes had stopped crying but remained open, unblinking at the wall across the hall from her. Emma's little eyebrows furrowed in concentration as she counted the white squares on the wall, wishing that by the time she counted them all that the day would reset and the world would be whole again.

She wished that she could wake up in her bed again and not insist that her father take her to the movies. She wished that she hadn't been tired of watching the same videos over and over again, and that her father hadn't given into her demands when the rain had just started falling. She wished that the rain had not picked up at such an alarming rate, and that her father had continued walking to the movies instead of seeking shelter in a bus stop. She wished that the owner of the red car had not lost control of the wheel and veered off the side of the road and straight into her father. But there were no genies to grant her wishes and she did not have the ability to rewind time. In that moment, Emma ceased being a child.

Emma's father died on the operating table that night at 11:11pm.

-X-

On a warm mid-August day when Emma was fourteen, she was forced to become an adult.

The sun had beaten down on Emma's fiery hair as she lounged in her garden, a book in one hand and a glass of lemonade in the other. Her sunglasses shielded her eyes from the blistering sun and her headphones shielded her ears from picking up any sound alerting her that something was amiss in the house behind her. It took Emma until the last drop of ice melted in her drink for her to find her mother lying on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood.

As Emma sat in the hospital waiting room for the doctors to help her mother, she recalled that she was sitting in the exact same seat she had sat in to wait for news of her father's condition.

At eleven minutes past eleven that same night, Emma was told that her mother was in recovery. The kindly nurse, whose curly black hair bounced as she walked, had smiled at Emma and led her into the room her mother was sleeping in. Emma had held her mother's hand and swept her thumb in small soothing lines across the back of it. As she watched her mother sleeping, she felt herself leaving her teenage years behind.

-X-

When Emma was sixteen, she did not realise that she was close to losing another part of herself. On a sunny morning, as she readied herself for school, that event was far away.

On that morning, as her world began to slowly change, she was stirring from her fitful – though short – sleep. Her blue and white striped curtains graciously blocked the sun from entering her bedroom before she was ready to face the day. An urgent beeping began to filter into her consciousness and, with a grunt, was quickly silenced by a firm slap to an alarm clock. Emma retracted her hand and rubbed at her eyes (which were unwilling to open). She threw her arms over her head and stretched her toes, letting out a yawn as she did so, embracing the feeling of her muscles stretching. Rolling out of bed with a sigh, she padded her way across the cream hallway and into the bathroom. She closed the bathroom door behind her and switched on the far too bright light. Squinting in the illuminated bathroom, Emma could finally take in her morning appearance and groaned when she saw the chaos on top of her head. Strands of red hair stuck out at every angle with sections having fallen out of her bun and trailed their way down her back or were framing her face. She turned the tap on and let the cool water splash into the sink and swirl down the drain before washing her freckled face.

Growing up, Emma was always ashamed of the freckles splashed across her skin. She would look at her fresh, clear faced classmates with such envy that she could have sworn she turned a little green. Her abundance of freckles, paired with her flaming red hair, made her a target for ridicule by the crueller children in her class. "Spotty face", "Dalmatian", "Ginger Nut", and "Fire Truck" where the names she would recall most often later in life when she lay awake at two in the morning, with sleep evading her. Such names, and her already low self-esteem, led to a young Emma trying to hide and cover up the very things that made her unique. She grew out her bangs – even though they irritated her eyes – and grew accustomed to pairing a baseball cap with most of her outfits.

When she was a child, she never understood why her mother insisted that her freckles and hair color were beautiful. It was simply incomprehensible to her. She would look at the children in her class, the majority of whom only had a few freckles scattered across their bodies, and viewed them as looking at the night sky with bare eyes. The stars on their skin were evenly spaced apart and barely noticeable. She looked at herself and could only compare her own skin to looking at the stars through a telescope; everything was brought into focus and cramped closer together, each star clambering for attention. Cluttered. Messy.

The red of her hair was another point of contention in her childhood. Her red locks were immediately noticeable in a sea of brown and black and blonde. Lydia Martin was the only other red head in her age group, yet Lydia had deniability. Lydia had the shade of red that Emma used to dream of having; it was the color of the rising sun, a beautiful stretch of gold paving, or a pool of daisies drenched in honey. Lydia could pass for strawberry blonde, Emma could not. Emma always thought of Lydia's hair in a pleasant manner, it was pleasing to look at after all, but she could never regard herself in the same fashion. Emma was a blazing fire, ribbons of scarlet silk, or drops of blood in a bowl of water. She never thought of her hair as being calming like Lydia's.

It wasn't until her father died that the teasing lessened somewhat – even children know when to be respectful – and she slowly began to release some of her self-hatred.

She remembered the day she began to value her freckles clearly. She had sat in a black padded chair in a hairdressing salon while her mother had her hair trimmed. There had been a stack of glossy magazines on the small oak coffee table beside her; the covers of the magazines were filled with beautiful women, smiling at the reader with dazzlingly white teeth and sparkling eyes, with sleek hair that Emma wanted to run her fingers through. She had picked up the magazine on top of the pile and gazed longingly at the blonde, freckle free, woman staring back at her. There was no doubt that the woman was beautiful, her smile seemed to scream "don't you wish you were me?" Emma agreed completely. Though she could only comprehend what a few of the words on the covers meant, it was clear to her that beauty excluded freckles and came in any shade other than red.

It was only when she accidentally sent the pile of magazines careening towards the marble floor that her mind-set began to change. She had stared at the mess she had made with wide eyes, and quickly scrambled from her seat to fix the disaster. When she was cleaning the mess, she found a magazine that she had been ready to dismiss as being like all of the other magazines when she noticed a flash of red out of the corner of her eye. She had stared at the woman occupying the cover of the magazine in awe. Before her was a beautiful woman with bright red hair – and not the Lydia kind of red, but the Emma kind of red – and to top it all off, the model was drenched in wonderful freckles. Emma had never seen a more beautiful woman.

"She looks like me, mommy!" Emma had exclaimed when her mother returned from her haircut.

"Well, would you look at that?" Her mother had smiled as she handed the hairdresser a twenty dollar bill. "Isn't she beautiful?"

Emma, too stunned to answer, could only nod her agreement.

"You can keep it if you want. God knows we've got plenty more," the hairdresser had offered.

Emma didn't think that there could ever be another woman like the one on the magazine, and so she clutched it to her chest and walked out of the salon with more of a spring in her step.

Years later, the magazine still maintained a coveted place in her overflowing bookcase.

Yanking her hair out of its tie, she let out a sharp yelp as strands were pulled from her scalp and groaned once more; she was not a morning person.

Her morning routine would normally only occupy a short amount of time; however, she had fallen into the awful habit of doing absolutely nothing until she had to rush so that she wasn't late for school. She had made the decision the previous night that that year would be different: she would not procrastinate in the morning, she would pack her school bag the night before and would organise herself so that she would be a complete state of bliss. That did not happen. So, while she procrastinated dressing, she began packing her black leather satchel bag – a birthday present from her mother – with a few notepads, a variety of pens and all of the standard school equipment. When she figured she had wasted enough time, she finally dressed herself and carefully applied a little bit of makeup to make herself look awake. Emma narrowed her eyes at her reflection, annoyed that no matter how much concealer she applied, her dark under-eye circles appeared to be a permanent fixture on her face.

Emma tiptoed from her bedroom towards the kitchen, hoping that she wouldn't wake her mother. Luckily, Emma could hear soft snoring filter out of her mother's bedroom. She knew that her mother had trouble sleeping, brought on by the frequent nightmares she lied about having. Emma could often hear her mother pottering about the house late at night through to the early hours of the morning. It wasn't often that Emma was awake before her mother but when it did happen Emma was extra careful to make as little noise as possible. Her mother, Delia, tried to shield her from her anxiety but Emma could see past her mother's happy charade. Whenever Delia thought that Emma couldn't see her, the mask was dropped and true sadness appeared in the woman's eyes.

Emma's mother and father (Delia and Mike) had started dating when they were fourteen and had decided that they never wanted to spend another day apart and had married when they were only nineteen; they were the closest thing to soul mates that Emma had ever encountered and it was therefore understandable that Delia was completely and utterly wrecked by Mike's untimely death. For months after the car crash that had stripped Mike of his life, Delia could barely function so Sheriff Stilinski had stepped in to help care for Emma. Throughout her entire life, Sherriff Stilinski had been a second father to Emma – he was Mike's closest friend after all – and when the accident had occurred there was no way he could have even thought of letting Delia and Emma Moore fend for themselves. Though the Sherriff was still struggling with the loss of his own wife, he and his son Stiles had looked after Delia and Emma and helped them get through the worst of their suffering. It was Sherriff Stilinski who had organised Mike's funeral when Delia couldn't cope with the loss.

Before leaving her house, Emma quickly grabbed an apple from the fruit bowl she had disastrously painted when she was six and the lunch her mother had made for her the night before.

As Emma walked to school, a police cruiser drove past her which instantly made her think of the sheriff and his son. The sheriff's son had a rather unusual name which he never told anyone, not even to Emma or to Scott McCall though they used to be best friends, preferring to be called Stiles instead. Stiles Stilinski was an unusual name to say the least, but Emma always thought that it suited the slightly unusual boy. She often regretted the way in which her friendship with Stiles had ended after her father's funeral: she had pushed him away and told him she didn't need him when in reality it was the opposite. She had refused to let him comfort her and had said some things that she really didn't mean. And though many years had passed, and she was certain that Stiles had forgiven her, the two had never really reconnected. They still spoke to each other on occasion, most often when they were given group work to do in classes, but they never regained the familiarity they once had with one another.

The void left by Stiles in Emma's life had been filled by Jessica Reynolds. Emma and Jessica had not been friends, nor acknowledged each other's existence, before Emma's father's funeral. But when Jessica had found Emma crying on the school bathroom floor, she had adopted Emma as her newest friend. Jessica had pulled Emma to her feet and looked right into her eyes and smiled; they never said anything as Jessica wiped Emma's tears away. A form of silent communication had passed between the two as they leaned against the sinks and waited for Emma's sobs to pass. Without ever having spoken to Emma, Jessica instinctively knew that she did not like people seeing her cry. And so they stayed in the bathroom in silence, Emma secretly grateful that she wasn't alone and Jessica happy that she had gotten the lonely girl to stop crying. Jessica had grabbed Emma's hand and had rubbed soothing circles into it with her thumb while Emma clung on for dear life. Since that day in mid-October Emma and Jessica – Ems and Jess – had barely spent a day apart and despite a few curious eyebrows being raised at the start of their friendship, they had never thought of each other as anything other than 'best friend'.

Without realising how much time had passed, Emma soon found herself situated outside of her school and began to blend in with the other students gradually making their way up the wide steps and into the school itself or as Jessica liked to call it "a torture chamber of Hell".

"Emma! Hey, wait up!" A shrill voice sounded behind her.

The shouter appeared from behind a mass of people and revealed herself to be short blonde girl whose extremely curly hair bounced as she jogged to catch up to Emma. Jogging wasn't exactly the appropriate way to describe the way the blonde was moving, resembling Bambi walking on ice as she teetered in her blue heels. The heels belonged to Emma's best friend Jessica who was quite obviously the opposite of Emma. While Emma had donned jeans and a t-shirt, Jessica had chosen to wear a dress with a white lacy skirt and sleeveless denim top half, she wore a white cardigan on top of that and had a small blue and gold watch attached to her right wrist. A pair of pearl earrings could be seen through Jessica's masses of curly hair and her denim blue backpack thumped against her back as she made her way to Emma.

"Well hello Mrs Radio Silence. Where have you been for the last week? I was beginning to think you were avoiding me". Jessica pouted but before Emma could so much as think of reminding her that it had only been a day since they last spoke, Jessica had linked her arm through Emma's and was marching them into the school. Emma stifled a laugh as Jessica never even took a breath before continuing. "You will never guess what Ryan said to me! I was so severely irritated and went off on one at him. We got into this massive fight and now we're not speaking. Well we haven't spoken since last night but still. Now, you listen to me Emma Moore, I realised that he actually didn't do anything wrong but I'm still annoyed with him so we're not talking to him today. I repeat: we're not talking to him. So that means that you're not talking to him either and the official Ryan Lucas boycott begins right now."

Emma couldn't help but laugh at her friend as she rambled. Jessica and her boyfriend Ryan were constantly fighting but Emma knew that as soon as lunch rolled round Jessica and Ryan would be loved up once more. Noticing Emma's sceptical look on her face, Jessica stopped walking and gave her a stern look, saying:

"I'm serious this time Ems, we are not talking to him".

Emma rolled her eyes but nodded anyway in the hope that that would satisfy her friend. It seemed to do the trick as Jessica flashed a beaming grin and linked their arms together once more. A part of Emma thought that Jessica was only holding onto her so that she wouldn't fall over but she didn't voice this opinion, instead she chose to listen to Jessica moan about the latest episode of some TV show she was watching and how her favourite characters just wouldn't see that they were perfect for one another.

"Jess, hey…um, Jessica? Can we, uh…can we talk?" A sheepish voice sounded from the right of the two girls.

Jessica glanced at the boy who had spoken and frowned before slowly nodding. The boy made to move towards the school but stopped when he noticed that Jessica wasn't following him. His shoulders slumped as he turned nervously to face Jessica. Poor Ryan, Emma thought as she chose to give the two a little privacy by taking a step back and zoning out of their conversation.

Her mind began to wander before her attention was grabbed by two boys talking animatedly at the bottom of the school stairs: Stiles Stilinski and Scott McCall. However, being the distance she was from the boys, she was unable to hear their conversation about California's lack of wolves and severed bodies which would have been an unusual conversation for any passer-by to overhear. What made the conversation truly intriguing was Scott McCall's insistence he had been bitten by a wolf and revealed a bandage taped to his side underneath his shirt. Of the course this exchange was unnoticed by Emma who had returned her attention to Jessica and Ryan who had almost completely forgotten the previous night's argument (judging by the lack of space between their locked lips).

Emma had been best friends with Stiles Stilinski ever since they swapped crayons on their first day of Kindergarten (his blue crayon for her red one) and eventually spent more and more time together in the police station waiting for their fathers to wrap up whatever paperwork they had to finish. The two would sit in the Sheriff's office with their coloring books: Emma trying as hard as she could to stay within the lines while Stiles… it's safe to say that the Sheriff's desk was always a little more colorful after a visit from Stiles. Or they would play 'pretend' and fight each other with their magic powers. However these games would always end quickly as they both always seemed to have a limitless supply of healing potion in their pockets and one would always accuse the other of cheating. Of course they would always have their other best friend – Scott McCall – to resolve these fights. The three had been inseparable when they were younger; if there was ever any trouble, you could expect to find Emma, Scott and Stiles at the centre of it. That had all changed when Emma, in her grief, pushed the boys away.

Emma felt a tap on her shoulder and looked round to find Jessica looking at her with a raised eyebrow.

"You seriously need to stop zoning out Ems, I've been trying to get your attention for, like, ten minutes," Jessica whined. "Come on, I want to sort my locker out before class".

Jessica reached up to Ryan and gave him a quick kiss on his cheek which made him blush ever so slightly before linking her arm with Emma's once more. Ryan had always been head over heels for Jessica and something as simple as a peck on the cheek could make his day. The two girls left Ryan behind them with a goofy smile on his face and made their way through the double doors and into the school.

Beacon Hills High School was like any other normal high school: rows of lockers lined the hallways, posters encouraging students to embrace their potential cluttered notice boards and students drifted from place to place already back in the school mind-set. There were the occasional bursts of laughter amongst the chattering students, the slamming of locker doors, the scuffing of trainers and the zipping of bags all added to the standard feeling of high school. Emma could smell someone's overuse of cologne mixing with a spritz of hairspray and the cleaning products used to scrub the floors for the arriving students.

"What happened with you and Ryan?" Emma inquired. "I thought we were boycotting him?"

"Nah, neither of us can remember what we were fighting about so, you know, forgive and forget and all that. Besides, his lips are too nice not to kiss," Jessica giggled as Emma sent her a playful glare.

"Didn't need to know that."

"You're just jealous because you're not getting any of this". Jessica winked at Emma and shook her hips before releasing a belting laugh, her anger of a few minutes previous completely forgotten.

"Yeah, that's exactly what it is. I just can't get enough of you Jess".

Jessica stuck her tongue out at Emma and flounced towards her locker, pulling Emma along with her. The friends had lockers beside one another and so were able to continue their conversation before they were interrupted by the tell-tale click clack of high heels. Lydia Martin had just strutted into the school. She flicked her strawberry blonde hair over her shoulder and wiggled her fingers in greeting at a few of the other students. Lydia was what you could describe as a 'Queen Bee'; she had the brains, the popularity, the looks, the boyfriend, the works. The mere mention of Lydia Martin's name would cause a variety of words to spill out of the other students' mouths: "beautiful", "smart", "gorgeous" with a few mentions of her being a "heinous bitch" thrown in the mix. However, Jessica and Emma were amongst the few who Lydia deemed important enough to speak to, and Emma had long since gotten over her hair envy. As Lydia flounced passed them she waved and greeted them with a "good morning girls", before walking around a corner and disappearing from sight.

The bell signalling that classes were about to begin rang shrilly from above their heads and the two parted ways with promises to save each other a seat at lunch.

As Emma entered her first class of the day, the first thing she noticed was that she was to share it with both Scott McCall and Stiles Stilinski. The second thing she noticed was that there were only two seats left available to her, both of which were behind the two boys. Emma never went out of her way to avoid them, but she never went out of her way to engage with them either. As such, it did not bother her that she would have to sit in such a close proximity to either of them.

Stiles on the other hand had clocked Emma as soon as she entered the room but, as he normally did when Emma was involved, immediately looked away as if he had been stung. When Emma's father had died, Stiles had been there for her; much to his father's annoyance, he had snuck out of the house on many occasions because Emma had phoned him in the middle of the night in tears. Stiles never wanted Emma to feel alone. Stiles was hurt to say the least when Emma shut him out, and had tried again and again to reason with her, but she had refused to let him in. Emma had been incredibly angry and had turned that anger on Stiles and their friend Scott, though Stiles had admittedly taken the brunt of it. Eventually, Sheriff Stilinski had convinced his son to give his grieving friend some space, and to let her make contact when she was ready. So when Emma walked into his English class and occupied the seat directly behind him, he could only stare straight ahead like a frightened rabbit and rub the back of his neck (which had always been a small habit of his).

Emma was blissfully unaware of Stiles' nervousness around her and smiled at Scott when he turned around in his seat to say hello to her. She reached for her bag, which had fallen to the floor in her haste to sit down, and began pulling out her notebook. She glanced at Stiles and noticed that he was no longer rubbing the back of his neck but was focused on the teacher Emma had not registered had begun talking. Some part of her understood that her teacher had mentioned a body being found in the woods. Emma had not heard anything about the discovery and made a mental note to ask Jessica about it the next time they saw each other. Emma did not notice that as the teacher was talking, his dull voice filling the room, that Stiles and Scott had shared a look at the mention of the body. However, as the lesson began, Emma tried to focus on the work in front of her and not on Stiles or the fact that a body was found in the woods.

As English had never been Emma's favourite subject, she was eternally grateful that the lesson was interrupted for even a short moment by the Vice Principal entering the class and ushering a girl Emma had never seen before into the room. The only way Emma could even think of describing the girl was as a modern day Snow White. With her pale skin and long curling black hair, the new girl looked like the animated character brought to life. The new girl was introduced as Allison Argent who shyly smiled at the staring students before quickly making her way to the only vacant seat left in the room.

Allison sat down in the plastic chair and Scott almost immediately turned around and offered her a pen. She looked at him in in confusion for a moment before taking the pen from his outstretched hand and smiling to herself. Alison was still confused however, as to how the boy she had yet to be introduced to could have known that she had forgotten to take a pen to school.

Emma was stolen of the opportunity to introduce herself to the new girl by the teacher beginning his lesson. It wasn't until the end of the school day that Emma and Allison met each other.

-X-

Ryan Lucas, Jessica's boyfriend, was a member of the championship winning lacrosse team along with Lydia Martin's boyfriend Jackson Whittemore (the captain of the team). As such, Emma was often dragged to watch the lacrosse practices by both Lydia and Jessica. That day, the three girls were joined by Allison Argent, whom Lydia explained was her 'new best friend'.

"Hi Allison, I'm Emma," she waved at the initially shy girl sitting on the bleacher next to her, before pointing to Jessica. "And this is Jessica".

Jessica glanced at Allison, offering her a quick smile, before returning her attention back to the lacrosse field and staring at her boyfriend warming up.

"Oh, hi, you're in my English class right?" Allison asked Emma, tucking her hair behind her ear as she did so.

"Yeah, I'm in the seat next to you." There was a short pause between the girls, neither really knowing what to say to each other and both hoping that either Lydia or Jessica would pull them out of the awkward silence.

"So, uh, where did you move from?" Emma really hated small talk but she figured that it was better to get to know Allison than to simply sit in uncomfortable silence.

"San Francisco." Allison offered with a small smile. "We move around a lot for my dad's work".

Lydia tapped Allison's arm to get her attention before gesturing to players on the field.

"Ok, so Jackson's over there," she pointed to her boyfriend with a proud smirk on her face. "That's Danny talking to Greenberg." Before Lydia could continue naming the players, Allison found her attention wandering to the floppy brown haired boy who had given her his pen.

"Who is that?" She asked, gesturing to Scott who was facing away from the girls.

"Him?" Lydia questioned to make sure that Allison was actually referring to the boy who she had never given the time of day to or to one of the more popular boys. "Not sure who he is."

Emma rolled her eyes at Lydia. "He's Scott McCall".

Sometimes Emma couldn't believe that Lydia would think herself so above everyone else that she didn't bother to learn people's names. A small part of Emma knew that Lydia's attitude was just an act and that she really did care about people besides herself and Jackson. However, that small part of Emma was made even smaller by Lydia's following question.

"Why?" Lydia's voice was filled with such disdain at even having to speak about someone who wasn't a part of the popular clique.

"He's in my English class", Allison replied, a bit cautious of Lydia's tone but couldn't help her mind drifting back to wanting to know more about Scott McCall.

As Allison was thinking about getting to know Scott, Emma found herself looking at Stiles Stilinski. He was a member of the lacrosse team, but not an active member; he was, as Jackson Whittemore so affectionately put it 'a bench warmer'. Stiles never took part in the matches but every time Emma watched one of the games she silently hoped that that would be the day that Stiles was allowed to play. So far, he had only ever occupied the bench. As Emma watched him, she noticed him exaggeratedly wince and rub his shaved head, and heard the watching crowd wince in sympathy. Looking up in confusion, Emma noticed Scott flat on his back in the goal and clutching at his head.

"What happened?" Emma whispered to Jessica who grimaced.

"McCall got hit on the head with a ball".

Emma grimaced, knowing full well just how sore that could be. Scott recovered quickly and shook the embarrassment off and prepared himself for the next player to attempt to score a goal. This time, Scott managed to catch the ball aimed at him, much to everyone's surprise as it was no secret that Scott was not good at lacrosse. Even Stiles let out at surprised shout at his best friend's ability to actually catch the ball. Player after player tried to throw the ball past Scott but each time he caught it, not one managing to slip by him. The more throws he caught, the more the excitement in the crowd grew and soon people were cheering for him and his new found abilities.

Emma and Jessica shared a look of pure confused excitement, their mouths hanging slightly open as they turned back to the fields to stare at Scott. Jessica managed to catch Ryan's eye who merely shrugged his shoulders, confused just as much as everyone else. Emma could see Stiles bouncing in his seat, barely able to contain his exhilaration.

Emma whispered a quiet "oh no" when she noticed Jackson striding purposefully towards the front of the line of players trying the beat Scott. He pushed Ryan aside with his lacrosse stick and Emma could practically see the steam coming out of his ears. Jackson did not like for anyone to be better than him. Emma and Jessica glanced at each other once again, this time with faces filled with nervous anticipation. They hated to think of what Jackson would do if Scott somehow managed to catch the ball Jackson would throw at him.

Jackson began to run at Scott, cradling the ball in his lacrosse stick, and Emma raised her hand to her temple as if she was going to shield her eyes but she found that she couldn't look away. As Jackson leapt into the air to throw the ball, everything stilled for a moment as if everyone was simultaneously holding their breath, then the spectacular happened.

Scott caught the ball.

It was as if an explosion had occurred as everyone who had been sitting jumped to their feet and began cheering. Even Lydia jumped to her feet to cheer for Scott, knowing full well how angry that would make Jackson. Stiles was whooping and hollering in astonishment for his friend.

"Go Scott!" Emma and Jessica screamed while clapping their hands.

Stiles, hearing Emma's voice, whipped his head round to the bleachers to watch her jumping in joy for his best friend and for a moment wished that she was cheering for him. He was momentarily distracted by the sight of her red hair flashing in the sunlight before he realised that Emma was actually speaking to him.

"Stiles!" Emma waved her hand to catch his attention, wondering what he had been staring of into space at. "When did he learn to do that?" She shouted over the noise of the crowd once she had gained his focus.

Stiles simply shrugged his shoulders, a simultaneously bewildered and excited look on his face, as his way of an answer before he quickly turned back to the field to congratulate Scott.

Emma frowned at his back; recently Stiles had been more and more awkward around her and would fidget incessantly whenever she spoke to him. Emma understood that they were no longer best friends but they had always remained friendly to each other. She couldn't help but wonder what had caused the change in him.

As the crowd began to settle down, Jessica departed, claiming that she was going to speak to Ryan but Emma suspected that 'speak' was in fact code for 'kiss'.

"You're coming to my party Friday night, right?" Emma realised that Lydia was addressing her so she turned to face Lydia whose hand was firmly planted on her hip and her bag hanging from the crook of her elbow. From her tone, Emma knew that Lydia wasn't really asking, but telling.

"Um, yeah…yeah. I should be able to make it."

"Good." Lydia flipped her strawberry blonde hair over her shoulder and began to walk away from the two remaining girls.

"I'm going to go have a word with Jackson." Lydia called over her shoulder and Emma knew that in this case 'have a word with' was more likely to be code for 'scold' than anything else.

"Are you heading out or staying behind?" Emma asked Allison who was still seated.

"I'm heading out too.'

The two girls made their way to the car park, chatting as they went. Emma discovered that Allison had lived in San Francisco for a year before moving to Beacon Hills (which according to her was a long time to stay in one place) while Allison discovered that Emma had never lived anywhere but Beacon Hills. Allison had taken gymnastics for eight years; Emma loved to sing even though she was terrible at it, but not the kind of terrible were she really knows she is good, no, Emma was the kind of terrible that is just plain terrible. Despite the fact that the two girls were rather different from one another, Emma found herself warming to Allison; in turn, Allison found herself warming to Emma, despite the fact that she had initially thought that Emma was a bit cold. Emma laughed at this and put it down to her 'resting bitch face'.

As the two girls parted ways, Emma wished that Allison would change her mind about not going to Lydia's party that Friday night, knowing that it would be a good opportunity for Allison to meet her other classmates. Another part of Emma wished that Stiles would make an appearance at Lydia's. Though she knew that this was not likely to happen given that neither he nor Scott were ever invited to either of Lydia or Jackson's parties, Emma still couldn't help but hope.

She wanted to talk to Stiles properly, not just the passing comments in school, to find out why he had suddenly started treating her differently. She worried that she had done something to upset him but could not for the life of her figure out what it was. She wracked her brain as she walked home to come up with a reason but her mind drew a blank. Emma found herself wishing that Stiles would sneak into Lydia's party if he had to. She just wanted to speak to him and clear the air if she had to. She also wanted to ignore the weird butterflies that had started up in her stomach when she thought of Stiles' hazel brown eyes and the splattering of moles and freckles across his face. She especially did not want to think of his hands as he rubbed the back of his neck or his gangly movements. No, this was the same Stiles that she was best friends with as a child. She did not think of him in any other way.


Hope you enjoyed it, and thanks for reading! Let me know what you think, feedback is greatly appreciated.