A/N: Set after Season 5 and after HoO (kind of AU where Percy and Annabeth were in senior year when he went missing). Obviously, I own known nothing.
So far, the first day back after the Christmas break was going well. Admittedly, that hadn't even gotten to class yet, but after the events with the Dread Doctors and the Beast of Gévaudan before Christmas, any respite, however brief, was welcome.
"I can't believe nothing happened over the holidays," Stiles said.
"Well, it wasn't for lack of trying to find something," Lydia said sarcastically. Stile had called her most days, asking if she'd sensed anything, and the answer, every time, was no. It was like he thought she was some kind of supernatural metal detector. Personally she was hoping everything would be quiet from now until graduation. No more monsters, no more deaths, no more nothing. Just some peace and quiet for once in her life, until she could get out of Beacon Hills and away from the haze of crazy that had become her life since she had been mauled by a werewolf. Well, away from the bad crazy, at least. There was some good crazy as well. Her friends for starters. Three of them were werewolves, one was a werecoyote – who even knew that was a thing – and one was a chimera. Not to mention that she herself was a banshee, a harbinger of death who heard voices in her head. Not something you tell most people about, unless you want to end up in a mental institution and, speaking from past experiences, that is not somewhere she wasn't to be.
It was then that her phone buzzed. It was her mother.
"Mum wants to see me in her office," she said, "I'll see you in econ?"
"Sure," Stiles said.
Lydia knocked on the door to the principal's office as she walked in.
"You wanted to see me, mom?" she said.
"Lydia, yes. I'd like you to meet Percy Jackson. He's finishing his senior year here, and he'll be staying with us until he can find a place of his own to rent," the principal replied.
She looked toward the guy in question, Percy. He was fairly tall, with tan skin and windswept dark hair. In fact, she thought, if his hair had been blond, then he would have looked like your stereotypical LA surfer. But the thing that really caught her attention was his eyes. They were a bright sea-green and she had to force herself to blink before he realised that she was staring.
He smiled, and Lydia knew that he was a troublemaker, although she did notice that it didn't quite reach his eye. "Hi, Lydia," he said. "It's nice to meet you."
"You too," she said. "So where do you come from?"
"Manhattan," he said. Lydia sensed there was something more that he wasn't saying, but she didn't push it. Maybe something bad had happened.
"Wow, quite the change of lifestyle," she said instead.
"Yeah, I needed to get away from the distractions and focus on school so I can go to college in the fall," he said.
"Smart," Lydia said, though she wondered why he'd moved so far. Wouldn't New England or something done that?
"I know," he said, which surprised Lydia slightly. He hadn't come across as someone who would be arrogant. Cocky, maybe, but not arrogant. "It was my girlfriend's idea," he added.
"It was your girlfriend's idea that you go to school over two thousand miles away from her?" she asked. At least he wasn't arrogant like she'd briefly thought.
"She's actually at college in SF, I'm repeating senior year. A lot of stuff happened last year and I didn't get enough credits," he explained. "This was the nearest high school that would take me."
"Seriously?" Lydia asked.
He laughed, but again Lydia noticed that it didn't quite reach his eyes. "I don't exactly have the best record."
Lydia's mom made a strange noise, and immediately covered her mouth, but Percy didn't seem to notice. "Why don't you two keep chatting on your way to Percy's first class?" she said.
"What is your first class, then?" Lydia asked.
Percy looked down at a piece of paper in his hand – his schedule, presumably – and frowned slightly. "Ecology?" he said after a moment, "with Mr Flintstone? No, Flintstock?"
Lydia glanced at her mother, who Percy now had his back to. "Dyslexic," she mouthed. Well that certainly explained a lot.
"Economics?" she said gently, trying not to offend him. She wasn't sure how sensitive he would be about it.
"Yeah, probably. That makes more sense than ecology," he said. He looked a little embarrassed, but not too upset.
"I have that class as well. We'd better hurry though, it's on the other side of the school."
"So," Lydia said, "you said you don't have the best record. What did you mean by that?"
Percy inwardly grimaced. He felt like he'd said too much already, considering he didn't know anything about Lydia. At least he hadn't explained that the 'stuff' that happened last year had involved him being missing for seven months, five of which he had been asleep, and the other two of which he'd suffered from amnesia and lived with a pack of wolves. Realising she was expecting an answer he said, "seven schools in seven years. I have ADHD and dyslexia, which you've probably already realised, so I struggled and acted out."
"I can see that. My friend has ADHD, and I can imagine that compounding dyslexia with that would be difficult," she said.
"It's actually not that bad most of the time. It's just that when things go wrong for me, they tend to go very wrong," Percy said, hoping that would satisfy her curiosity. He didn't really want to get into firing cannons at buses, or setting fire to gymnasiums. Not that he'd meant to do things.
Lydia stopped outside a classroom and turned to face him. "Two things," she said. "Number one: it Coach Finstock, don't call him mister. Number Two: have you heard of lacrosse?"
"Yeah, why?" he replied, not seeing how lacrosse was relevant to an econ class.
"Good," was all he got from Lydia, before she opened the door to the classroom. "Sorry, we're late, Coach," she said, "this is Percy Jackson, he's new here."
Finstock looked at him intently. "Have you ever paid lacrosse, kid?" he said my way of greeting.
"Um, no, Coach. I'm more of a water-based sports kind of person," he said.
"That's too bad, we could use someone like you on the team," Finstock said, "well take a seat kid."
Fortunately, there was an empty seat next to Lydia. "You knew he was going to ask me that, didn't you?" he said.
She just shrugged. "You looked sporty, and coach is always looking for people to join the team."
"Hey, Lyds," someone said behind him. "Aren't you going to introduce us?"
Lydia opened her mouth to speak, but Finstock interrupted before she could. "Quiet, Stilinski!" he shouted.
Liam sat in the cafeteria, picking at his food. He wasn't really that hungry. "So, I hear that there's a new senior?" he said.
"His name's Percy," Lydia said, "he's from Manhattan."
"And is he…you know?" Liam asked.
Stiles laughed. "See, I'm not the only one who wants something to happen," he said.
"Not as far as we know," Scott said. "He seems completely normal."
"Ms. Blake seemed completely normal," Stiles offered, but everyone just ignored him.
"He smells good, though," Malia said, "like the ocean." Everyone looked at her then.
"Remember Malia, we don't eat people," Stiles said firmly.
Malia rolled her eyes. "I wasn't going to eat him. I just thought that it was worth mentioning, since we were discussing whether he was human."
"Well, he does look like he's just walked off the beach, so it follows that he might smell like it," Stiles said.
"Except for the fact that Beacon Hills is nowhere near the sea," Lydia pointed out.
Liam sat back and watched. It was good to be back with his friends – his pack – living a more carefree life now that there wasn't anything or anyone trying to kill them, but it felt a bit strange hanging out with just the four older ones. Hayden hadn't gotten back from her holiday with her sister yet, and Corey and Mason were nowhere to be found. Honestly, they were probably hiding in a cupboard somewhere. Or maybe not even in a cupboard. Sneaking off for some alone time is certainly easier when you can turn invisible.
"Can I sit with you guys?" a voice said. Liam turned around to see an older guy. He looked strong, emotionally and physically. As though a lot had happened to him and now nothing would really bother him.
"Sure," Liam said, "you must be Percy. I'm Liam."
"He's kind of our pity case," Stiles said, "he doesn't have any friends of his own."
"I do have friends," Liam said, glowering at Stiles. If only the cafeteria was less crowded and he could flash his eyes. His anger issues tended to make the others a little wary of him.
"Well, where are they then?" Stiles asked. Liam opened his mouth to make a witty comeback about Stiles being too weird to be friends with normal humans, but realised he couldn't because of Percy, so he settled for another glare.
"He has a point, kid," Percy said. Liam didn't know what to say.
"Did…did he just call me…?" he spluttered.
"Sorry, force of habit. I teach at a summer camp," Percy said.
"So, have you ever played lacrosse?" Liam asked, feeling thoroughly embarrassed and wanting to move the conversation along.
"Is that like a thing here?" Percy asked.
Scott laughed. "It's kind of like football for most high schools. We've won the state championship a couple times recently," he said. "You should try-out, just come to training tomorrow after school."
"I don't know. I've never played before. It's kind of like field hockey, right?" Percy asked.
"Kind of, I guess," Scott said. "I'll tell you what; Liam, Stiles and I will take you out to the field later and we can teach you the basics. Then you can decide if you want to try out for the team."
A/N: the 'old friends' will appear at some point. Not sure yet how I'm going to bring them in. If you have any ideas about that, let me know. If they're for the right characters (I'm not going to say who I'm bringing back yet – I want it to be a surprise), I'll consider your ideas. And please review as well.