Scott paced restlessly; he wished Lydia had been clearer about what was going on. Suddenly everything was different? Was Stiles ok? He growled low in his chest, if somebody had messed this up and Stiles was hurt more, if he was gone again, Scott didn't know what he would do.
He looked at his phone; the display told him that Lydia should be wandering by with Stiles in tow within the next few minutes. He did the little calming breathing exercises that Derek taught him. They didn't work; Derek was such an ass sometimes, he needed to learn how to teach better. Scott looked at his text messages again, reread the same message he had been reading over and over.
'Derek messed up, the game is changing, skip part a, I'll update in two hours, steer clear of big bad wolf if you see him.'
Scott didn't even remember what 'part a' was supposed to be, but seriously, what the hell had Derek done? Scott was ready to punch his face in. He wasn't afraid when he had to kick the Alpha who was on fire when it went after Allison, so he certainly wasn't afraid to kick Derek if he had hurt Stiles. He noticed his reflection in the window of the shop he was standing in front of. His eyes were pulsing amber, traces of dark anger evident, his canines were starting to elongate.
Happy place, happy place, he had to get to his happy place. He thought about the first night he had spent with Allison in the beach house. Anger drained out of him slowly and he started to drift…
"Dude, you have your Allison face on, what are you doing standing in the middle of the sidewalk?"
The words pulled Scott back into reality. He shook his head and glanced around. Stiles and Lydia were standing a few feet from him; oddly Lydia was taking shopping bags out of Stiles's hands. He looked up into the sky to make sure frogs weren't about to rain down.
"Well, I'm leaving," Lydia said, brief and authoritative.
Scott hated brief and authoritative, it made him think of Derek and wanting to curb stomp him.
"But—" Stiles started to say more, but Lydia was already walking away without looking back.
"What a bitch," Scott said, he hated that she was so short with Stiles. She didn't know what she was missing; she needed to open her damn eyes.
"It's cool," Stiles said.
Scott studied his friend for a second; normally he would have expected more from him than that. He reached out a hand, stopped it in mid air. Now probably wasn't the best time.
"Wanna get some pizza?" Scott asked. Stiles loved pizza.
"Yeah I guess."
Scott noticed, Stiles's eyes wander to the large brown paper bag he was holding with the top rolled down a bit. Normally Stiles would have been begging him, pushing him, and doing everything he could to convince Scott to tell him what was in it. Instead he just made a little huffy sound and crossed his arms over his chest.
"You go swimming today?" Scott asked.
"What?" Stiles shifted in place, looked down at the sidewalk.
"You're wearing swim trunks."
"No… I was just…" Stiles waved his arms in the air, like he wasn't sure what he was trying to say with his gestures.
A strong scent of something Scott couldn't identify hit him in the face, made him consciously examine the other smells. There was Allison, he loved that smell, even coming off of Stiles, Jackson, Lydia, Stiles's regular smell, sun block, and… and an overwhelming amount of Derek?
What the hell? If Lydia had just been with Stiles, and Derek hadn't been in over two hours, how did his stink linger all over his best friend? He narrowed his eyes, tried not to get mad. He tried really hard.
"What the hell?" Scott asked. He clenched the fist he wasn't holding the bag with.
"What the what?" Stiles asked back. His eyes got really wide. He looked away, started to whistle.
"Why do you smell like you spent the afternoon wrestling with Derek?" It didn't make any sense. Derek and Stiles hated each other. Was it because they were sharing the same room?
"I-uh-well…" Stiles shifted in place, "how about that pizza?"
Scott stared at Stiles, tried to mentally force him to tell the truth. Stiles glanced back at him impassively. Damn that was annoying! Stiles always managed to get Scott to confess what he was thinking. He wasn't so good at getting Stiles to open up the same way.
Scott pointed down the street in the opposite direction from where Stiles and Lydia came from. They walked in silence. Stiles occasionally looked at the bag in Scott's hands. Scott wanted him to ask, but he didn't. Stiles seemed determined to not participate.
"There's an arcade down here, it's got a lot of zombie shooters." Scott grinned as Stiles perked up a little. Stiles's second favorite thing after pizza was zombie shooter games.
"House of a Billion Ravenous Corpses?" Stiles asked.
"No." Scott shook his head. He tried not to smile.
Stiles started dragging his flip flops on the sidewalk. He let out a soft wistful sigh.
"House of a Billion Ravenous Corpses Two," Scott said. He couldn't help but grin.
Stiles looked like it was Christmas morning. He perked up, started walking with a purpose. That was a great start! Scott picked up his pace. This was going to be great. Just like old times. It didn't take them very long to get to the arcade.
They ordered a huge pizza with a mixture of toppings that made the clerk think they were screwing with him. They tried to out eat each other and Stiles won, just like always. Even with a werewolf metabolism Scott couldn't put food away like Stiles could. The guy had like three extra stomachs or something.
They didn't talk a lot, they ate and they drank gallons of soda and they shot so many zombies his fingers started to hurt. He was going to let Stiles win at first, but then they started harassing each other, bumping and pushing and trying to get the other one killed. Stiles still won, he was like the Yoda of video games.
The two friends laughed and joked, but mostly they just existed together in the same space. That's what they were good at. Stiles didn't move away from Scott when he got close to him the way he tried to get away from Jackson. His best friend had always been comfortable with him. He tried to get Derek's scent off Stiles. Eventually it started to work; Derek was replaced by the smell of pepperoni, cheese, chocolate ice cream, root beer, and Scott. That's how it was supposed to be. Screw Derek.
They made fools of themselves playing DDR, they quoted Star Wars at each other and they played ski ball. Stiles got enough tickets for a pirate hat. He gave it to Scott. Scott got enough tickets for a giant fake gold dollar sign necklace. He gave it to Stiles. They wore them and everyone looked at them like they were insane. That's just how it was supposed to be.
Eventually, Stiles was unable to resist the urge anymore and he finally asked what was in the bag. They were sitting across from each other in a booth. Scott took another sip of his drink.
"It's a gift," Scott told him.
"Allison?" Stiles asked.
Scott gauged his friend's reaction, normally when something like that came up he was resentful or sarcastic, this time he seemed genuinely happy in the idea that he might have something for her. She must have won him over. It was Allison though, like he told Jackson, it wasn't possible to not like her when you got to know her.
"No," Scott told him honestly.
He didn't say anything else he just handed the bag over to Stiles. He wouldn't need to explain. Stiles opened it, pulled out a series of comic books. The title on the front of the first one said 'Batman: Battle for the Cowl'.
Stiles looked at it, stroked his hand over the front cover lovingly. It wasn't old or rare or anything, it was something he just hadn't had a chance to get yet. It was the story of how Dick Grayson, who was once Robin, then Nightwing, became Batman. It was the story of him taking up the mantle himself to carry on Bruce Wayne's legacy.
Something must have gotten in Stiles's eyes because he rubbed at them. It must have been in the air because it got in Scott's too. They both rubbed at their faces, but they didn't say anything. They didn't need to. This was how it was supposed to be. Sometimes one of them was Batman, sometimes one of them was Robin, but they were always a team, and that's all that really mattered in the end.