Title: Hometown Heroes
Fandom: Teen Wolf/Sky High Fusion
Content Warning: PG-13
Warnings: Character Bashing, Crack, Kidnapping, Violence – Canon – Level
Genres: Fusion, Science Fiction
Relationships: Stiles/Derek, tbd
Author Note: This is the first chapter or so of my Teen Wolf/Sky High Fusion. I’m still working on this one, but I have to be in the right mood to go crack on this. Even if it’s crack taken seriously.
Summary: In the town of Beacon Hills super heros are the major industry. World Class heros are invited to Sky High. But not every super is meant to be world class. Beacon Hills High focuses on educating the Hometown Heroes of tomorrow. Stiles Stilinski just wants to make it through high school in one piece. When his friends in Hero Support start powering up right and left, there’s a mystery that needs to be solved.
– – – –
Stiles Stilinski approached the two-story house of his best friend with excitement while trying to determine how best to get to him without Mrs. McCall finding out. The bedroom window was, of course, the best option. He climbed with practice, having done this maneuver in the dark many times. Locked. Since when did Scott remember to lock his window?
He scrambled back down and was just coming off the roof of the porch when he had to dodge a swing from a baseball bat. “Dude! What’s with the bat?”
“Stiles? What are you doing here?”
He grinned broadly, eyes dancing with anticipation, “My Dad got a call out. Police scanners say a body was found in the Preserve.”
“Yeah. And…get this…they only found half.” He bounced a little in place. “We’re gonna go look for the other half. Come on, times wasting.”
“No. Stiles, tomorrow’s the first day of school. We can’t be out in the Preserve all night. Besides, my Mom will kill me if she found out.”
“Scottie,” Stiles whined. “Dead body in the preserve.”
Scott sighed and deflated just a little signifying to Stiles he had obtained victory…or at least compliance, same thing. “Fine. But, if we get caught I’m telling Mom it was all your fault.”
“Of course. Conditions accepted. Let’s get going before anyone finds it.” Stiles rubbed his hands together in excitement and gave Scott barely enough time to store the bat and shut the door before pulling him along.
“You know, your father has probably found it by now. Beacon County Sheriff’s Office has a good selection of super powers working for it.” Scott said in that tone Stiles knew meant he was complying but still trying to get out of going.
“Not tonight.” Stiles gave Scott his mischievous grin, the one Scott insisted he was practicing for an evil campaign of terror and watched Scott shiver. “I happen to know that Miss Moment’s visions are strongest during her period and that ended yesterday so she won’t get another vision for at least three days. And the Hellhound got high sniffing out a drug bust, so he’s sleeping it off at Beacon Memorial.”
“How would you know that?”
“I track these things. I have to take my Dad’s safety into account you know.”
“Stiles, your dad has an awesome super power to keep him safe. He’s Impervious. I would give anything for a super power like that.”
“Every super power comes with a price, Scott. Sure, I never have to worry about my dad being shot in the line of duty. But he can still drown. And, what about heart disease? It runs in his family you know. But, they can’t even draw blood to test him for it. What if he had a heart attack? They can’t do surgery to save him. Impervious is not perfect.”
“It’s still a cool power.” Scott looked around as they walked along the road toward the Preserve. “Though, right now night vision would be an awesome power.”
– – – –
“Did you even hear on the radio where in the Preserve they were searching for the body, Stiles?”
Well, more whiny. “Yes, Scott. They were searching….in the Preserve. OK, so I didn’t get the exact location.”
“Stiles…” Scott stopped walking.
“Scott, just a little longer. I just know we will find something here.”
“Don’t be a downer. It’s like our last summer fun. Make it last until…” He trailed off at the sound of something moving toward them in the bushes. Stiles froze for a moment and suddenly realized he brought his best friend into the Preserve without a weapon when there might be some murdering psychopath wandering around. Smart Stiles, real smart.
He grabbed Scott’s arm and forced himself not to jerk back when static electricity sparked between them.
“Ow! Stiles, calm down before you electrocute me.” Scott tried to shake off Stile’s hand but Stiles just gripped him harder.
“Scott, back up. Something’s in the bushes.” Stiles tried to pull him backward, but Scott didn’t follow, still concentrating on the zaps of energy rolling off Stile’s fingers. Instead of slowly backing up, it was more like scrambling backwards while trying to drag Scott with him. “Scott, pay attention. We could be out here with a murderer.”
Suddenly a flash of red appeared in the flashlight before the bulb burst in an electric surge.
“Someone’s out here in the middle of no where? Thank Lucifer for that. I could use a hand. Well, legs…two of them to be exact.”
Stiles froze at the voice before cautiously taking another step backward. “Deadpool?”
“Sparky? That you? Look how big you are. Have you grown?”
“Since Wednesday? No. Did you shrink?”
Scott had finally realized there was no immediate danger. “Dude. What happened to your legs?”
Stiles registered that the body he had assumed was kneeling was actually standing on tiny legs while using his arms to support the weight of his normal sized torso. “Why do you have baby legs?”
“Just let this be a lesson to you kids. If you are going to jump out of a helicopter, make sure to leave the pilot alive. Those blades are sharp when it looses control.”
“Wait…you’re the half body my dad is looking for in the Preserve?”
“Damn. The Sheriff knows. OK, get me out of here and I owe you one kid.” Deadpool started crawling toward Stiles and he sidestepped him.
“In a hurry to get somewhere?” Stiles smirked, contemplating leaving Wade here. He exchanged glances with Scott and saw a glimmer of that hero complex that was pure Scott and internally cursed the way this town nurtured that. No way he would let Stiles leave the man behind.
“Well, now that you mention it, I am rather late for a Spongebob marathon.”
“Spongebob? Really, that’s the best you can do? How low you’ve fallen.” Disdain in his voice, Stiles leaned against a tree like he had all the time in the world while picking at his fingernails. Scott had that lost puppy look, damn.
“You’re dissing the Bob? Really Sparky? You wound me. Right here, see the blood, wounded.” Deadpool picked at a spot on his shirt.
“Stiles, I think that’s real blood. Maybe we should help him.” Seriously Scott.
“He seems to be doing well on his own.” Stiles added a slouch to his lean.
“You hate me. Don’t you kid? After all I’ve done for you and this town.” Deadpool dropped his head and shook it slowly side to side.
“After what you’ve done for me?”
“I spent hours babysitting you’re little rear.”
“I believe the charge was kidnapping.”
“I disagree. I know for a fact there was no napping. I tried repeatedly to get you to nap and there was absolutely no napping involved.” The finger was pointing at Stiles emphatically.
“Well you can relax. Dad was just a deputy back then. Getting the Sheriff’s job has mellowed him.”
Deadpool did a double-take as he stared at Stiles, “Your dad is the scariest thing in this town.”
“My dad’s a pushover. He wouldn’t hurt anyone.”
“I beg to differ with you. He carries a gun and I know from first hand experience he knows how to use it.”
“That was one time.”
“Oh no, he promised if he caught me at anything in the county limits again he was going to cut me into pieces, seal the parts in adamantum, and bury the parts in separate states. And, since he knows it wouldn’t actually kill me…he might do it. Your dad is badass.” Deadpool crawled toward Scott. “Give a guy a lift and let’s get out of here before the Sheriff finds us.”
Scott took a quick hit on his inhaler and then sighed before turning so that he could take Deadpool’s torso onto his back. They started back toward the road slowly, Scott struggling with the awkward weight while Deadpool’s legs flailed around his back trying to get a grip. They had to take a different path back to the road since Scott couldn’t handle the weight uphill.
Something that sounded like a bear came crashing through the underbrush. It emerged in a rush and struck Scott, knocking him down while Deadpool awkwardly rolled off his back while drawing a sword. The creature’s face drew up in a horrible snarl, but it manage to jump backwards as Deadpool lashed out in one long slice.
A cut across one appendage was all that it received before Stiles recognized it and tried to intervene. “Stop. Whoa, hold, um…time out everyone.” Electricity crackled around him with no clear path or control.
“Hey, Sparky. Might wanna get out of the way here. Don’t think you and the puppy here are ready to play.” Deadpool was sitting with his baby legs out in front of him.
“What the actual fuck?” They watched as the creature transformed into a beautiful girl with a bleeding arm that was healing as she spoke. “You cut me. Asshole, this is my favorite shirt.”
“Well, tall, blond, and furry, you were attacking us at the time.”
“I wasn’t attacking, I was sneezing you jackass. You want to kill me for having a cold?” She arched an eyebrow at him like she was judging his intelligence.
“Laura Hale?” Stiles stepped up to try to diffuse the situation. “I didn’t know the Hales were back in town. What are you doing out here?”
“I live near here. We are almost on Hale property. What are you doing so close to our home?”
“Just taking a walk?”
“In the middle of the Beacon Preserve in the middle of the night?” She looked them all over before looking down toward Deadpool’s legs. “With a weird, half naked guy?”
Scott looked then jumped back several feet, “Eww. Were you rubbing that against my back?”
“Relax kid, Not my type. Well, not for a few years.” Deadpool sheathed the sword.
Scott opened his mouth to continue his complaint as sound was heard moving toward them.
“Is everyone in the Preserve tonight?”
Stiles inched forward to top the small hill beside them. He spotted several of Beacon County’s finest spread in a line, slowly searching with bright lights. Slipping back as quietly as it was possible for him to do he made his way back toward the group.
“Shit, it’s my Dad and his Deputies. They’re searching the Preserve for half a body.” He looked pointedly at Deadpool.
“No. He can’t find me here.”
“They’re gonna see us if we try to make it to the road.”
Laura shook her head emphatically, “Absolutely not. If you jackasses get me caught out after curfew, I will make you pay. I’ll loose the car for a month. And, I am not riding a bus my senior year.”
Deadpool looked at her, “Boo hoo little miss fashonista. I think I have a little more to worry about than curfew.”
Laura looked down at him again with a smirk, “Little is right.”
“Hey, I’m a grower, not a show-er.” Laura’s eyebrow raised in derision and Stiles choked back a laugh as Deadpool continued. “The Sheriff hates me. Babysit his son and kill a few people by accident and he just will never let it pass. Teeny. Tiny. Boxes. He cannot find me here.”
Stiles heard a wheeze beside him and scrambled to find Scott’s inhaler. “Come on buddy. Take a hit for me.” He popped the cap and shook it before placing it in Scott’s hand. A few moments later, “ok, once more and you’ll have it.”
He was relieved when the next puff when deeper and that sound faded in Scott’s lungs. Scott’s eyes however told a different story. He might be breathing but he wasn’t calming down.
“Mom’s gonna kill me. Stiles, I can’t be caught out here. Your dad would tell my mom and I can’t disappoint her like that.”
“Do you need a hug, come here…all little puppy-eyed heroes need a hug now and then.”
“Hey, Deadman…chill. Scott’s my bro.” Stiles smiled at Scott and received a blinding grin in return. He sighed and realized who would have to take one for the team. “Ok, plan. You guys get out of here and I’ll…um…I’ll distract them.”
“You’re ok, Sparky.” Deadpool tried to pat him on the ass and Stiles stepped back. Wade turned toward Scott, “Here puppy, let’s take you for a walk. Help me up.”
“I don’t want your junk rubbing on me.” Scott stepped back.
Stiles moved back up the hill, this time making certain to make noise as he moved through the underbrush. He topped the hill to only be blinded by flashlights in his face and commands to freeze. He slowly raised his hands away and up, palms out.
“Hey, lookin’ good there Strickland. You guys just out, takin a stroll?”
“Stiles.” The firearms retracted swiftly, but not the lights. “What are you doing out here?”
“You know me, fan of nature. Just out taking a walk. You know, breathe in the fresh air to help you sleep.” He looked around as more deputies joined them. “Um…so…we don’t have to share this with my dad, do we.”
Deputy Paul Strickland smirked before bending his head toward his radio and triggering the mike. “Sheriff, we apprehended something Sparky out here.”
There was a long pause while several deputies grinned at each other, “Bring him to my cruiser.”
“This is war, Strickland. No more baked goods at the station. And, your favorite peanut butter-chocolate chip cookies are now off the menu.” Stiles made a big show of trouncing off toward the service road with the deputies escorting him. He might have made a bit of a spectacle, so he didn’t get to see if Scott made it out of the search grid.
It was a slightly more subdued Stiles that reached the parked police cars. His father was leaning against his, while reviewing a map of the Preserve with Deputy Manning. He looked up as Stiles approached and handed the map over to the deputy.
Without a word he opened the door and just stood until Stiles took a seat. “Is Scott out there with you?”
“What? No. Of course not. It’s a school night and Scott is getting his rest. Big day tomorrow.”
“The truth, Stiles. Are we going to find Scott out here?” And he gave Stiles that stare, the one that said I know you’re lying to me but I don’t know what the lie is.
“Nope, nada, seriously Daddy-O, do you really think I could talk goody two shoes Scott into walking around in the Preserve in the middle of the night?”
Dad turned toward the deputies who were gathered around the map. “Keep an eye out for Scott McCall. He’s probably wandering around out there lost without Stiles. And, don’t hurt him. He’ll probably have an asthma attack if he’s caught. Just take him home and make sure he’s locked in.”
Stiles saw the look on his father’s face when he turned back and quickly turned to slip his feet into the car and reached for the seatbelt. Dad closed the door and moved to the driver’s side while Stiles hunched down in the seat.
The silence as they started the drive home was oppressive. Stiles fidgeted slightly, but tried to control himself. The radio was broadcasting the usual traffic stops and search updates, callouts and check ins. Stiles reached to turn it up so he could hear the addresses and the usual static spark from his fingertips snapped at the dial and caused the sound to crackle.
He pulled away as he heard his father’s sigh. “You were listening to the police scanner again Stiles?”
“Come on, Dad. It’s not like I was hurting anyone. It’s not every day you’re searching the Preserve for a body.” Stiles tried to give his innocent grin number 3™, but his dad’s mouth tightened.
“Did it even occur to you that you were dragging Scott into a potentially dangerous situation? We haven’t ID’d the person who died, so we don’t know who did it or why. There could be some psychopath out in the woods for all you know. Or an evil villain bent on revenge.” He shook his head and sighed again. “You’re starting your hero training tomorrow Stiles. You need to start thinking about these things. As a Hero it is your responsibility to take care of those weaker than you.”
“What if I’m not a Hero?”
“No, what if I can’t live up to that? What if I’m not cut out to be a Hero? What if I’m not good enough?”
The car pulled over onto the side of the road and his father turned to face him. “What is this really about, Stiles?”
“I can’t control…my powers. I shouldn’t even have them for Pete’s sake. Look at me…static cling? Is that my super power?”
“That’s not it. Don’t lie to me now Stiles. We both know your power is so much more. Your mother and I were in awe of your power. You’ve chosen not to use it in a long time, and I’ve respected your choices on this. But, you’re doing yourself a disservice by avoiding them. It’s why you have control issues.”
“Maybe it’s where it should be. Some people shouldn’t have that responsibility.”
“You remind me so much of your mother Stiles. She was beautiful and powerful. Always ready to save the day. Lady Lightning, ready to charge the world. You have her powers and so much more.”
“Do you think maybe she would be disappointed in me?”
“Never Stiles. Your mom loved you so much. She was a world class superhero. But, she gave it all up the day she learned she was pregnant. She insisted that there would never be anything more worthwhile than having you. You have to know she loved you so much. And, she would have loved you even if you had no powers at all. Your mom was the greatest.”
“She really was. But she still died. I never wanted her to go.”
“She did it for you Stiles. She saved this whole town, but she did it for you. Keeping you safe and happy was all she ever wanted. Never doubt it. And all you ever need to repay her memory is to be happy.”
“And, if I’m happy as a sidekick?”
“Then you’re going to be the happiest hero support in the world. You know, that’s all any parent wants for their child…to be happy.”
He put the car back into gear and pulled out onto the road. Stiles fidgeted with the zipper on his hoodie as he stared out the side window. He could feel dad’s eyes on him but it wasn’t intrusive.
“I’m not sure how to be happy.”
“Sure you are, Stiles. Just be you. What is this really about?”
“Power Placement is tomorrow.” Stiles whispered.
“Of Course. You know, I never agreed with that whole Power Placement testing. There really is no reason in the modern world to pigeonhole kids into power tracks. In my day the divide between Hero and Hero Support caused power displacement issues between the two. Being on the force, I strongly believe that Heroes and Hero Support should learn to work together at an earlier age.”
“Don’t have to campaign to me Dad. I would vote for you in a heartbeat. But, since when has High School ever been fair?”
“You’re right there, kid. But, just do your best and I’ll be proud of you no matter your placement. You’ve got to know that, son.”
“I know. But, Scott hasn’t even powered up yet, and…”
“Son, I know you and Scott have been practically joined at the hip since pre-K. But, I think you’re allowed to live your own life without fear of losing your friendships. Scott will either power up or he won’t. There’s no crime in being normal. Besides, I suspect Scott takes after his mother and she didn’t power up until her early twenties.” Dad reached over and put a hand on Stiles shoulder to squeeze.
“It’s easy for everyone to say Scott just needs to wait to find out, but they aren’t the ones who have to go to high school with a bunch of overpowered jocks.” Stiles looked away.
“You think things are bad now, but someday you will look back on these as the best years of your life.”
“Did you read that in some parenting 101 magazine? Seriously Pops, you need to find some original advice.”
“I’ll have you know it’s excellent advice. It was in Super Parenting: A Guide for Raising the Heroes of Tomorrow.” Dad said with a small grin.
“Super Parenting…that’s it. I’m buying you subscriptions. I need to make sure there are appropriate reference materials in this house.” Stiles felt his father relax next to him in the cruiser. He didn’t like it when his father worried about him. Stiles knew he gave him a lot to worry about, but his father didn’t need that kind of stress. It wasn’t healthy. He really needed to institute a meditation room in the station and recruit the rest of the deputies to get his father to use it. After all, it was Stile’s job to do the worrying around here. Dad just needs to relax and take care of himself.
Stiles closed his eyes and lay his head back against the headrest. He took a deep, slow breath and released it at the same pace. And then another, and another. Just living in the moment like Mom used to say. His father’s low voice interrupted his moment.
“Don’t think I’ve been side-tracked so easily.” He could feel the eyes on him, measuring. “Whatever you choose tomorrow, Stiles, I want you to know I’m proud of you. You’ve been through so much and you turned into this amazing, caring, powerful young man along the way. It’s all a parent can hope for and someday you are going to know it’s true. Until then, just know that I love you. And I will continue to love you if you’re a hero or hero support. Just promise me one thing.”
“Promise me you won’t become a supervillain? Please kid. There’s a pool in the office and I would really love to shut it down.”
“I promise, no supervillian-hood for me. Though, I have considered getting my start in Deadpool’s Temp-Pool. I hear they are fully certified temporary hero, henchmen, and hero support. Temp and Temp to permanent positions are available.” Stiles smiled broadly at his Dad’s put-upon sigh.
“It was his body, wasn’t it? I swear if I get my hands on him I’m going to carve him up into…”
“Hey, no butchering my future employer. You don’t want to ruin my prospects before I even graduate High School, do you?”
“Prospects? Oh, Hell no! I’ll let you work for Dr. Evil before you work for Deadpool. The man’s a menace and a kidnapper.”
“I have it on good authority I never napped.”
“You’ve been hanging out with him again? Stiles, we’ve been through this before, the man is not sane.”
“True, but he does know how to have a good time.”
They pulled up into the driveway and Dad put the cruiser in park. “We can talk about your future career prospects later. I’m probably going to be out half the night. Just try to get a little sleep. You’ve got school tomorrow and worrying about it won’t change anything.” Dad pulled him across the seat real quick for a kiss on the head and a brief one armed hug.
“Night Daddy-O.” Stiles quickly made it into the house with one last wave to show he was locking the door behind him.
– – – –
Stiles moved slowly through the house. Picked up a throw from the floor and folded it over the couch. He put away the dishes from the dishwasher and wiped down the counter. He checked the window and door locks on the first level before heading up to the bathroom. Rubber mats covered the floor and coated the shower door. Electricity and water don’t mix well, though Stiles had learned to control that little problem.
He carefully stripped off the forest-covered clothes and dropped them in the clothes hamper before stepping into the shower. The hot spray covered him as he grabbed the shampoo and began to wash his hair, little sparks flashing as they arced off the water spray. He quickly soaped up and scrubbed away the evidence of his night, and paused as he saw the little bolts of electricity leaping between his soapy fingers.
Stiles moved his fingers spreading them wide then bringing them together as he watched the electricity that was as much a part of him as the beating of his heart. It was hypnotic and teased at greater things that Stiles refused to acknowledge.
Taking a deep breath he clinched his hand into a fist and slowly let his breath out focusing on controlling the spark. Repeating it three times he finally felt it release and stepped back under the spray to rinse.
He dried off briskly with the towel and looked at his buzz cut in the reflection. It’s not his first choice for haircut, but after he blew out the fourth hair dryer it just wasn’t worth it to keep it longer.
His eyes drifted down until he stared back at himself. “Nothing to worry about. It’s just the rest of your life.” A crackle of lightning in his eyes seemed to answer him. He closed his eyes tightly and imagined cloudy skies clearing before he reopened them. “Right, nothing to worry about.”
– – – –
Stiles looked up to see Scott waiting for him down the road. “Hey, Scott. Everyone make it home ok last night?”
“Yeah, but never make me carry half a creepy guy again. He was naked under that shirt.”
“Poor thing. But Deadpool’s not that bad. Well, if you can forget the murdering assassin part. Dad has serious issues with the man, but still let him babysit once. He was one of my favorite sitters, even though I did have to get six stitches. Totally not his fault, though.”
“Come on, Scott, why so glum? Sophomore year. Finally get to take driver’s ed.”
“Talk to Uncle Stiles, what’s wrong?”
Scott hunched down. “Power Placement will be this morning.”
Stiles shrugged. “It’s always first day of Sophomore year.”
“Yeah, but I haven’t powered up yet.”
“Scott, bro, it’s ok. You still wanna be a vet, right?”
“Yes,” Scott mumbled.
Stiles started counting on his fingers. “First, you don’t need powers to be a vet. Second, your mom told you that she didn’t come into her powers until college. And, third, I know Doc Deaton told you that Healers come into their powers later in life. No one is going to have issues with you not powered up yet. Relax.”
“Well, my Dad said he powered up in Jr. High. He’s disappointed in me that I’m not taking after him.”
“Well, your Dad says a lot of shit. We decided he wasn’t worth listening to years ago, so why let him into your head now?”
“He is a level two hero Stiles. He just wants me to be out there saving the day.”
“Your mom saves the day all the time.”
“I know, but I’m going to look like a dork just standing there while everyone else is showing off their powers.”
“Oh, please. We all know I’m the one who’s going to look like a dork.”
“Sure, but you’ll be a dork with powers.”
“Right, because the power to cause static cling is such a great thing.”
“You have more than that in you. I know you do. I’m just not sure I do.”
“I have faith in you Scott. Don’t let those dweebs get you down. So what if you’re in hero support. Your mom is the greatest hero support ever and I would be proud to work with her. It’s not everyone who saves the heroes so they can fight another day.”
“You’re right. My mom is great. I hope I’m as good someday. Sooo, who do you think will make hero?”
“Lydia, no question.”
“Hero or not, she still won’t give you the time of day.”
“Just wait and see my friend, just wait and see. I have a strategy for this year.”
“Yes. I call it my sixteen step plan to win the girl.”
Scott smiled and shook his head in disbelief. “Sixteen steps?”
“Yes, maybe. I’m working on the details. But before this year is over, Lydia Martin will know my name.”
“Legal, nickname, or super hero name?”
“Bite your tongue. We have a super secret bro swear to never mention the legal name. There were gummy worms and dirt involved. Such things are sacred.”
“You’re right. Sorry. Legal name to never be mentioned. It is your ultimate secret identity.”
“Damn straight! School, ten o’clock, duchebag in sight.”
“Shit! How did he get to drive to school?”
“His parents paid for a private driver’s ed classes and a tutor over the summer. Then Daddy Dearest, the Mayor Whitmore, got him a waiver to get his license two months early. He used the super hero clause in the California statute to get the waiver.”
“But he hasn’t even been officially placed yet.”
“He will be. Super superpower or not, he’s gonna be hero track.”
“That sucks. More like super villian track for him.”
“Such is life. Perks for the powerful jerks in power. Same thing.”
They watched as Jackson Whitmore, bane of Stile’s existence, parked his car and came around to open the passenger door. Stiles chest tightened when he saw Lydia Martin step out of the car, a vision of red-headed loveliness. Jackson slipped an arm around her as they started walking toward the school.
“Oh, man, Stiles. I think you’re going to have to add a few more steps to that win Lydia plan.” Scott hooked an arm over his shoulders in commiseration.
“How can she…” Stiles was interrupted by the first bell. Kids literally zipped around him into the building using super speed or whatever power at their disposal. Scott hesitated and Stiles hooked his arm around Scott so that they were now linked. “Together.”
“Bros forever.” Scott agreed before they broke apart and headed for their home rooms for morning announcements.
– – – –
Stiles stood in line with all of the other Sophomores. The juniors and seniors who were waiting for a chance to retest and appeal their placement would go first. He saw Becca Beau ahead and knew she would get hero track. She freaked out about missing curfew over the summer and powered up. Dad’s deputies clocked her running at 125mph, so no way would she languish in hero support another year.
Scott came in at the tail end while Coach Finstock and Principle Argent were reviewing the roles. Beacon High Power Placement Testing was coordinated by Coach, but the committee made the final decisions. Once placement was confirmed, Ms. Morel, the guidance councilor finalized your schedule.
“Well, ladies, gents, and whatever you want to call yourselves, because we’re enlightened and all that crap. Welcome to Power Placement. Yes, this is the moment of your lives you’ve been waiting for. You will either start your path to greatness or make your mamas cry while disgracing generations of ancestors with your failures.”
“Coach Finstock?” Ms. Morel said in a disapproving voice.
“Yeah, yeah, I have to be nice to the little creepers. Yeah, I mean you Greenburg. Ok. Let’s just get this travesty over with. When your name is called you will come to the front, state your power and then demonstrate. The committee may or may not care to ask you questions. Don’t ask me why they want to know something, god knows I don’t. After they are satisfied, you will receive their judgment and move forward to review your class schedule with Ms. Morel. You will take your schedule and wait in the bleachers until all of your fellow students complete their placements. If we’re lucky we might just get lunch on time. If we’ve finished by then, you will go to your placement orientation session for the remainder of the day.”
Stiles looked around at all of the faces, bored, scared, and, ok that one’s a little angry. Coach continued his audition for Monologue 101, “Does everyone understand the instructions I have given you? Does anyone have any questions?”
One kid near the front raised a hand and waited until Coach finally acknowledged him, “What if we don’t agree with our placement?”
“Well, if you don’t agree, you pull on your big boy pants, suck it up, and accept that you’re a sidekick. Practice real hard and maybe next year you can retest. Now, any other stupid questions?” Two more hands went up. “No? Good.”
“OK, let’s start with the Seniors. Well, well, well, who do we have here? Derek Hale and Laura Hale. Looks like Beacon Hills Royalty is back for their last year of High School. We were expecting you. Every Hale born since the founding of the town has graduated from Beacon High. Welcome back. Ladies first.”
Laura Hale moved from the back of the crowd into the center of the gym. She gave Stiles a nudge on her way in that almost knocked him over. “Laura Hale, Shape-changer.” Then her eyes glowed amber as she shifted into the wolf-like creature they had seen in the Preserve last night. Her teeth elongated and she held this shape as she lifted some heavy weights. Then she shifted further into a full black wolf.
“Well, as usual the Hales breed true. Superhero track it is. Derek Hale.”
So that’s Derek Hale. Stiles remembers him from before the Hales moved to the east coast. He was in that going to be hot but kinda dorky stage. Fourteen and nothing seemed to fit. Now it was tall, dark, brooding and massively muscled hotness. Stiles pulled that back in. Nope, no time to drool over grumpy wolf over there. Stiles has his seventeen step plan to win Lydia Martin ready to go. Well, maybe eighteen step. It’s a work in progress, what do you want?
Derek stalked to the middle of the gym, shifted to the creature, then the wolf, and then back into the broody, leather jacket clad form with tight jeans. He just glared at the coach and then moved over to the tables to get his schedule without making a sound.
Scott leaned over and whispered to Stiles. “I heard they wouldn’t have even come back if it wasn’t for the Beacon Hills tradition. After Peter Hale went crazy with the Alpha Power and their Mother had to take it from him, they locked him up in Eichenhouse and went to D.C. to restore the Hale image.”
Stiles just nodded but he remembered the nightmare of a level 1 super going nuts. It took an entire group of supers led by Stile’s father to subdue him and only the fact that he was clearly insane had saved him from retribution. Talia Hale had stripped her brother of the Alpha power and taken on the mantle of Alpha herself.
Coach Finstock’s voice broke through the memory. “Ok, good. Moving on.”
Stiles waited as the names were called. Seniors, juniors, and then sophomores.
“Finally, down to the main show.” Finstock rubbed his hands together in excitement. “Sophmores. This is your first chance to show your stuff. Last year none of you were allowed to show your powers while you learned all that basic school scholastic crap. Now it’s time to step up and show me what I’ve got to work with for nationals.”
“Coach Finstock, today isn’t the appropriate time to run tryouts for your Save the Citizen team. Let’s see if we can get through placements.” Principle Argent said while tapping his pen on the table.
“Yeah, right. Argent! Front and center.”
A girl stepped up confidently onto the platform. “Alison Argent. Marksmanship.”
Scott gripped Stiles arm hard and whispered, “Look at her, she’s gorgeous.”
Stiles just rolled his eyes at his friend and watched while Alison started shooting moving targets with a bow, switched to a blow dart, then ended with some gymnastic flips before expertly throwing three knives and an ax into objects that were flying around and at her. He looked back to see a goofy grin on his friend’s face when Alison leaned over to pick up a knife and smiled at Scott.
“Vernon Boyd. I stretch.”
Finstock nodded his head, “Oh, elastic man. Go ahead. Boyd stretched out his fingers and tied them in knots before returning to normal. OK, good, but lets see the whole enchilada.”
He looked up over the clipboard. “The rest of your body?”
“Nope, just the fingers.”
“Right, Sidekick.” Coach motioned Boyd forward and called the next. Several more continued on this same path. Either potentially awesome super power or dud.
“Cora Hale. Oh, another Hale. Well, I guess we all know where this is going. Come up here.”
“No.” Stiles did a double-take as she continued to lean against the side of the platform while reading a book.
“You have mistakenly thought I was asking. Let’s try that again. COME. UP. HERE.”
Laura Hale jumped in, “Cora. Can’t you just cooperate one time?”
Principle Argent stood up so that he could look down at Cora, “Young lady, you come from a long line of supers. Do you really want to embarrass your entire family by failing Power Placement.
“Very well. Without a demonstrated power, you are hereby relegated to Hero Support until which time you prove your power or are proven to have no power. At that point you will be transferred to Hero adjacent status.”
“Cora!” Laura threw up her arms in frustration. Derek’s expression didn’t actually change so Stiles had no idea whose side he was on.
“Fine.” Cora said and Laura sat down. Cora stood up, walked to the middle of the gym—and just glared at them all. A moment before anyone could think to say anything, she stalked over to the counselor to get her schedule.
Stiles was having the hardest time controlling the huge grin that spread across his face. She was awesome!
“Issac Lahey.” The next one barely whispered. “I, um, fade?”
“Fade?” Coach made a motion to demonstrate. And, he wasn’t wrong. He just sort of faded out until he looked like a ghostly image. Coach smiled. “Ok, a phaser. We can work with that.”
He picked up a medicine ball and threw it at Issac’s stomach. It hit him hard and he bent over in pain. “Why didn’t you let that phase through you?”
“I can’t. I’m still solid, just…faded.” Issac responded while trying to straighten up carefully.
“Right…fades.” Coach glanced toward the committee then pointed toward the side. “Sidekick.”
They continued through the majority of their class which included Danny Mahealani’s flight through the air and Lydia Martin’s glorious voice that shattered the windows and knocked everyone half-way across the gym.
“Oh, man.” Scott’s voice choked beside Stiles as they heard the next name called. Scott took a deep breath, coughed, took a hit on his inhaler, then walked like a man stepping in front of the firing squad.
“Scott McCall.” He announced when he got there, everyone staring at him. Scott looked around then went over to where the Coach and committee were standing. There was a bit of whispered conversation between them all, some shaking of heads, and intense discussion, before Ms. Morel seemed to speak up and they were all nodding. Scott stood a little straighter and then nodded and followed the Guidance Counselor back to her desk to get his schedule.
Stiles breathed a short sigh of relief that Scott wasn’t forced to face everyone without powers. He could hear Jackson Whitmore whisper something derogatory behind him and forced the spark in his fingers back before something embarrassing happened.
Coach started the roll call again and the powers kept marching by. Strength, flight, iron skin, pink face, stink-bomb farts, and the list goes on. Erica Reyes’ creation of a magnet that she stuck to the back of Coach’s clipboard that read I’m attractive to ignorance was awesome in Stiles honest opinion. The decisions of Hero or Sidekick were predictable.
“Bilinski!” The call caused Stiles to clinch up before moving slowly up the platform.
“Stiles Stilinski,” Stiles stated. “I’m…well, you see, Coach. Well, my power is…”
“Speak up. We don’t have all day.”
Whitmore’s indolent voice drifted across the whispers. “We all know his power, Coach. Static Clinginski should just take his place in hero adjacent and not even waste our time embarrassing himself.”
Stiles glared at Jackson and made a fist as he felt the power rise. He forced it back, not allowing it the outlet it was seeking. He just knew that it was a weakness he could never allow himself, no matter the provocation.
Sparks flashed briefly around his hand while he pulled it all in. The air near him became charged and several students and staff on and near the podium found their hair standing on end and the charge filled the air. Finally he cut it off and the feeling stopped, though several where subjected to static shocks as the electricity dissipated.
“Coach Finstock,” Principle Argent suggested, “I believe there is no reason to make Mr. Stilinski continue. The entire town is aware of his abilities.” The words were, of course, sympathetic. But the tone was condescending and for a moment, just a moment, Stiles was tempted to let everything loose and wipe those looks off their faces.
“Sure. Come on Sparky. Sidekick track for you.” Coach at least looked a little sorry to have to say it. And why not? Son of Lady Lightning can only spark.
Stiles quickly took his schedule from Ms. Morel with a shrug when she offered to let him come in for a session. Scott pulled him down on the bleachers next to him and compared their schedules. “At least we have some classes together.” Scott said, trying to put the best spin on it.
“Yeah, that’s good, Scottie.”
Whitmore was finally called and everyone was ecstatic over his lizard shifter. Stiles recognized him for the snake he really was, even before he demonstrated his paralyzing venom by tossing a ball coated in it at Stiles. Jackson just smirked at him as he walked away and Stiles was left in the gym with only Scott to haul him to the nurse’s office.
Scott was a real bro and stuck around the nurse’s office until the antidote was administered and Stiles was released.