It was a ritual.
On Sunday mornings, Stiles would wake to the scent of his mother’s perfume as she stepped into his room. She’d run a hand through his hair, kiss his forehead, and urge him to get out of bed before the blueberry scones are gone, love.
He’d be up and padding down the stairs within minutes, grabbing the keys to the jeep and handing them to her as she kissed Noah goodbye.
“Boston…” he’d begin.
“Cream donut. I know, sweetheart. Put the coffee on.”
Stiles would race to the jeep and clamber up into the passenger seat, chatting excitedly with his mother about the cookies the bakery would have that day. Would they be in the shape of superheroes like last week? Would they be animals? Maybe he could get one with blue icing to turn his tongue colors again.
It’d be a two minute drive to the bakery, a five minute wait while Stiles decided on the iced cookie he wanted, and a two minute drive home. He’d eat his cookie on the front porch with his parents, crosslegged between them on the porch swing as the world around them started the day.
And then his mother passed.
Noah took down the porch swing a week later.
Stiles hasn’t had an iced cookie in years.
The first solo trip Stiles makes after getting his license is the bakery that Sunday morning.
“Hey,” he says softly, ignoring the sympathetic look the owner gives him. “Uh. Just a cinnamon twist, please.”
“No Boston cream for your dad today, hm?”
Stiles shakes his head, clenching one of his hands into a fist to push back the wave of anxiety he feels stirring in his gut. “Nah. Trying to keep him healthy.”
Trying to keep him alive.
The owner nods, pulls out the requested donut from the case, and hands it to Stiles wrapped in cellophane. Stiles quickly hands over a few bills to pay and makes his way out of the bakery.
He doesn’t want to reminisce. Doesn’t want to hear how sorry the owner is for him. How much they miss seeing him visit with Claudia.
This visit isn’t about that. It’s just about the drive.
He makes it two blocks before he tosses the donut to his passenger seat. It stays there for a week before Stiles finally gathers the motivation to throw it out.
After Scott’s bitten, Stiles’ life becomes anything but normal. It’s enough to throw everything off balance, but he’s determined to keep his Sunday mornings the same.
“Where are you going?” Scott asks, twisting to pop his back after a night of sleeping on Stiles’ floor, books and papers on lycanthropy lying around him.
Stiles pulls on his hoodie. “Just a drive.”
He pauses, glances at the picture of his mom on the bedside table.
“You wanna come?”
“So, you drive to this bakery, pull into the parking lot, and then – you leave,” Scott says.
Scott’s brows draw together. “Dude, why?”
“Used to come with my mom,” Stiles replies softly, swallowing past the lump in his throat. “Sunday mornings, we’d drive out here, get a donut, and drive back home. I just. Ever since I got the Jeep, I’ve been doing it. I dunno.”
After a moment, Scott gently says, “Makes you feel close to her, huh?”
Stiles turns to face him for a moment, the corner of his mouth lifting up in a smile. “Yeah. Yeah, it does.”
“Cool. If you – ever wanna go in and get something, I’d be down.”
“… thanks, Scotty.”
It keeps happening after that. Stiles doesn’t ask, but on Sunday mornings, Scott’s always there. Always ready to make the drive with him.
The week after graduation, they actually go inside.
“You get the cinnamon twist, right?” Scott asks.
Stiles just stares. “I – yeah. It was iced cookies when I was a kid, and then – how the hell’d you know that?”
“Cause I know you, man,” Scott replies, shrugging.
After a moment, Stiles pushes. “Scotty.”
Scott snorts out a laugh, standing up and pointing to the cinnamon twists donuts in the case. “Two of those, please. Thanks.”
He turns to Stiles, then, and softly admits, “Okay, the week after I was bitten? Your passenger seat smelled exactly like these. Cinnamon twist donuts. Smelling ‘em just now reminded me of that, so. Lucky guess.”
Stiles swallows, his head tilting. “You remember that, huh?”
“Remember a lotta things about you,” Scott replies, handing Stiles his donut. “S’what brothers do. They know shit about each other. Even the small things.”
They walk back to Stiles’ jeep, footsteps in sync until Stiles slows and stops. “Hey, um. I’m – I’m gonna give you the jeep while I’m gone to school. You need an actual car for when it rains or – I dunno. When it’s cold. Whatever.”
Scott swallows. “You, uh. You trust me with her, huh?”
Without hesitation, Stiles nods and meets his eyes. “Yeah. Yeah, I do.”
On his first Sunday in his new dorm room, Stiles wakes to a text from Scott.
It’s a picture of two cinnamon twist donuts sitting on the passenger seat.
Morning, bud. I’ll eat yours for you. Miss you.
Stiles grins, sitting up to reply to Scott’s picture. It’s then that he notices the shape in the corner of the photo, something that looks suspiciously similar to a third wrapped donut.
Is that a Boston cream for my dad?
Scott types. Stops. Types again.
Blueberry scone, actually. Did I get the wrong thing?
The ache in Stiles’ chest is familiar, but it’s softer now.
Nah. He’ll love it. He always snagged a few bites of Mom’s, anyway.