Stanley Hopkins didn’t really understand why he would want to go a summer camp, but Sherlock offered to pay and it was somewhere he could go instead of Seattle. Summer housing didn’t exactly pan out completely, but by the time he came back, he could move back to SACU and go back to Sherlock and Langdale and everyone. Plus, it would give him a chance to meet a few other queer kids and maybe help those who were like him.
He spent the bus ride up to Stone Mountain quietly deducing what he could about the campers around him in his notebook. When the bus stopped at the Atlanta airport, Stanley couldn’t see much but he did hear a voice from the front, even over his headphones.
“What’s good, southern people?!” Stanley rolled his eyes at the voice, which immediately started a singalong of freaking Lion King. Luckily there was only another half hour left on the ride. The bus pulled up and Stanley was the last off, ensuring he could get his bag with no hassle.
The camp actually was pretty great for Stanley. Everyone there was really accepting and didn’t mind if something was too much. He should have packed more bugspray though. About a week in, he established a routine. He spent most of his days writing in his notebook by the lake, watching people and talking to those who came up to him.
“Sebastian! Seeeaaaa-bassss!” a camper yelled towards him.
oh no, Stanley thought, another one.
He put his pen down.
“No I’m not Sebastian, my name is Stanley Hopkins! Hi!” He waved. The camper turned away. People still kept referring to him as Sebastian. He could deduce that there was someone who looked vaguely similar to him, that was simple, but he could never seem to find the person.
Until a pair of Chucks appeared in the grass next to him.
“Wait, you go SACU?” It was that voice again. Stanley looked up, squinting in the sunshine. The silhouette gasped. “So you’re the person that stole my fucking face! It’s mine!” It wasn’t until the person who Stanley inferred was Sebastian sat down next to him that he saw the resemblance. Sure enough, it was looking into a mirror. A very smiley, very loud mirror. It was eerie. Stanley didn’t know what to do.
“Um…I’m sorry…I’m Stanley Hopkins.”
Sebastian laughed. “Sebastian Messing. But gathering from what people have told me, you know that already.”
“Well, yeah, I didn’t mind, really. It’s an honest mistake. It’s a relief to see you really, I was afraid this infamous ‘Sebastian’ didn’t even exist”
“Well he does, so you can rest assured.”
“Oh, you use he/him pronouns? Me too! Wow it’s like we’re twins!” He looked at Sebastian closer. The resemblance was almost perfect. If Stanley had actually gotten a haircut when Wendy said he should, they would be identical.
Sebastian leaned back on his hands. "You're half right. I'm a twin, but I highly doubt you are as well. My twin sister’s home for the summer back with my moms in California.”
“You live in California! How cool! I live in Doyle, south of here.”
“I know. I asked you if you went to SACU.” Sebastian gestured to Stanley’s class t-shirt.
“Oh. yeah. I’ll be a sophomore in the fall.”
“My boyfriend is there! He’s on the swim team. Looks like Adonis and Prince Eric had a beautiful child.”
“SACU has a swim team? huh.” “Well, he’s there for summer training with the team. Not much of a jock?” Sebastian nodded at the notebook.
“Definitely not. I’m a criminology major! I like deducing.”
Sebastian blinked. “hm…what?”
Stanley turned to face him. “It's like, figuring out stuff about people. I’ve only been training for a semester but I think, and I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure you play football. Cornerback.”
Sebastian’s eyes grew wide. “What the fuck, dude?! How did you know that?”
Stanley looked back at his notebook. “you’ve got a tanline on your arms, but it’s not at normal t-shirt sleeve length, it’s longer, and like, blurrier, right? So that meant something looser and with longer sleeves. Like a football jersey.”
“But wait…how did you know I was a fucking cornerback?”
“oh oh oh so so Sherlock taught me all about football when we went to a SACU game! So, well, you look like, well, me, so that’s most of the positions out. Your arms are equally defined…”
“You mean Phineas and Ferb?” He flexed and kissed his biceps.
“Really? Phineas and…anyways, that means that you aren’t specialized in throwing, so it had to be something on a special team. I’m pretty fast, so I deduced you would be as well, and that means corner!”
“Dude. That’s like…fucking scary. But cool.”
“Oh. um. Thanks.” Stanley kinda regret going full deductive, but it wasn’t something he could help. He wished he could text Sherlock that he guessed right, and also to ask about the chances of doppelgangers, but alas, there was no wifi.
Stanley did like camp, he really did, but he was having trouble making friends. On one Wednesday, he was writing a letter to Langdale in his notebook during dinner and some campers bumped into him purposefully, causing his pen to drag a line straight up, through the page of hastily written words. Stanley didn’t make a sound, but the others (perpetrators, Stanley thought) laughed loud enough for Sebastian to pop his head up from another table. He marched right up to the table, raising his voice.
“REALLY? You want to mess with him? FIRST YOU GOTTA MESS WITH THE MESSING. AND I’M THE EVIL TWIN.” The campers dispersed within seconds and the laughter ceased. Seb sat next to Stanley.
“Dude, you okay?”
“Yeah…uh…how did you know how to do that?”
“Oh Viola and I had a system when were little. We looked out for each other. You didn’t have any siblings?”
Stanley shook his head. “I do but…they...I didn’t really have much of a home at all”
Sebastian scrunched up his nose. “Sorry, man. That fucking sucks.”
“It’s fine, I got a really great group of friends at college now.”
They talked until long after dinner. Sebastian told Stanley all about the fucked up system at West Balk and Viola and the moms, and Stanley told Sebastian all about Sherlock. Like, all about Sherlock. And some things about Jamie, Violet, Langdale, Wendy and everything else.
It was about ten o’clock by the time the conversation moved away from Sherlock and co. Stanley was talking about how he was at camp to avoid going back to Seattle.
“Wait…if you go to such a great school in California, why are you here?”, he asked Sebastian.
“Oh, somebody saw my vlogs and offered me a Queer Media scholarship here. Pretty neat, huh? I do miss home, though. And Tony. Mostly home.”
Stanley wondered what it would be like to miss a family home. Then he had a crazy idea that he couldn’t get out of his mouth quick enough.
“Dude but okay what if we traded places for the rest of the summer okay I could meet Viola and actual have a good family summer and you could see your boyfriend again and could meet Sherlock! and everything else oh my god you’d love it!!!!”
Sebastian sat for three seconds, trying to find a flaw in Stanley’s plan. Disguises hadn’t exactly turned out so smoothly in Sebastian’s past, needless to say. He grinned. “DUDE THIS COULD LIKE, ACTUALLY FUCKING WORK! OH MY GOD STANLEY YOU TERRIFYING GENIUS.”
The rest of camp was a serious study session for the lookalikes. They were eventually referred to by the other campers as a collective, either as “Sebastan” or “Sebastian Stan” (usually by the nerdier campers). Seb gave Stanley a floor plan of the Messing house, told him about the dogs (Puck and Bottom), and Viola and his secret handshake. Stanley told Sebastian about SACU and how to get from his room to Sherlock’s apartment. They swapped bags, and Stanley had to teach Seb how to wear his necklaces. Stanley wrote a letter to Langdale telling him the whole situation, and promising to video chat as soon as he got to California. Sebastian took Stanley’s phone and put his number in with the football emoji as the contact name. Stanley’s was logged into Seb’s phone as “Bruce Wayne.”
The boys spent the bus ride going through their index cards of inside jokes. When the bus pulled up into Hartsfield-Jackson, Sebastian punched Stanley in the arm. “Go get em, bro. Tell the moms and Vi that I love them. Well…don’t…Not yet. Well, do, but as you. me. You know what I mean.”
Stanley laughed. “Do the same to Sherlock and the gang. And try not to break my camera!”
Sebastian spent the rest of the ride texting Anthony the plan, with lots of capital letters and emoji and exclamation points. He was a bit nervous of getting caught, but the promise of seeing Anthony (and Anthony’s abs) again in person was worth it. Pulling up to SACU late at night, Seb referred to the map Stanley made for him, looking for the apartment. After a few screwups, he found Baker Dorm. Knocking on the door, he got into character. Giant grin, camera held tight.
“Well hello, Sebastian.”