The first day of school is always nerve wracking. There are so many expectations and hopes for the new year. It is especially hard when you've just transferred in from a different town. It was especially hard your junior year. By then everyone had already established their groups of friends and the social hierarchy is already set firm. It was hard to make friends, but Isaac was used to not having friends. He'd never had any before and he was sure he wouldn't have any now. Sure, he was lonely, but what mattered was surviving. He'd been through hell and made it out alive, that's what was important.
It's not like he could talk to anyone about what he'd been through anyway. The people who did know looked at him with so much sorrow and pity it hurt. It hurt because he hated seeing that look on anyone's face. It hurt because he was tired of being treated like he was less than human. He wasn't sure what he hated more, the way his father had treated him, or being treated like a porcelain doll.
Isaac thought that maybe things would be different now. He was in a new town and a new school. Sure, his new foster family treated him like he would shatter, but there was a chance he could make a friend, turn his life around, maybe. If not, well he had been alone so long already it wouldn't make much of a difference.
Isaac's foster mom dropped him off bright and early at his new school, Beacon Hills High. She seemed more nervous than he did. He wanted to tell her he would be fine, but every time he looked at her she gave him that look. The look that screamed I want to put you in a bubble in a padded room and lock the door so no one can ever hurt you. It was nice that she cared, he really did appreciate it. It was hard to describe how nice it felt to be cared for after what he'd been through, but at the same time he felt overwhelmed. Going from nothing to everything wasn't an easy transition.
Isaac said his goodbyes with his eyes trained on the ground. As he walked to the school he tried to make himself as small and unnoticeable as possible.
Isaac managed to make it through most of the day without incident. He was positive chemistry was going to be his worst class. The teacher was intimidating and made Isaac want to hide under the table every time he yelled at that Stilinski kid. Fear made it hard to focus and Isaac worried what his foster parents would do if he brought home a failing grade. Isaac worried about it for the rest of the day.
Isaac had managed to avoid contact with anyone but his teachers. He avoided both confrontations and any possible attempts at friendship. He felt proud of himself for avoiding trouble, but at the same time he was disappointed. Here he had a chance at something new, something better, and he was blowing it. At the same time he wasn't sure he was ready. He pulled at his hair in frustration as he waited for his foster mom. He wasn't sure what he wanted.
Stiles Stilinski hadn't spoken since the day his mom died. In the years that had passed most people had just come to accept his silence as fact. There where still the times he caught his dad staring at him with the most heartbroken look on the planet. Stiles felt something die inside every time he caught that look, but he still couldn't bring himself to speak, which broke his heart even more. He wanted to make his dad happy, but just couldn't bring himself to do it. He felt like he was disappointing his father and he couldn't bring himself to change, maybe he could someday, but not today. Definitely not today.
He couldn't change today, not with Harris riding his ass and Scott ditching him for Allison, again. Stiles let his head hit his usual empty cafeteria table and resigned himself to another painfully lonely year. He was happy for Scott, he really was. He just wished Scott's epic high school romance had left at least a little room for his best friend. Stiles glanced around the cafeteria feeling jealous of all the other kids with their friends and social lives. As his eyes scanned the room he saw another boy in a similar position.
He looked to Stiles like a broken angel with his gold curls and blue eyes focused on his food. He pushed his fork idly through the slop the school insisted was good for them. Stiles wanted to go over to him, make him forget whatever was bothering him and enjoy the start of a new year. Stiles bit his lip and found it even harder to sit still than usual. Trying to comfort a mopping angel required asking what was wrong, and Stiles couldn't bring himself to ask. Instead he spent the rest of lunch fidgeting and staring.
After school Scott once again ditched Stiles to spend time with his precious girlfriend. Stiles sighed and tried to psych himself up for another afternoon alone, when he saw his cafeteria angel. He sat at the curb just as alone as he'd been at lunch. The only difference was that now he seemed even more broken and distressed. Stiles watched him pull at his hair and felt the urge to run over and comfort him. He knew he'd only make it worse, after all it would creep him out if some spazz who could only communicate through arm flailing sat next to him while he was depressed.
He knew he couldn't help, but still found himself taking tentative steps towards the golden haired boy. Before Stiles could make a fool of himself and possibly make the boys days worse, his sad angel got up and went to a car that had just pulled in.
Stiles watched as the car pulled away the desire to help the boy still burning deep in his chest.
Stiles spent the next few weeks letting his eyes follow his lonely angel through the school. He watched as the boy made his way to the back of their shared chemistry class, eyes always trained on the floor. He stared at him from across the cafeteria and even followed him to his locker whenever he could. Stiles was starting to feel like a stalker, but he couldn't help it. He felt this insatiable need to run up and just talk to the boy.
Despite how much he wanted to Stiles knew he couldn't talk to the boy, he couldn't even so much as say good morning to his father. How on earth was he supposed to say anything to such a beautiful and lonely boy? He wished with every fiber of his being to see the boy smile, even one of those small shy smiles that if you blink you miss. If the boy was attractive now Stiles was sure that even the smallest of smiles would make him an Adonis. Of course at the rate he was going Stiles was never going to see it.
There had to be something he could do. He spent most of his time trying to think of something, soon he had more than Harris on his back for not focusing. Even his dad was starting to worry, which just frustrated Stiles even more. The last thing he wanted to do was make his dad worry even more about him. This was all so frustrating Stiles thought fighting the urge to flail in the middle of class. The teacher had already yelled at him twice.
He laid his head down on his desk and let out a sigh, when he noticed the girl next to him passing notes. That's when it hit him. He could start leaving notes in the boys locker. He immediately pulled out a clean sheet of paper and got to work.
So far for Isaac school was going well, with the exception of chemistry. Isaac was struggling to keep afloat in that class. He worked himself into a real panic when their first test came up. He felt like he couldn't relax until his grade came back. When it did he almost cried. The big red F at the top of the page seemed to mock him. He was terrified of what his foster parents would do. The last F he'd brought home to his dad was something he never wanted to think about ever again.
That night at dinner Isaac braced himself for the worst. His foster parents seemed disappointed, but that was it. They didn't get mad, they didn't yell, or tell him he was worthless. In fact the only thing they did was suggest he see a tutor. Isaac relaxed for the first time in a week. Maybe his life was getting better. He went to school the next day feeling better than he had in a long time.
His better than average mood didn't make it any less surprising to find a note sitting atop the books in his locker. Isaac scanned the crowded hallway in a vain attempt to catch who left it. When he couldn't spot anyone Isaac carefully unfolded the note and read it.
I've noticed you always look sad, sort of like a kicked puppy. I would love to see you smile. I'm sure you're beautiful when you smile, not that I don't think you're beautiful now. (I like to think you're an angel, because only God could have made a face that pretty.) I just think a smile would make you infinitely more wonderful. Even just a small smile would make my year.
Isaac felt his face heat as he read the note. He was sure he was bright red and hoped no one noticed. No one had ever said anything like that to him before. Sure there had been that shopping trip for new clothes were his foster mom had called him one of the most handsome young men she'd ever seen, but that was different. He had blushed just as much then, but this also made his heart race and his stomach tie itself in knots. He couldn't help it when his mouth rose ever so slightly in the first real smile he'd had in years. He re-folded the note with care and placed it in his pocket. He smiled a little every time he thought about it.
Stiles had tried three times to write his note before he got it right. He'd stuffed it in the boys locker. He'd been up most of the night pacing and worrying. He didn't stop until his dad came in to his room to ask him what was wrong. He did his best to convince him it was nothing, then went to worrying in his bed while he stared at the ceiling. He'd gotten a fitful few hours of sleep and woke up more nervous than he'd been the night before. His thoughts were racing. What if he'd messed up? What if the boy thought the note was creepy? What if he figured out it was Stiles and transferred to a different chemistry class.
Stiles was panicking and continued to do so throughout the day. He sat in chemistry twitching and fidgeting uncontrollably. He felt like he was going to explode with all the nervous energy coursing through him. Finally he saw that familiar head of blonde hair make its way into the classroom. Stiles swore his heart stopped, he had convinced himself that the boy had figured out he left the note and was going to yell at him. To Stiles' relief the boy continued to his usual seat looking just a little less withdrawn than usual. Stiles felt a wave of pride wash over him.
That small sense of pride grew immensely at lunch when Stiles watched the boy pull out a familiar piece of paper and smile. Sure it was one of the smallest smiles Stiles had ever seen, but it was also the most beautiful things he'd ever seen. That tiny little smile really did make his face light up and Stiles loved it. He wondered how big he could make that smile grow and dove right into working on his next note.
I was right. Even though it was small, that smile I caught you with yesterday really did light up your face. I hope I get to see more of that in the future.
Isaac was sure he blushed harder at this note than the one from the day before. He hadn't been expecting another one. He thought he could get used to finding these everyday. The last one had made everything a little more bearable, even chemistry. Isaac had even found it easier to open up to his foster family when they asked him how his day was. He had no idea who was leaving these notes, but he really hoped they kept it up. It might just be the thing he needs to finally be happy.
As happy as the note in his locker had made him, Isaac just about died in chemistry. They'd had to work with partners and he'd been a mess with worry. He was going to screw this up for whoever got stuck with him. He already felt guilty for bringing their grade down. He felt even worse when Mr. Harris assigned Danny Mahealani as his partner, he seemed so nice it was a shame that Isaac was going to tank his grade.
Isaac was a bundle of nerves when Danny finally moved to sit next to him. He smiled and introduced himself to Isaac who started spilling apologies. It took Danny a minute to calm him down and convince him that everything was going to be fine. Danny as it turned out, was more than smart enough to make up for Isaac's short comings. At the same time he even managed to explain things well enough that Isaac actually understood what they were supposed to be doing. He even kind of had fun.
“If you ever need help just let me know,” Danny had told him at the end of class.
“I'm gonna need a lot of help,” Isaac told him. “At the rate I'm going I'll be stuck in summer school.” Danny scribbled something on a piece of paper.
“Just let me know and we'll meet up to study,' Danny said handing Isaac the paper. He gave Isaac a big smile as he left. Isaac watched him leave and noticed the Stilinski kid staring at him. When he got caught he flailed around to grab his things and rush out the door. Isaac wondered if he ever spoke.
Stiles felt something cold settle in his stomach every time Danny said something that made his angel smile. Making him smile was supposed to be Stiles' job. At least Stiles had learned something. When Harris was calling out partners he'd said Danny was partnered with one Isaac Lahey. His angel had a name and it was Isaac. Stiles liked it and despite the coil of jealousy that wrapped around his heart every time he looked at Isaac and Danny. Stiles couldn't help but feel happy that now he had a name to put with that beautiful face.
That jealously reared again when Stiles watched Danny give Isaac what must have been his phone number on a piece of paper. Stiles chewed on his lip trying to beat down the green eyed monster inside him when he realized Isaac was staring at him. Stiles panicked, grabbed his things and rushed out the door as fast as he possibly could. When he finally reached his locker he banged his head against it.
He was such a loser. Isaac probably thought he was a freak now and would flip out when he realized it was Stiles leaving notes in his locker. Stiles hit his head against the locker door one more time. He was sure that by the end of the day Isaac was going to send Danny to beat the crap out of him for being such a creep. He hit his head one more time before remembering Danny wasn't that kind of guy. He also remembered that Isaac had smiled when he read the note Stiles had left the day before. Stiles took a deep breath and tried to relax. If he wanted Isaac to smile for him he was just going to have to leave more notes. And leave notes he did.
Everyday for the next few weeks he left notes in Isaac's locker. He even started hanging around in the morning to make sure he caught Isaac's reaction. It made his heart swell with warmth every time he caught that shy little smile. Stiles felt even better knowing that smile was because of something he did. He had put that smile on Isaac's face and that was the best feeling in the world.
Every day since that first note Isaac received more. First thing in the morning he'd open his locker to find a new one. Each one made his face redden and his heart race.
I love the way your eyes light up when you smile. They're the most amazing color I've ever seen.
I wonder if I'll ever get to hear you laugh. It's probably just as beautiful an the rest of you.
I wish I could run my hands through those golden curls of yours. I bet they're even softer than they look.
You look so much happier now than you did before. I hope it's because of me. I could die happy knowing I made you smile.
It was true, Isaac was happier now than he had been before. He loved knowing someone cared about him. It made him feel less lonely and just the smallest bit more confident. He felt like he was worth something now and had even felt brave enough to ask Danny for help with chemistry. They met up after school to study and his grade started to slowly make its way up. Isaac had been on his way to meet Danny when he realized he'd forgotten their assignment.
Isaac tried to be quick as he made his way to his locker. He was surprised to see Stilinski slipping a piece of paper through the grate.
“It was you leaving me notes?” Isaac asked. Stilinski jumped and stared at him eyes wide with panic. He opened and closed his mouth a few times as if he wanted to say something but couldn't find the words. Finally he bit his lip and took off running. Isaac called after him, but he didn't stop. When he was finally out of sight Isaac opened his locker. There sitting atop his books was another note. He opened it to see the now familiar hand writing.
I wonder if it's wrong for me to feel so happy leaving these, then I see you smile and realize it's worth it.
Isaac put the note in his pocket and went to meet Danny. He wondered why Stilinski had run.
“You seem distracted,” Danny said halfway through their study session.
“Just thinking,” Isaac said.
“About what?” Isaac bit his lip and wondered if he should say anything. Maybe he should lie, he'd gotten pretty good at it thanks to his dad. Danny actually looked worried though. Isaac wasn't sure he could lie to him.
“I've been getting notes,” Isaac finally let out. “Everyday I find a new one in my locker and today I caught Stilinski putting one of them in my locker.”
“Stiles had been leaving you notes,” Danny said in disbelief. Isaac nodded.
Danny told Isaac that Stiles didn't talk to anyone other than Scott McCall. The two of them had been friends for years and despite that Stiles didn't really talk to Scott. They just sort of passed notes to each other all the time. It was sort of amazing that he was reaching out to Isaac like this.
Isaac realized that Stiles must have been feeling as lonely as himself. Isaac sort of felt honored to be the one he had reached out to. He also envied Stiles' bravery. There was no way Isaac would have had the guts to proclaim his love in writing and leave it in Stiles' locker everyday. Maybe, that's why Stiles' had run. While it must have taken a lot of bravery to leave Isaac those notes, it must take even more to confront the object of your affections. There was a chance that Stiles might not even leave Issac notes any more. Isaac wasn't sure he could handle that.
When he got home that night he decided he needed to do something.
Stiles felt like and idiot. Not only had he gotten caught leaving a note for Isaac, but he'd runaway. He'd spent weeks leaving the boy notes hoping to make him smile and maybe someday interact with him. He was tired of being the creep staring from around the corner. Yesterday he'd been given a chance to do more than leave notes and he blew it. He'd gone home and cried.
His dad had found him with his face pressed into his knees at the foot of his bed. He asked what was wrong and Stiles typed I blew it on his cell phone to show his father.
“Blew what?” he asked. Stiles typed my chance with Isaac. The Sheriff put an arm around his son's shoulders. “It'll be alright,” he said. “You two will work it out and when you do you should invite him to dinner.”
Stiles almost started crying again. There was no way they could “work it out” and definitely no way Stiles could ask Isaac over. If he couldn't handle a face to face interaction with Isaac, how was he supposed to actually ask him to dinner?
Stiles had calmed down some by the next day, at least enough to not have a panic attack on his way to school. As Stiles made his way to his locker he wondered what would happen. He and Isaac never hung out, so maybe nothing would change. There was also the chance that Isaac thought he was the creepiest person in the world and switched both his locker and chemistry class to make sure Stiles didn't bother him ever again. Stiles tried to prepare himself, but couldn't have prepared himself for what actually happened.
He didn't think any amount of prep would have made him ready for the note he found in his locker.
You have no idea what getting all of those letters meant to me. I had no idea what it felt like to have someone care. I always thought I was worthless and unlovable. Thank you for making me feel special, please don't stop.
Stiles couldn't believe it. Isaac had written him a message. Isaac didn't think he was a creep. Isaac wanted him to keep writing!
Isaac was nervous. He hoped he had done the right thing. As Isaac made his way into chemistry his eyes searched the room for Stiles. He found the other boy sitting at the same table he usually had to himself. Stiles was fidgeting and seemed to get more and more nervous the closer Isaac got. Isaac flashed him his best smile ad he sat down next to him. Stiles smiled right back and slid Isaac a folded piece of paper. Isaac opened it.
You are far from worthless and I have no idea how anyone couldn't love you. I don't even know you that well yet. I hope we can work on that. I've had this ache to learn everything I can about you since I first saw you.
That was definitely something no one had ever said to Isaac. It made Isaac feel all warm inside and by the end of class he had his own message for Stiles.
When the bell rang Isaac slid some paper over to Stiles before leaving. Stiles smiled as he read it.
It's hard for me to talk about myself, but for you I think I could try. I'd love to learn more about the boy who had me falling for him with the sweet messages he left me.
Stiles could get used to this. Actually communicating with Isaac was so much better than one sided admiration. It was also nice to just give Isaac notes instead of sneaking them into his locker. By lunch Stiles had another message for Isaac. He made himself comfortable at Isaac's usual table and waited to deliver his message.
For the next few weeks Isaac found himself sitting next to Stiles whenever possible and passing notes. He found out lots of things about Stiles like the fact that he was part of an online gaming community, their shared interest in comic books, and the fact that Stiles was getting perfect grades in all his classes except chemistry. He swore it was because Harris had it out for him, not because he was bad at it. He in turn told Stiles about his foster parents, but not why he was staying with them. He wasn't ready to talk about that.
Eventually the moved on from just passing notes to texting all the time. He smiled every time Stiles name flashed across his phone. His foster mom noticed and started asking about his new friend. She smiled knowingly as he prattled on about Stiles.
“He sounds like such a sweet boy,” she told him. “You should invite him to dinner.”
Isaac to Stiles
You should come over for dinner on Friday
Stiles was working on his homework when he got the message. He felt his heart skip a beat, before he was running through the house looking for his dad. When he found him Stiles shoved his phone in his face. The sheriff took it and read the message.
“You want to go?” he asked. Stiles nodded his head so fast that almost gave himself whiplash. “I'm surprised you asked.”
Stiles answered with a series of moves he hoped conveyed disbelief and frustration. The sheriff just chuckled.
“You can go, but only if he comes over Saturday,” the sheriff said. Stiles answered with a whine. The sheriff answered with, “I deserved to meet the boy that stole my son's heart.”
Stiles felt like dying of embarrassment as he ran back to his room. He shot off his answer to Isaac.
Stiles to Isaac
I'd really like that
My dad wants to meet you, want to come over on Saturday?
Dinner had gone better than expected. Sure the whole Stiles doesn't talk thing made answering questions awkward, but for the most part it went well. Isaac's foster parents seemed to really like Stiles and for the first time ever they didn't look at Isaac like he would break. It was nice to look them in the eyes and not feel any sort of shame or self-loathing. It was in that moment Isaac decided that Stiles was the best thing to ever happen to him.
After dinner Isaac took stiles up to his room. The plan had been to watch movies, but Isaac was hit with a wave of nerves when he remembered what was happening tomorrow. He wasn't sure he was ready to meet Stiles' dad. He bit his lip and started to incessantly tap his finger against his leg. Stiles gave him a look that asked what was wrong.
“I'm afraid of your dad,” Isaac said. Stiles gave him a questioning look. “He's gonna hate me.”
Stiles shook his head and took his phone out of his pocket.
No he won't, he typed for Isaac.
“Of course he will,” Isaac said working himself into a panic. “He'll take one look at me and know. He'll know and he'll hate me.”
Know what? Isaac bit his lip so hard he tasted blood.
“He'll know about my dad,” Isaac whispered. He suddenly found the old soda stain in his carpet fascinating. Stiles shook his shoulder and showed him the message on his phone.
What about your dad? Isaac felt like crying. He wasn't sure what to do. Finally, in a small and lost voice Isaac said,
“He beat me.” In an instant Stiles was in front of him hands on Isaac's shoulders a look on his face that demanded answers. Isaac struggled to keep it together, but it was getting harder. It was even harder to find the words he needed. It took a while but Isaac did it. He told Stiles about his life before Beacon Hills.
He told him about the beatings his father used to give him. He told him about the freezer his father used to lock him in. He told him about the night he knew his father wasn't going to stop. He talked about waking up in the hospital because one of his neighbors had finally called the cops. Isaac was sure he cried, Stiles just held him.
Stiles understood now why Isaac had thought he was worthless and it broke his heart. He couldn't believe a father would do that to their son, especially not one as sweet as Isaac. If the man wasn't already in prison Stiles would kill him. Twice. And it would hurt more the second time. Stiles gave himself a mental kick, this was not what Isaac needed right now. What Isaac needed right now was for Stiles to be there for him. He held on to Isaac even tighter and ran a hand through his hair. It really was softer than it looked. Stiles could get used to this, of course it would be better if Isaac just wanted to cuddle.
He wanted to tell Isaac how special he was. He wanted to tell Isaac that he would fix it. He was going to prove that Isaac was none of those things his father had said. More than anything he wanted to tell Isaac he loved him. God, that thought made Stiles want to give himself a smack. He and Isaac had done little more than sit next to each other and now he was thinking of professing his undying love to the boy. Isaac had enough problems without Stiles throwing himself at him.
After awhile Stiles heard Isaac mumble a thank you into his shirt. Stiles tightened his grip on Isaac hoping that could convey even a little of what he wanted to say. There was so much he wanted to say to Isaac, it hurt that he couldn't make any of it come out. Stiles smiled as he bid goodbye to Isaac that night, but inside he felt like his heart was breaking. He did his best to hide it from his father and assure him that Isaac would still be coming for dinner.
To say stiles was a nervous wreck the next day would have been an understatement. He wanted to make sure everything was perfect when Isaac came over. He cleaned every room in the house and dusted and vacuumed twice. He was seconds away from scrubbing the kitchen floor on his hands and knees when his dad made him sit and try to relax. Stiles couldn't stop moving. He kept tapping his foot, his fingers, and fiddling with everything within arms reach. Even his dad's threat of duct taping him to the chair couldn't make him stop.
“Relax,” the sheriff told him. “everything will be fine.”
Stiles groaned. How could his dad think everything would be alright? Last night Isaac had been a nervous wreck thinking his dad would find out about his past and keep him as far away from Stiles as possible. All Stiles wanted to do was prove to him that nothing like that would ever happen. He wanted to prove to Isaac that he was important. He wanted to show Isaac how important he was to him.
The sheriff took charge of making dinner, claiming that Stiles was too nervous to be any good in the kitchen. Stiles sat at the table and continued to worry. It only got worse when he heard the doorbell ring. He jumped so high he almost hit the ceiling. By the time he calmed down his dad was already ushering Isaac into the house. Stiles didn't relax until Isaac smiled at him.
Dinner went better than Stiles had expected. Isaac seemed nervous, but seemed to actually enjoy talking with his dad. Stiles was sure that this would help Isaac, maybe he'd invite him over for dinner more often. As the night came to a close Stiles was both the happiest he'd been in awhile and the saddest. Everything had gone right and he was sad to see it end. With great reluctance Stiles walked Isaac to the door.
Isaac said goodbye and slipped a piece of paper into Stiles' hand.
I don't think I'll ever be able to thank you for all you've done for me. Last night meant a lot to me. I'd been so afraid of what would happen if you found out. You've made me the happiest I've ever been. So, thank you and...
I LOVE YOU.
“Isaac!” Stiles yelled rushing out the door. He had to catch Isaac before he left, he absolutely had to. “Isaac wait!”
Isaac stopped and stared in what must have been surprise. Stiles couldn't blame him, he could barely believe what he'd just done. Stiles decided to ignore this for now in favor of throwing his arms around Isaac's neck.
“I love you,” Stiles told him tightening his grip on Isaac as if the other might disappear. He felt a brief rush of terror when he felt Isaac pull him away. It disappeared the instant Isaac's lips met his.