During his move to Washington, DC, Stiles made a number of realizations about life, the most prominent of which was that it was amazing what kind of hobbies a guy could pick up when his days weren’t packed full of running for his life from various supernatural horrors. Like trivia nights, for example. Stiles had a regular team and the entire bar groaned when they walked in because they knew they were about to get creamed.
Or the tabletop gaming club he joined, where everyone was just as competitive as he was, and punches had been thrown on more than one occasion.
Or like, Stiles jogged now.
Through the National Mall.
Like Captain America or some shit.
And with these hobbies came a sort of routine, and though most were on hold during the summer when his trivia team and gaming rivals were back home, the running stuck. It was calming and got his mind off things, gave him a chance to think about any papers he had to write, or de-stress about his FBI internship when it got a little hectic.
It was a good routine.
So every Saturday morning, Stiles got up a little earlier so he could get in his longer route, and left his dorm for his jog through the National Mall. On Saturdays, he took the path that went through the war memorials, down into West Potomac Park, and over to the Jefferson Memorial. It was his favorite place to take a breather because that early in the morning, there were rarely any tourists, and other joggers left him alone. It was nice and private, with a great view of the city across the water.
Stiles leaned back against the front steps and glanced around him casually, making sure there was no one too close before pulling out his little burner flip phone.
He had an old school drug dealer flip phone. His dad would be so proud.
There was only one number the phone ever called, so there was no need to save it under a name.
He waited for a few minutes, biding his time until the clock hit 7:15am, and then he called that number.
On the third ring, Derek picked up.
“Morning, sunshine!” Stiles greeted, already wide awake from his jog. Derek grunted back. He must’ve had a late night at the bar. “Any leads?”
Derek yawned loudly. “Still no werewolves with triskele tattoos, still wanted for murder.”
Christopher Robert Evans is dangerous okay, he’s a dangerous man, because look at him, he’s annoyingly handsome, he’s built like a firefighter, he’s capable of growing a truly magnificent beard - he’s intimidatingly good looking. But he also is 35 years old and organises game nights with his friends bc he genuinely loves game nights, he gets so overwhelmed talking about his sports hero that he knocks over glasses of water, he’s smart and woke as hell and constantly educating himself on issues, he says things like “anything can be romantic, a nice sunset, y'know”, his dog shares a pillow with him and they wake up face to face,,,,like Chris Evans is dangerous bc I don’t think there’s anyone else quite like him out there but I don’t want to settle down with anyone unless they approach life the way Chris does
Anaheim Ducks: You turn on a Ducks game. The screen is white. It must be Ryan Getzlaf’s bald head, you think. You’re probably right.
Arizona Coyotes: You accidentally call them the Phoenix Coyotes. No one corrects you. You’ve never encountered someone with them as their favorite team.
Boston Bruins: Chara checks someone into the boards. That someone disappears into thin air. You wonder if they keep a list of people Chara has made disappear like that.
Buffalo Sabres: You constantly forget about their existence. Would they be more relevant if they had won the draft lottery and had gotten McDavid, you think sometimes. You forget about them again.
Calgary Flames: A Flames game gets interrupted. Someone yells that there’s a child on the ice. It turns out to be Johnny Gaudreau. Gaudreau eats a Snickers on the bench, and scores.
Carolina Hurricanes: The Canes are down 6-0. Jeff Skinner smiles at a ref. The Canes are up 6-0.
Chicago Blackhawks: Chelsea Dagger starts playing in the distance. Oh no. You start running. The music gets louder. Someone yells: “3 cups in 6 years”. You’re crying. You can’t hide.
Colorado Avalanche: Someone on their roster scores. You must be dreaming. They get a win. This can’t be real, you think. The world must be ending.
Columbus Blue Jackets: You blankly stare at the TV. You’ve lost count of how many times you’ve heard the cannon by now. You stopped counting after 10. Your team still hasn’t scored.
Dallas Stars: There’s a fan crying. “Our goalie situation is shit,” they sob. Another fan rubs their back. “At least Tyler Seguin is still hot,” they say. You roll your eyes.
Detroit Red Wings: You hear someone cursing Dylan Larkin. “Why can’t he score,” you hear them say. Crying, they cuddle up to their Yzerman hugging pillow.
Edmonton Oilers: “McDavid sucks,” someone says. Ten Oilers fans and Milan Lucic appear from nowhere. “You suck,” Lucic says and punches them.
Florida Panthers: There’s a ceremony before the game. Jagr is turning 70. Jagr scores the OT winner.
Los Angeles Kings: You make eye contact with Anze Kopitar. He looks dead inside. You nod at each other. What is Kopitar losing fate in, you think. You still relate to him.
Minnesota Wild: The Wild has a 10 win streak. It ends in a 0-1 loss to an irrelevant team. They start a new 10 win streak.
Montreal Canadiens: Carey Price breaks all his limbs. Therrien doesn’t pull him. Shea Weber positions himself on the ice. Al Montoya tells Weber to take the shot while maintaining eye contact with Therrien. Weber shoots. They hire their rivals’ old coach. You wonder if god is real.
Nashville Predators: You meet a fan. They’re crying. “How are you?” you ask. They keep sobbing. You notice they’re wearing a Weber jersey. You understand.
New Jersey Devils: You watch a Devils game. You can’t remember the score after it. You’re only convinced that Adam Henrique is not real.
New York Islanders: John Tavares gives an interview. He’s more plain and boring than you remembered. You can’t stop watching though.
New York Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist stops the game to have a photoshoot. The play continues. He’s not in the net. He makes a save. You don’t understand.
Ottawa Senators: “Ottawa Senators,” someone says. You have to think for a while. You remember Erik Karlsson. That’s it.
Philadelphia Flyers: No one has seen Jakub Voracek’s face in five years. His beard and hair just keep growing. No one knows how to stop the growth.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Someone accidentally says “Crosby.” In a minute, there’s someone with a peach emoji. You hear the words Phil Kessel is a Stanley Cup Champion at least once a day.
San Jose Sharks: Someone on their roster scores four times. Joe Thornton is somewhere, stroking himself. Despite the lead, Martin Jones sits on the bench with dead eyes.
St. Louis Blues: Tarasenko scores. Tarasenko scores again. You wonder if anyone else ever scores for them.
Tampa Bay Lightning: No one has seen Steven Stamkos in years. People wish for his return. No one expect nothing though.
Toronto Maple Leafs: “Matthews is better than Laine,” someone says. You keep quiet. It doesn’t matter if you agree. You’ll get attacked either way.
Vancouver Canucks: Henrik and Daniel Sedin have assisted each other in every goal they’ve scored. You don’t believe they’re two different people until you see them in person. Even after that you’re doubtful.
Washington Capitals: Ovechkin is in his spot. Everyone sees him, no one defends him. He shoots, he scores. In the distance, someone says: “Crosby is better.”
Winnipeg Jets: “Laine is better than Matthews,” someone says. You keep quiet. It doesn’t matter if you agree. You’ll get attacked either way.
First year, first day back, James, decides to prank Snivellus. He does not tell anyone, but sneaks a dungbomb into his pocket for further perusal at lunch.
Sirius, of course, has had the exact same idea, but his prank involves a potion to make the drinker throw up.
Peter, meanwhile, has no intention of getting involved in anything, but he knows that James and Sirius are up to something. He catches them both, at separate times, trying to sneak in to dinner.
They (at separate times) implore him to say nothing, and he is therefore reeled into this mess of a plan (About which he is quite enthusiastic now).
Remus notes, dryly, that James and Sirius are up to something, but says nothing.
Under the Slytherin table at dinner, somehow James and Sirius end up, quite literally, bumping into each other.
James quickly detonates the dungbomb, and Sirius slips the potion into Snape’s drink. However, they are not very slick getting out from under the Slytherin table and Lucius (”That darn prefect!” Peter mumbles worriedly, as McGonagall glares at them later in her office)
She is about to give them detention when Remus shows up. “But professor, they were with me, studying,” he says innocently.
Later, the next week they execute two successful pranks.
James always plans the Invasion Strategy, Sirius always adds quirks to it, Remus always plans the Escape Strategy and Peter is always the lookout.
Afterwards, James points out weaknesses, Peter the strengths, Sirius the threats, and Remus the advantages.
Once, after Christmas, when they unsuccessfully try to to dump hard-boiled eggs on the Slytherin Common room, James, Sirius and Peter are given detention.
Remus finishes the prank and lands detention with them. (”One for all, all for one,” he says from a muggle book.)
That’s when they know that they are the best of friends.
Second Year, during the Welcome Feast, Dumbledore’s beard starts to grow and grow and grow. Over his head, it says “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your beard.”
In third year, after the prank involving numerous squirrels, McGonagall bursts out “I will not have you Maraudering around in my house!”
Third year, on Halloween, somehow the armor is turned into a giant spider and it rattles the school.Four boys sit at the Gryffindor table, with barely constrained laughter, calmly eating pudding.
Fourth year, they get pranked by Lily Evans and James is a goner.
Fifth year, Sirius admires the way Moony looks when planning a prank. Absolutely devious, he thinks. When Remus catches him staring st his long finger, Sirius look away quickly.
That year, Sirius gets distracted a total of seventy-two times in sixty-three pranks because he has been looking at Moony.
Yet, while James hates the swoop of the stomach when lily looks particular beautiful, hates the lost control over his reaction; Sirius embraces it, loses himself in it
Yet, sixth year, he takes pranks too far
Sixth year, in the annual prank war (a tradition started from first year) the Marauders lose for the first time to Lily and Sirius (who has jumped teams after the falling out with Remus)
Lily realizes James Potter is quite ingenious
Fed up with the silent treatment, Sirius challenges Remus to a duel
They cannot get caught: Gryffindor is running in the negatives
They decide to do it at night, but in order to not get caught, they have the same solution: no students out of bed.
In their pyjamas and bedclothes, they levitate their beds out at 2 a.m into the Great Hall
In the darkness, they do not realize that James and Peter have already levitated their beds because they are up to a prank
When they all collide in the Great Hall, they realize that their friendship is not as fragile and they try to prank Dumbledore’s office.
Once they’re caught, a livid McGonagall has to let them go: “Professor, we’re not out of bed!”
Seventh year, James is extra careful about getting caught. He stops his pranks
Lily Evans scolds him. “We need them now more than ever,” she says. She realizes she has fallen for his impeccable humor.
After Hogwarts, when they move into a giant apartment, the Marauders and Lily play daily pranks on each other
After Harry is born, the pranks lessen, and once they go into hiding, there are no more pranks
Peter Pettirgrew thinks that he is going to be the master of the joke. The one they never suspected. But he wonders why he does not feel like laughing.
As James falls, he begins to think of all the weaknesses, all the flaws and why it had gone wrong.
Sirius berates himself for not thinking of the threats, alone in an Azkaban cell.
Remus, standing alone at the funeral, wonders about the advantages. Sirius knows he isn’t the spy. James and Lily died together. Voldemort vanquished. A child who would never know his Uncle Moony, but who would help them. He thinks it is enough for the coming years.