Day 23: 3am and the fire alarm in our apartment complex just went off let me lend you my jacket while we wait on the sidewalk + stalia
A/N: Edited for tone moving forward.
Even If I Swim, I’ll Drown - Chapter 1
Malia was not a fan of the cold. She hated how it would seep through any cracks, the feeling like it was curling into her bones, turning her into an icicle slowly. Even on mildly chilly nights like this one, she shivered wishing so hard that she had the common sense to pick up a heavier sweatshirt.
She had been fast asleep when the deafening fire alarm went off in her studio apartment at three o’clock in the morning, scaring the shit out of her. What kind of person was awake at this late hour, and what did they do to set off the alarm?
That was how Malia found herself was outside in her pyjamas and bunny slippers. She had slipped into the first thing when she panicked, before taking the stairs to the ground floor. Now they were probably dirtied by the pavement, and she would have to wash them. The night was looking better and better.
“Probably some drunk that got the munchies after a long night,” a voice muttered beside her.
Malia turned to look at the guy in the leather jacket standing beside her, positive that she hadn’t said anything out loud.
He had his head tilted up, like he was trying to figure out which floor was the source of the disturbance. She noticed that he didn’t look as haggard as the rest of the residents, and in fact looked like he just arrived.
She on the other hand had been cocooned in her warm bed, dreaming about running through the woods. It had been a lovely dream but the angle seemed off. Like she was closer to the ground than she ought to be… The dream had been slightly disorienting, but then again when did her dreams ever make sense?
“Wonderful,” Malia responded out loud also looking up. “I wish he had scheduled his stupidity for another night though.”
“Weird dream, fitful sleep,” Malia rubbed her arms to get the circulation back again. Thinking about warm places did nothing for her. At least she was wearing her fleece pjs, so small graces.
“Here,” the guy said as he shrugged off his jacket and placed it over her shoulders. It was so unexpected, Malia simply blinked at him but accepted it all the same.
She instantly felt warmer as she slipped her arms into the too big sleeves, zipping it up quickly. The jacket had a warm lining, that easily protected her from the wind.
Malia was half expecting him to start chatting her up, now that she had given him an opening, but he surprised her when he stood quietly, hands in his pockets.
Not like most guys then.
Stiles checked out the girl in the bunny slippers subtly. Seeing them made him smile, but he didn’t dare let that image sway what type of personality she might have. She looked to be new; to the complex and to the area, which intrigued him. People rarely moved to this rundown neighbourhood by choice. Must be in the foster care system.
He had strict orders not to befriend people from the building; you never knew who their friends might be. But surely there wasn’t a rule against chivalry right? He would just get the jacket back when they could go back in again. No one had to know.
Plus she looked really good in leather. Finding it hard to keep the thought to himself, he turned towards her completely, “You should get one. It looks good on you.”
Malia turned to him confused and then realized he was talking about the jacket. “From what I’ve seen, leather makes everyone look hot,” She paused and then continued, “not that I was implying that I’m hot. Or that you were while you were wearing it.”
Stiles hid a smile as he nodded, “Noted.” Just then they heard the fire truck turning into their complex and moved to the opposite sidewalk as directed.
“Finally!” Malia muttered under her breath.
It took a couple minutes after to sort out the issue—night time cooking. He was right—and as soon as they were signalled that it was safe to go back in, Malia shot forward before Stiles could say anything.
As he watched her go, Stiles gritted his teeth. Now what was he going to say to Scott tomorrow when he came to school without his jacket? He didn’t even know what floor she lived on, and it wasn’t like the neighbours would be forthcoming about sharing information…
Malia reached her apartment when she realized that she still had the nice guy’s jacket on. She took it off quickly trying to decide how she would go about returning it—considering she didn’t even know where he lived—when she spotted the emblem on the side of the right sleeve.
It felt as if someone threw a bucket of cold water over her, as she stared at the simple design of a yellow circle within a larger, thicker red circle. Rooted to the spot, she remembered one of the first things she was told when she moved here. It had seemed so simple back then, Malia thought she would have no trouble adhering to it.
When was she going to catch a break?
Not only had she worn the jacket, but also talked to a member of the notorious gang known as the Beacon Wolves. The same gang she had been warned to not get mixed up in. Frantically, she checked the pockets for ID hoping he was of a lower rank. Not that it would make things better, but still.
Being bounced around enough times in the system, Malia knew a thing or two about gangs and very quickly learned about territories and gang wars. Enough to know it was safe to be clear of them. Safe when you didn’t get involved with them. That was the rule.
Tracy had told her some of it like names, ranks, and gang turfs just to get a better idea on how to stay out of harm’s way. Talking to one of them was just…
“Please, please be of a lower rank,” she said as she felt around the pocket. Pulling out the wallet, she flipped it open and stared at the student card with the familiar colours of the high school she had just enrolled in that year.
Her hands shook as she read the name over and over, as though she was hoping if she stared hard enough, that it would change. From what she had heard, he was far from nice, definitely not a gentleman, and one hundred percent trouble.
She was so beyond screwed.
A/N: Hullo Lovelies! Who knew accepting a kind gesture from a stranger could go so horribly wrong? :D I
actually would love to am continuing this story. I have no idea how my prompt morphed into this…like it has so much potential, and literally begging to be written. Hope you enjoyed the read! Much love~ Nenz