the lap gallery

Pretty as a Picture

SWN Spring Fic Exchange gift for @dude-its-bcn-hlls

word count: 8,544

rating: General Audiences

warnings: none

additional tags: past Stiles Stilinski/Lydia Martin, background Allison Argent/Lydia Martin, alive!Laura Hale, photographer!stiles, Stiles Stilinski & Lydia Martin friendship, meet cute



For Stiles nothing compared to the beauty of California national parks. He had visited countless national parks across the continental United States, but he still loved what California had to offer the most.

Stiles was in the process of organising an exhibition of his photographs of California. He had some truly beautiful photos, but Stiles wasn’t satisfied. He wanted some really unique shots to be the centrepiece of the exhibition.

Spring was Stiles’ favourite time to photograph. He loved when everything was saturated with colour and life, when the wild flowers were in full bloom and everything was lush and green. Naturally the one day Stiles decided to go out, rain was coming down in a constant drizzle.

A little rain wasn’t enough to deter Stiles though, as long as he could keep his camera dry he didn’t care how wet he got.

The trail Stiles was following was an old riverbed. The river had been diverted by a massive landslide decades earlier, it still sometimes flooded, but there hadn’t been enough rain for that to happen. The loose sand of the riverbed shifted under his feet as Stiles twisted, attempting to find the perfect angle.

Stiles never planned what he was going to photograph. He liked to let the day flow naturally and let inspiration guide him. On the few occasions he had planned to photograph certain landmarks in parks, he hadn’t even made it to the right area in the park.

He took some amazing photos, but nothing stood out to him. Nature amazed him like it always did, but nothing he captured with his camera inspired him.

After an hour or so of walking Stiles decided to leave the riverbed. He wasn’t prepared for an off trail hike, but that had never stopped him before.

One of the things that Stiles loved about the national parks was that no matter how much time he spent hiking, there was always something new and interesting to see and photograph.

A huge redwood tree towered above Stiles. It was still standing, with green leaves growing on the branches, even though the base of the trunk was split open. Scorch marks radiated out from the tree’s wound.

Stiles lifted his camera and started snapping pictures.

The damage must have been caused by a lightning strike; Stiles was amazed that it hadn’t started a forest fire. The surrounding area didn’t have any damage to it at all. He also wondered how in the world the lightening had hit the base of the tree, instead of the top.

Stiles walked up to the base of the tree and ran his fingers across the black scorch marks. It wasn’t the tallest tree in the park by any means, but it managed to make Stiles feel smaller than any of the others.

Stiles got down on his knees to take a photo of the tree from a worms eye point of view. Maybe this was what he had been looking for. This huge tree that had survived something that would have killed almost anything else. He snapped a few photos, then stood up and moved back. He looked at the tree and considered how else he could showcase its true beauty.

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