Final Girl (Part 7)
Final Girl Series Masterlist (currently updated chapters 1 - 7)
a/n me basically throwing the scream timeline out the window so i can have all the cute little scenes i want, let’s just pretend september/october are LONG months lol, also sorry this took so long!!
the demon known as finals season is officially here so i’m going to be slower 😭 but...after it ends i will have a little over a month to myself! and it’ll be christmas time !
Series Summary: Y/n can’t believe that she has to leave the only home she’s ever known just because her mom’s latest boyfriend has a house in some town in California. Just as she’s starting to think that Woodsboro might not be that bad, something life altering happens after she agrees to sleep over at Becker’s house. Now her name is practically synonymous with Ghostface’s.
Chapter Summary: Stu decides to dedicate some time to getting back into Y/n’s good graces. Or, when Stu finally learns that there’s a reason Y/n doesn’t have her driver’s license and Y/n realizes that there’s no point in resisting that little bubble Stu’s always pulling her towards.
The textbook flops awkwardly against my forearm as I let one side go in order to extend my arm. I pick up an apple from the bowl on the kitchen island and move to turn instinctually.
I move the apple towards my mouth, never once looking away from my history book until a quick tug yanks the book forward. I scramble, squeezing the hard cover instinctually.
My head snaps up and I see my mom, one hand on her hip and the other on my book. “Mom!”
“Come up for air,” her voice is scolding, “Your face has been glued in that textbook for days.”
“It’s not healthy.” The voice is surprising enough for me to let go of the book. My arm falls to my side and my mom just barely grabs it in time. I blink, turning to see the last person I’d expect to see in my kitchen.
It’s Stu. I’m mad at him, some rational part of my mind knows better than to forgive him when he hasn’t so much as apologized. When he’s been off sulking and switching up between different levels of mean to overly, practically violent levels of affection, like everything’s all good and I’m a bitch for prolonging a stupid fight. And now he’s in my kitchen, standing near my mom like this is the most natural place for him to be.
I squeeze the apple between my hands. “What are you--why are you--”
“He’s checking in on you because you’re worrying your friends.” Oh. My. God. My lips part but I have nothing to say, not with that what? this is totally innocent look he’s giving me. His eyes wide and soft. “They’ve barely seen you.”
A tiny pinch of guilt settles in my chest, because while I might not currently be at my most social, there is someone that’s seen a lot of me. Billy. I don’t know if it’s because of what happened with the phone call or something else, but Billy’s been around a lot more. It feels like he understands better than others because he’s seen it.
He also has a habit of coming in through my window and spending the night to avoid his dad. At least, that’s why I think he comes. He’s only ever hinted at it in a way that makes it clear he doesn’t want to elaborate, so I don’t ask. It doesn’t bother me to have him come and go as he pleases. I wasn’t wrong when I said he was like a cat.
“Yeah, you haven’t been around,” Stu begins, “Makes me think about who you’re spending all your time with.”
Stu’s expression barely shifts, just the slight raise of his eyebrows. There’s no way he doesn’t know that Billy’s been around. “Just school stuff.”
“Really? All that time--”
“Some of us actually need to study.” God, I know Stu and I aren’t in the best place, but is he really trying to tell my mom on me? There’s a knowing glimmer behind his eye that makes me want to squirm. “So you’re here to check up on me?”
My mom lets out a sigh and shoots me a look. “Be nice.”
Stu’s smugness feels physical. He’s holding what he knows over my head, enjoying being a ticking time bomb. “Oh, she’s always nice.” His expression soften slightly, a silent cease fire.
I can finally breath again. “Thank you.” Then I remember my mom’s in the kitchen so I tack on, “For checking in, but I’m fine, just behind.”
At that, my mom places the text book on the kitchen table. “You’re young, you should go out every once in awhile, see your friends, eat an actual meal...” When all I do is give her a sarcastic look, my mom goes for the kill shot, “Practice for that upcoming driver’s test.”
Okay, she has a point. Driving practice is something that we’ve both put off. Me, because I hate feeling like I’m endangering lives, and my mom because she hates having her life endangered. “You don’t want to do that anymore than I do.”
“You need to practice because if you fail another one, you’re going to have to wait six months.”
Six months of not touching a car doesn’t sound terrible. I mean, it’s pretty embarrassing, but it also feels like a sacrifice I’m making for public safety. “Six more months of not getting arrested for vehicular manslaughter doesn’t sound like a loss.”
“Something little miss perfect isn’t good at?” Stu’s grin in his voice is loud and he’s clearly fighting the urge to laugh.
“It’s not,” I sigh, turning the apple over in my hand, “It’s not that bad.”
My mom raises an eyebrow, “Well--”
“You can’t park,” she sighs defensively, “You knocked over the recycling can last time and kept going.”
“Because I thought it was the curb, it’s not a big deal to hit the curb.”
Stu laughs, the sound loud and so amused I have to glare. “Oh, I need to get you out on the road.”
My mom places a hand on her hip, “Nice.”
I sigh, wondering why I even came out of my room in the first place. That was me being nice. “What’s nicer than sparing someone from a potential car accident?”
“I’ll risk it,” Stu hums a little too happily, ignoring my glare. “Passed my driver’s test the first time.” Yeah, wouldn’t be surprised if that’s because his family’s loaded and because they knew leaving him alone would get a lot easier if he could drive himself places. “An hour with me, and you’ll be good to go.”
“I have to st--”
“Do you know how embarrassing it’ll be to be the only Princeton student that can’t drive?”
It’s a fair point, which means I’ll have to fight my mom’s logic with mom logic. “You’re not seriously trying to get Stu to take me driving right now.” Please remember he’s a boy; please remember your hatred of boys.
She raises an eyebrow at me and then at him, likely doing that weird calculation thing of hers. “He offered.”
Oh this is a total con. I don’t know how or what I missed while he was here and I was upstairs, but it must have been something if this is what’s happening. The feeling that I’m being played in some way I don’t really get sneaks up on me. I eye Stu skeptically, who has yet to drop his I’ve done nothing wrong expression.
“He was joking,” my words are not-so-subtly pointed, an attempt to force Stu to take the out.
The more I grind my heels into the sand, the more Stu will want it. “I’m never joking when it comes to you.”
“I think it’d be good for you--get some air, time away from those textbooks.”
How has his blatant flirting not scared my mom off yet? Maybe I can convince her that he broke up with Tatum so that she’ll shut this down. “You want to send me off with some guy you’ve barely spoken to?”
Stu lets out an indignant noise. “Are you saying I might have bad intentions?”
The inflection of his voice is so comical and him that a sense of longing rises in my chest with no warning. Despite my best efforts, I miss him. Fighting against an instinctual smile, I bite my tongue. Something about the way Stu’s gaze lingers makes me feel like he knows.
“Pumpkin, I mean this with all the love in the world, but I cannot think of a bigger mood killer than you being behind the wheel of a car.”
She ignores my outrage, “And he’s one of your best friends, you say it all the time.”
Oh my god. I don’t have to turn my head to feel Stu’s grin. Ugh, I hate that it’s true and I hate that now Stu knows it. “Fine. Give me five minutes to change.”
Content to have gotten her way, my mom turns, “Be safe.” Sure, now she cares about safety. “And have fun, I need to run, I’m meeting Wells for lunch.”
Stu doesn’t give me a chance to say anything, because the second my mom’s out of the room, he moves around the kitchen island to stand next to me. Close enough that I can practically feel the warmth of his skin radiating from him. I hold my ground, tilting my chin up enough to look him in the eye. He at least owes me an explanation for all of this.
He smiles, briefly flashing his teeth. “You talk to your mom about me?”
The words come out too excited for me to dismiss them as just conceited. Too happy for me to dismiss his giddiness by telling him that it’s not a big deal. “Shut up.” I duck my head down slightly as he grins. Out the corner of my vision, I see him shift. For a second I think he might move to grab me and pull me into one of those hugs that are a lot nicer than I’d ever admit. “I need to go get changed since I’m being kidnapped.”
Choosing to only hear what he wants, because he’s Stu, he replies without hesitation, “Getting all pretty for me?”
I roll my eyes, vaguely flipping him off over my shoulder before walking up the stairs. The distance is welcome. When Stu’s right there, it’s easy to forget things and just go along with his mood, but this is not okay. I stop talking to him because he wanted space, so he just decides to ambush me? And how long was he in the kitchen chatting with my mom? Oh. My. God. What did he say to her?
Okay, okay--probably nothing too bad. She told me to leave with him. She wouldn’t have done that if he said anything that bothered her.
With a sigh, I take off my sweatpants and sweatshirt and search the chaos that is my closet for an acceptable outfit. It’s getting chilly considering the time of year, colder than it would be in Texas but not deep fall yet. I find a pair of sheer tights bundled up between pairs of shorts. Then I pick out a skirt and long sleeved shirt that matches before pulling my hair out of its sad bun. I smooth it out and fix my appearance in record time.
Stu looks a little too pleased with himself when I finally walk down the stairs. There’s a smugness that adds to my irritation. I have a feeling he can sense my disapproval, because he pulls his arm as we reach my front door. He squeezes me into his side, I roll my eyes. The amount of comfort the hint of something normal brings me is so shocking I can’t bring myself to squirm out of his grasp.
Eyes narrowing, grip on the steering wheel tightening, I prepare to face my enemy. A tight squeezed three point turn.
“You’re overthinking it.”
“Just like you under thought the red light.”
“It was yellow when I saw it.” I turn my head enough to face him, “It changed color deceptively fast.” Stu draws his eyebrows together, smiling in an oddly soft way. “What?”
My dumbfounded tone makes his smile broaden. “You’ve gotta be right about everything, don’t’cha, angel?”
I’m not sure if it’s his words or the deliberate amount of focus he’s using, but heat rushes to my face. “No, I just--I am.” Dropping my gaze, I tact on an awkward, “Usually.” Shifting in my seat, I refocus on the parking spot. “You sure you want me to park here?”
“It’s easy.” More like easy for him to say. When I don’t ease, Stu extends his arm, placing a hand over mine. His hand is large enough to cover mine, his fingertips long enough to splay across the back of my palm and steering wheel. He’s always so warm. “You just need to open up. Take your time turning.”
I nod, taking a deep breath as Stu scoots back in his seat to give me some mobility. Last time he tried holding my hand through it, but I think he’s starting to see how much of a disaster I am. This is around our fifth attempt. Earlier, I got his car stuck at a weird angle between a mail collection box and someone’s truck.
With a deep breath, I put the car into reverse. I look through the back window, cringing when the curb comes a little too close. My foot hits the break, shifting the car back into drive. I inch it forward, stop, and put it back in reverse. I hit the gas a little too fast, making it a bumpy transition, but I haven’t hit anything yet. With one last turn, the car is put in the right direction. It’s a lot further than I’ve gotten before. I straighten out the wheels, minding the back of the truck as I drive forward, and--
Oh my god! Stu cheers, I can barely get the car into park before Stu places a hand on the side of my head, pulling me towards him with no warning and placing an overenthusiastic, partially open mouthed kiss against my temple. It’s pushy and honestly a little damp, but I’m too excited to mind. Can’t have him getting too comfortable, though, so I shrug him off a little in order to high five him. His hand lingers, squeezing my hand.
“I did it!”
“Because of your talented, amazing, hot teacher who--”
There’s that touch of over confidence bordering on narcissism that’s been missing. “What was that last o--”
He turns my wrist over, striking the back of my wrist with his pointer finger. A literal slap on the wrist. “Interrupting’s rude, princess.” Stu ignores the pointed look I send in his direction. “As I was saying,” he over emphasizes each syllable, “You should appreciate me, and I can think of a few ways for you to express your gratitude.”
I should have seen that coming. I pull my hand towards my lap, my eyes settling there as well. “Your thoughts are the closest you’re getting.” I don’t realize what I’ve said until the muttered half thought is out. Great, now I’m going to get even more of this.
Stu drops his head back, a hand flying to his chest. “You wound me.” His other hand finds itself settling right above my knee. “And for no reason.” His fingertips are pressing into my skin with just enough pressure to steal all my attention.
The heat of his touch bleeds through the thin layer of my tights. My body tenses. “Knock it off, I still need to drive on a highway.”
“Why?” The excitement in his voice gives away exactly where he’s going. “Distracted?”
I shove his arm away with a sound that’s equal parts real laugh and awkward giggle. “The only thing I’m distracted by is the driver’s test I have in two days.”
Stu pouts, sinking into the passenger seat, “Boring.”
Taking the car out of park, I mock his tone, “Driving.”
There’s something about the smell of books that’s comforting. Which why the bookstore might be my happy place. Which is why we should not be here. It’s basically impossible to be mad here.
A fact Stu definitely knows considering the way he’s casually following me around, holding an ever growing pile of books with no complaint. This was the trap all along.
“I know what you’re doing.”
Stu hums once in pretend thought. “What? Spending time with you?”
An instinctual ‘why, was Tatum busy’ almost slips past me. “It’s not working, I’m still mad at you.” I pick up another book, turning it to skim the summary on the back before placing it on the stack Stu’s carrying. “You can’t just barge into my house, use my mom to arrange whatever this is--”
He huffs, half stepping in front of me. “You don’t complain when it’s Billy.”
That is completely different. First of all, it’s much less of an ambush considering that Billy has never once involved my mom or stopped me from studying. Second, Billy also never said anything about me being around too much.
I pause, tilting my head to look Stu in the eye and tell him all of that. He’s already looking at me with wide, attentive eyes that are distinct in a way that makes me still. Analytical in a way that’s unnerving. “You--you asked for space.” Feeling antsy, I scratch the back of my wrist as I try to keep myself from saying anything stupid. “And you were mean.”
Wow. So much for holding it together. He angles his head to the side, regarding me cautiously. “It-it wasn’t about you.” The admission is practically pried from him. “There’s a lot going on right now, but I shouldn’t have hurt your feelings.” It’s not exactly the perfect apology, but there’s a surprising amount of vulnerability there. “Don’t you miss us?” Totally not a fair thing to ask, but Stu can definitely tell that I’m easing, “C’mon, let me make it all right. I’ll get you all the books you want.”
I do, but that’s not a fair angle. Crossing my arms in front of my chest, I sigh. “I...I can’t be bought.”
Maybe it’s my hesitation or the way my eyebrows raise instinctually or something about how fake my words sound, but Stu smiles, bouncing on the balls of his feet so quickly he nearly drops my pile. “We haven’t gotten to the hardcover books yet.”
Damn him. I roll my eyes as I drop my arms. There is no way I’m making a big show of dropping this, but I don’t exactly have enough fight left in me to prolong this. “Hardcover? Your arms are going to get tired.”
The pile isn’t comically large, barely coming up Stu’s torso, but it still sways when he moves a hand away from the center. He flexes his bicep. “With these guns? No way, baby. Do your worst.”
And so I do. We walk through the aisles together, giggling at any title that Stu can turn into a joke so dumb it circles right back around to funny. He’s patient, letting me debate between different books, and sometimes even giving me actual opinions outside of just get them both. He listens when I read the backs of books and sometimes excerpts from the first page or two.
He’s a good sport about the whole thing, only poking fun at my excitement in lighthearted ways and never really complaining until we’ve been there long enough to justify the hunger he starts talking about. I never did eat that apple and it is kind of close to a late lunch time.
“You know I’m not actually making you buy all those books.”
“I’m a man of my word, angel.” He hums, almost offended that I’d even imply he’d lie in a joking context. “Can’t have you making me a liar.” Stu sets down the pile in front of the cashier.
The thought of someone spending money on me in any capacity isn’t something I’ve always been comfortable with. I eye him, the hint of determination behind his eyes serious as he reaches for what I’d bet is a card backed by his parents. If Stu’s trying to make it up to me, I guess this is okay for a one time thing. “All I’m hearing is daddy’s money.”
I’m grinning despite the look of warning he gives me. “Don’t start.” Stu’s eyes narrow as he pinches my cheek too quickly for me to protest. “I’m being nice.”
He is. The realization that I like it, like him, like this hits hard and fast. “I like you nice.”
Stu seems to pause at that like he’s actively trying to take in my expression. It briefly feels like just another one of his analytical moments until I notice the soft, almost unaware smile ghosting at the corner of his lips. Maybe he is trying to absorb some aspect of this. “Like me enough for a lunch date?”
“If I fail my chem quiz on Wednesday, that’s on you.”
He shrugs, grinning a bit with the motion. “Flunk outta that whole school thing and I’d take you in. Make you a cute, little housewife, get you one of those aprons.”
I should I have seen that coming. “I’m sure Tatum would love that.”
“Tay’s fine, she passed chem.” His smug expression earns him a glare and a not-so-gentle elbow jab. “Ow.” Despite the definitely exaggerated sound of pain, Stu still looks happy, or at the very least amused by something I don’t get. “Feel like I’m with Billy.” He mumbles the comment under his breath instinctually. “Only he doesn’t hit me as hard.”
“It was not that hard.”
He makes a point of rubbing the side I elbowed. “If I’m bruised, will you kiss it better?”
Stu’s joking. I know that he’s joking, which means the way that heat rushes to my face is totally unnecessary. “You’re fine.”
-- Narrator’s POV --
The low dip of the collar of your shirt is a lot harder to not focus on now that you’re sitting directly in front of him. You’re too content to notice any drift of concentration, you just continue to take bites of your food in between topics of conversation.
It’s been silent for a few seconds longer than normal, and that cues Stu in to the fact that your attentive gaze is meant to be something more than cute. You’re waiting for some kind of response. He scrambles, snapping his gaze down towards his drink and then back up to you. What were you talking about?
At first it had been something about a book series that recently released its third part. Stu didn’t get much, but you were excited to talk about it. Sometimes the reminder that under your particular sense of humor and pretty face you’re kind of a dork is endearing. Then you two had talked about school, the middle of the year approaching and an upcoming unit exam in your mutual history class. And then lastly...a movie or two you wanted to see. Were you still talking about that?
“What’d you say?”
You blink, only slightly confused as to why it took him so long to admit he didn’t hear you. “Just that I haven’t seen the new Amityville Horror movie yet and that I’m still on the fence because of the last one.”
“It was okay. A little slow.” You nod at his reply absentmindedly, turning the straw in your cup in an attempt to push past cubes of ice to get to bit of liquid left at the very bottom of the cup. “Like most of the series, so I guess you’d like it.”
The comment is equal parts honest as it is an excuse to get your lips to press together in that passive aggressive way. That paired with the way you raise your eyebrows in offense always makes him want to laugh. You’re upset enough to stop the shifting of your straw. “Are you saying I have bad taste?”
“You like the slower ones, the ones with a psychological angle. You don’t like the gory ones because you can’t stomach them.” You pout, reaching for your glass, tilting it in another attempt to get some more liquid out of a cup that’s just ice. “You’re a girl, it makes sense.”
“So now you’re saying I have bad taste in movies because I’m a girl?”
“All I’m saying is that good, bloody deaths is more of a guy thing. That’s why girls are never the killers.”
Your eyebrows pinch together as your fingers move that straw again. “There are girl killers.”
“Yeah, but they don’t give the good kinda cinematic kills, y’know.” You’re debating on pushing. Stu can tell because your pout morphs into something contemplative as you tilt your head. “Need a refill?”
It’s only somewhat of a deflection. Stu doesn’t mind conflict (clearly), but it’d be nice to get through the day while keeping the peace. Plus, this isn’t something worth truly arguing about, at least not after all the work he’s put into getting you to relax again. And you do need a refill because pushing against ice with your straw isn’t getting you anywhere.
You can tell that the abruptness of the question is likely a sign to drop it. It’s random enough to fit into category of Stu’s casual outbursts, so you don’t think he’s actually trying to force you to cave so you decide to go along with it. “Yeah.” You both look forward, noticing that even though the restaurant you two are at is pretty empty, no one’s coming towards the back section of booths you two are sitting in. “Might take a minute, but that’s okay.”
Stu absentmindedly pushes his cup towards you, too hyperaware of how alone the two of you are. You smile gratefully before innocently taking a sip. “Thanks.”
He nudges your foot with his own, gauging your reaction to the contact. You give him a somewhat questioning look but do nothing to break the contact. Stu takes a deep breath, forcing himself to not react too outwardly at your acceptance. Stu takes your lack of protest as permission to push his leg even closer against yours. He leans forward, supporting himself on his forearms in a way that makes the sleeve of his shirt ride up enough to expose some of his forearm. “Anything for you, babe.”
You roll your eyes, but all Stu can focus on is the way the corner of your mouth pulls upwards. There’s a sarcastic retort coming, Stu can feel it. Your lips part just as your gaze hones in on something that makes your eyes widen. “What happened?”
Awkward nerves spike through Stu briefly. The last time this much genuine, gentle concern was so openly displayed towards him was when you were at the hospital. Despite a concussion, the meds coursing through you, and enough trauma to constitute a final girl origin story, you still noticed the bruise on his face. A mark caused by you and the phone you threw at him in Casey’s house, but you didn’t know that, and the way you watched him. Your worry was so innocently domestic he almost couldn’t look at you.
And now you’re regarding him in that same way, staring at a nearly healed mark that’ll likely take time to fade. A jagged line that cuts across the side of his palm and into the start of the back of his hand. Stu doesn’t remember cutting himself while dragging you away from the shattered glass. Instead, all that comes to mind is a vague pulse of pain drowned out by the panic he felt after realizing that you weren’t waking up.
“Broke a glass.” He hopes the casualness of the lie compensates for his vagueness.
You frown, taking his hand without asking and forcing him to keep his palm exposed at an angle that makes his arm feel stiff. “Did it hurt?”
Stu’s glad your eyes are on his hand because now he doesn’t have to worry about hiding his smile. Your question came out so instinctually, so caring. Like the most important thing right now is if he was in pain.
“Nah,” he breathes, “I was--” He pauses briefly, because it’s not like he can say that he was distracted by the fact that he might have given you brain damage or worse. “High. That’s why I cut myself. I was too high to think through picking up the glass.” Looking up, you tilt your head to the side, almost smiling. “Are you making fun of me?”
“I’d never.” You’re amused now that you know everything’s okay. “Wanna know something kinda cool?” With the way you’re watching him, waiting for an answer, Stu decides that you could say anything and he’d agree that it was the coolest thing ever, even if it’s just a lead up to another book rant. “Okay, well not cool cool, honestly, a little morbid, but in a cool-ish way.”
Now actually curious, Stu nods, “Hit me.”
You let go of his hand in favor of holding up your palm. He doesn’t get it until you tap the pointer finger of your opposite hand against a deep pink line that traces up the skin at an angle. It’s only a little thicker than your natural palm lines. “If I angle my hand like this,” you lay your fingers over his, taking a second to adjust the way your hand’s sitting, “They look alike.”
It’s true, or at least, true enough. When you tilt your hand like that (and ignore that Stu’s cut crosses over to the back of his palm), the lines are practically identical. You’re smiling, like this is a sign, an indication that your kind of hurt could ever align with his.
Stu hadn’t thought much about it before. It’s not like the scar is on his face or anywhere significant to his appearance. But now that you’ve brought it up like this, Stu thinks about maybe taking a knife to the cut again, guaranteeing that it’ll become something permanent.
“Okay, cool might’ve been a little much, but--”
“No, no,” Stu finally settles on, “It is cool, like a sign or something.”
Your eyebrows draw together for less than a second as you deduce exactly what kind of sign he’s talking about. Stu can tell the exact moment you piece it together because you press your lips together, al most glaring as you take your hand back. Your leg shifts, tapping your foot against his ankle in an attempted scolding. “Shut up.”
Already feeling like he knows the answer, Stu asks, “How’d you get that one?”
Your fingers curl forward even though your palm is already facing away from him, a sign of insecurity he doesn’t get. “Y’know.” There’s a pause as you stare at nothing in particular. “At Casey’s.”
The hollowness of your voice strikes him in an unexpected way. Yeah, what happened must have scared you and the phone call probably didn’t help, but there’s such a sensitivity around Casey.
Stu’s rational enough that he can get that it was traumatic, but it’s not like Casey was some lifelong friend. She wasn’t even your best friend. That’s been him and Billy since you got there.
He tries not to focus on it, but it’s too easy to let that grade school mentality take over. That overwhelming mine. The only thing that even comes close to rivaling that is the ugly tinge of worry colored in an ugly shade of guilt that comes up whenever he thinks of the way that you looked in the hospital.
It gets under his skin a little, thinking about what it felt like to hurt you. The rush of the moment was unmatched, adrenaline from the kill and your unexpected protests mixing together. And there was a moment, when you were lying there, that Stu liked in a way he can’t put into words. Exciting in a different way. But then he noticed that you weren’t waking up, and blood was puddling around your face, and then he found out about your concussion.
Stu rarely seriously considers the possibility that something about the way he’s wired is wrong. “You’re uh--” You’re watching with patient eyes as Stu vaguely gestures to his temple, “Okay with all that, right?”
Your chin tilts upwards as you briefly slip away. Billy had talked about potentially over traumatizing you. That’s why Stu had to drop the idea of you getting another ghostface call while alone with him so soon. When Billy mentioned it, it felt like all talk, but now with you getting like this...
It’s weird. The thought of pushing you to the cusp of your breaking point isn’t unappealing, but the thought of having you broken is another thing entirely. Being broken is permanent, being broken changes things.
“Concussion’s gone.” It’s a mumbled comment. You tap your nails against the table again. “But if you’re asking about the other stuff. I don’t know, I hate to admit this because Casey’s the real victim...” Stu nods, a tiny bit annoyed that this is somehow about Casey again. You’re so much better off without her. She was a bad girlfriend, she wouldn’t have been a good friend to you. She would have managed to get in between the two of you in the long run. “But I have good days and bad days and that’s part of the reason I’ve been home so much. It sounds stupid, but--”
“It doesn’t sound stupid.” This is a better topic. A safer one. You nod once, but your expression isn’t convinced and Stu doesn’t know how to dive in. “And this is about you way more than it is Casey. Casey’s dead and you’re not.” The bluntness nearly makes you flinch, something Stu only somewhat dislikes. He didn’t mean to be harsh, but you needed to hear it. “What’s today?”
The change is jarring enough to keep you from getting lost in your head again. “Today?”
“A good day or a bad day?”
Your expression turns, a smile tugging at the corner of your lips. After a second of thought, you settle on, “Good. Especially now.”
He beams. “Especially?” You nod, returning his enthusiasm with the single motion. Stu focuses his energy on gripping the edge of the plastic booth seat to keep himself from reaching over and pulling you towards him. He settles for nudging his foot against yours. “You want to get into the effect I have on you?”
“Your ego’s plenty healthy as is.”
“So it’d be good for my ego?”
At that, you freeze, the coy expression on your face slipping. The flash of nerves fuels Stu. “Why are we friends?” It’s a cop out sort of comeback, and you instantly pop a french fry into your mouth to avoid having to say anything else for a second.
-- Y/n’s POV --
I didn’t expect to be here tonight, but my mom was more than happy to keep me out of the house. According to her, I’ve been a little too much into the books lately, but that’s not my fault. I fell behind a little after the attack and my concussion, and I will not let some sociopath ruin my GPA...or my social life.
Just because I feel like me and everyone I care about is safer when I’m home and out of everyone’s business doesn’t mean I need to cower in my room constantly. Even though that’s been pretty good for some of my grades (and I’ve written out some points of what I’ve been through recently that’d make a pretty good college essay), but that’s not the point. I can’t let that bitch win.
So now I’m here, sitting in Stu’s living room with the group, a movie that’s a little more bloody than I’d like playing. It’s okay, though. Everyone’s reaction to me showing up again was worth it. They weren’t overdramatic about it, but the warmth of it was nice.
Now we’re all a mess of blankets and pillows and couch cushions. I managed to snag a middle spot on the main couch, Tate’s head on my shoulder and Billy’s hand loosely resting against my forearm. The gesture is a barely there display of consistency that keeps me relaxed, even as the on screen action gets more and more gory.
“Stu,” Tatum mumbles at another extended stabbing scene, “I said nothing too stab-y.” She lifts her head slightly, vaguely gesturing to me as Stu tilts his head far enough back to fully press into her knees.
He’s been sitting with his back to the couch since we got here. I thought he’d be more annoying about it since Tatum told him to knock it off earlier in the night, but once the movie started Stu dropped it. If there’s one thing that’ll get Stu to focus it’s any movie that clearly saved a large part of their budget for fake blood.
“She’s fine,” Stu hums petulantly before turning to look at me, “Aren’t you, bugaboo?”
I wrinkle my noise at the nickname, smacking his hand away as he reaches for my knee. Gory movies have been a little difficult for me lately, but this hasn’t been too bad. I’m surrounded by people in a well lit area and every time the action picks up, Billy runs his knuckles up and down my forearm until it ends.
Stu pokes at my knee, trying to get some kind of reaction. “It’s not that--Stu, knock it off, I’m literally agreeing with you.” At that, he flashes all of his teeth before leaning towards me. He sticks his tongue out, quickly licking the side of my knee before I can react. Stu has the audacity to laugh as I smack the back of his head. “Stu!”
“And...you two not fighting lasted an entire hour.” Randy sighs, glaring at us from his own seat. The pinch of actual irritation in his voice is fair. Stu and I haven’t exactly made it easy to be around us. Our casual bickering is a cakewalk compared to how we’ve been acting. Kind of more my fault than his because every time Stu tried to force niceness, that’d just irritate me more. Lots of petty comments. Lots of bickering. “New record.”
“Oh, there’s no fight,” Stu’s insistence is loud and over enthusiastic as he leans his weight against my leg. “Me and sweetcheeks here are as strong as ever.”
I sit up enough to gently flick the side of his head, “Keep telling yourself that.”
Stu lets out a mock gasp, “That wasn’t nice.”
Billy taps my arm, “Mean.”
Shrugging a little too smugly, I sink further into the couch, “Guess I’m a bully.”
Stu blinks, turning his head even more, “What. An. Attitude.” The over emphasis on each syllable makes my face feel oddly warm.
Tatum shifts, lifting her head off of me and kicking Stu’s side. It doesn’t look like a totally violent move but it feels more pointed than a joking shove. The way Stu sits up straighter tells me he didn’t quite expect that. “Knock it off.”
Frowning, Stu relaxes his back against the couch. “She started it.”
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