A/N: Currently writing the second chapter of 'As Mine Eyes Fool Me'. In the meantime, here's something else I wrote for Stydia Week.
Two Steps Forward
Had it been anyone else, Lydia Martin might have been embarrassed. She might have made a pros and cons list where she weighed all possible scenarios that might occur by saying those three words, but because it was Stiles—Stiles—she figured that she was safe. She didn't have to think about it. She only had to feel… things. Appropriate or inappropriate they may be, he was clearly to blame.
She would be lying if she said she didn't get some form of perverse satisfaction from saying what she did just before hanging up the phone and going to class. Even though she hadn't meant it. Clearly, she couldn't have meant it.
As expected, the phone buzzed as he tried to call her back—more than once, mind you. When she didn't answer, he resorted to texting.
Can you answer please? I really need to talk to you.
Was I hearing things?
Lydia! Did you say what I think you said?
Lydia! Answer the phone goddamnit!
I swear if you don't answer the phone I'm going to text Scott who's going to text Allison and you'll have to explain it all to them. Is that what you want?
Lydia! Answer your phone!
She sat through her class with an evil glint in her eye, reading and rereading the texts that made her laugh. He was over an hour away anyway. She had time to make him stew in his own panic before answering his texts and blaming her college courses while she was at it.
What she didn't expect was to walk out into blaring sunshine after her class and to stop dead in her tracks when she saw him, shoulders hunched and kicking a stone out of sheer boredom while he kept his hands buried deep in his pockets.
Her lips parted to shout out a greeting when she suddenly realised why he would have suddenly come visit her, and without a second thought, she turned and started walking the opposite direction as fast as her stilettos could carry her.
He caught up to her within moments, as expected, but she kept her head forward and kept on walking. "What are you doing here, Stiles?"
"What am I doing here?" He sounded insulted, his feet keeping up with her steps so easily and that he was practically walking backwards while facing her. "What was that?"
She cocked her head to the side and eyed him innocently. "What was what?"
He squinted at her as if he couldn't believe his ears. "What do you mean 'what'? That! That thing you said just before you…" He nearly bumped into another student but he didn't stop. "Did you mean it?" he asked, his shoulders slumping. "Or did some Adonis fair-haired male model happen to pass by or did you see a particularly nice pair of shoes or…?"
Sighing, Lydia stopped walking, and nearly rolled her eyes when he nearly bumped into someone with a huge pile of papers. She hated it when he did that. When he made her feel things, like sympathy, regret or guilt. That's how she got into this mess in the first place.
"We'll talk about this later," she said flippantly.
He stood straighter, his eyes studying her intensely. "No, we are going to talk about this now."
"Too bad." She shrugged. "I have a class now." Pushing her shoulder into his, she walked passed him, glad to have a bit more time to herself before she could compartmentalise her thoughts.
Stiles clearly had other ideas. "Actually, you don't have a class now. Do you know how I know that? Because you told me that the day you got your schedule."
Lydia tried to pick up her pace, and cursed his sneakers when he walked alongside her with no problem, an almost skip in his step.
"We need to talk about this."
"There's nothing to talk about." She even flipped her hair over her shoulder to prove that point.
"Lydia! Could you slow down? I just want to talk for a second! Lydia! Come on! For the love of god could you just stop?"
She stopped, turned around and gave him a glare. "No."
She started walking away immediately only to hear him curse loudly. "Fine! You leave me no choice."
The last thing she expected was for him to suddenly appear in front of her, take her bag, throw it over one shoulder, then bend down, pick her up and throw her over his other shoulder like a Neanderthal. She was probably surprised and speechless only for a second before she snapped out of it.
"Stiles!" She punched his back with as much energy as she could. Because, yes, she was wearing a dress and yes, it was rather short. "Put me down!"
"Not until we talk." He started carrying her towards the parking lot, greeting people on the way with, "Hey! Girls, right? They never want to walk unless they can't help it."
"Stiles…" she said with as much menace through gritted teeth. "Put… me… down." There were too many people staring at her and all she could do was smile widely and give them a wave so they wouldn't think she was being kidnapped by a predator.
"Not a chance."
Her mood darkened. Maybe she should consider getting him arrested because of his cheekiness. "I hate you."
She felt him chuckle rather than heard it when his shoulder shook under her. "That's not what you said."
"It's definitely what I thought."
"Yeah, well, let's have a discussion about this, shall we?"
"It's not funny, Stiles!"
"I never said it was," he said in an oddly quiet voice. It only served to piss her off further, which she let him know by hitting her fists against his back. After all, hanging upside down was not fun, and she intended him to know that.
He finally deposited her unceremoniously onto her feet right next to his jeep, his shoulders jumping and arms rising to defend himself against her small fists assaulting him. "Ow! Ow! Ow!"
"What's wrong with you?" She found herself asking him with a punch per word before finally dropping her arms and blowing her hair off her face with a low breath.
"What's wrong with me?" he asked, scandalised. "What's wrong with you?"
She crossed her arms and eyed him warily. "You know kidnapping is illegal, right?"
"This…" he gestured actively between them, "is not kidnapping."
"Funny. I think it looks a lot like kidnapping. Just because we're friends—"
"Exactly!" He practically bounced on his heels as he took a step closer. "We're friends. And friends tell each other the truth."
"I'm aware of that."
"Really?" he asked her sarcastically. "Because the way I see it we were talking on the phone, discussing when we were going back to Beacon Hills to see the pack and we discussed everything and I said goodbye and then you said…"
He gave her such a meaningful look that she finally sighed in defeat. "What do you want me to say?"
He stepped back as if she had slapped him. "What do I...? Lydia. I just… I mean… I didn't run through every freakin' red light just so you could—" He calmed down a fraction of a second to ask her, "Did you say it?"
Her first impulse was to lie, because how could she admit the truth? But he was looking at her the way he always did, as if she was the sun, the moon, the stars and she held his very happiness in the palm of her hands. She was in the middle of pronouncing the word, "No," when her traitorous lips whispered another word instead.
She eyed him worriedly, because this would change things, wouldn't it?
"Oh." It looked like something broke inside of him, and she wondered if he thought she had said it to someone else.
He ducked his head, his hands nervously wringing in a way that was so very Stiles, it pulled at her heartstrings. "Did you say it to me or…?" His eyes met hers carefully, dread filled in their depths.
She felt a smile fight through, her mind changing tactics with each passing second. Logic told her that she should deny it, but his expression was so open, so vulnerable that she found herself shrugging. "Maybe."
His nervousness was forgotten as his eyes narrowed with confusion. "Maybe? What do you mean maybe?"
"Yes, Stiles," she said with a rush of breath. "I meant yes. I said it to you."
His eyes widened, and she watched as he gulped down question after question with the bob of his Adam's apple before he shifted from one foot to the other and asked her in a failed attempt to act casual, "Did you mean it?"
Maybe she could have given herself one last chance to deny it. But if his voice hadn't broken on that last question, maybe she would have answered differently. Instead, she felt the sting of tears behind her eyes as she whispered, "Yes?"
He blinked at her, suddenly so much calmer than she had ever seen him. "Will you…?" He paused, a heavy chuckle escaping him as if he could barely believe he was going to ask the question. "Can you say it again?"
He must have seen the way she was about to refuse him because he shifted nervously from one foot to the other, moving closer to her in the process.
"Lydia. Can you say it again?"
Why was it so hard to deny him? Why was he looking at her with such hope that all she wanted to do was to give him anything he asked of her. Why did he have such power over her?
"Say it again?" he asked softly, his voice pleading. "Please?"
The pressure was getting too much, so she started small, with the sentence she had said before the last. "We'll leave Friday evening, then. Pick me up at 4?"
Recognising her words, he stepped closer, anxious energy wound tight throughout his body. "Yeah. Sounds like a plan," he said without missing a beat, even going so far as to imitating his tone from before. Only this time his voice was laced with something darker that sent a thrill through her body. He paused a fraction before saying carefully, "Bye, Lydia."
It was not until she felt the jeep against her back that Lydia noticed how she had stepped back every time he had stepped forward. She found herself shivering even though the weather was warm. And his eyes! Why did he always have to look at her that way with his eyes?
She licked her lips, and nearly backed out when she saw the way his eyes followed the movement. "Bye, Stiles," she said finally, a failed effort in sounding casual and unaffected. "I love y—"
His lips met hers so fiercely, she would have fallen over if it hadn't been for the jeep keeping her upright. Lydia's lips parted under his without any hesitation, her tongue meeting his in an intense battle for control as his arms pulled her towards him and her fingers twisted in his t-shirt. They stood flush against each other, chest to chest, hip to hip, and all she could think about was how his thumb traced the underside of her jaw in a way that made her knees weak.
There was no reason to kiss him this time, no panic attack or locker room. Just the pure need coursing through her as she kissed him the way she had been dreaming of kissing him, with tongue, and teeth and lips pulling almost painfully against one another until he slowed the kiss down gently and nipped alongside the outline of her mouth in a way that drove her crazy.
"Tonight," he breathed against her lips. "I'm taking you out for dinner tonight." He peppered kisses against her chin and jaw, leaving Lydia to close her eyes, bury her hands in his hair and enjoy the sensation.
"Technically, I shouldn't go off campus because I have a class tomorrow morning and—"
"Lydia!" He kissed her quickly on her lips before pulling away. "Could you just let me take you out on a nice date please? Jesus! All I'm asking for is one night—"
"Okay," she said breathlessly, effectively interrupting him and readily agreeing to the plan before kissing him once again. "Tonight."
Had it been anyone else, she would have insisted that they go back to her dorm and tame the savage beast inside her. But this was Stiles—the boy who loved her since third grade, the boy who worshipped her, the boy who believed in her and never condemned her for her faults. Not taking it slow would seem wrong.
He kissed the base of her neck, his fingers bunching up her dress at the base of her spine. "I know you probably know this, but…" He pulled back, a wide grin splitting his face as his eyes met hers. "I love you, too."
He was so sincere that she felt her own smile widening. "I know," she said happily before she got on her toes and kissed him quickly on the tip of his nose. "You better make sure I never forget it."