a/n: just idk okay, stiles deserves to get the girl of his dreams because my baby deserves happiness ugh. and besides, i think he's the only one that could bring lydia's actual persona out of hiding. otp, man. otp. this takes place shortly after 2x12, while they're still in school, but after jackson's left for london, cause i assume they still had a couple of months left til school actually ende. fanfiction, people. just go with it. story title comes from i swear this time i mean it by mayday parade.
find the words we'll sing in time
It starts with a knock.
Lydia looks up, glaring at her bedroom door even though the sound is coming from downstairs on the other side of the house. She flicks at a used tissue resting at her side and defiantly leans back against the mountain of pillows she'd constructed with a sigh.
She feels a vibration on her mattress and looks down, eyebrows furrowing when 1 New Message: Stilinski illuminates her iPhone's screen.
I know you're home. Leaving your light on doesn't really constitute as subtle. Please let me in?
She sighs just as another message from him comes in.
Unless you're not home, and you're getting robbed.
She rolls her eyes.
Don't worry, I'll fend them off. Scott taught me a few wolf tricks.
Her heart stutters in her chest, like it always does with each reminder that the things that go bump in the night are more than a figment of one's imagination. She remembers locking herself up in her room after saving Jackson's life, knees to her chest, blinds drawn, firmly refusing to communicate with anyone that wasn't her bumblebee pillow for several days. Even then, there was only so much comfort stuffing encased in fabric could extend. She'd watched every werewolf movie imaginable, read online bestiaries, even looked through forums of people who believed in the supernatural, laughing at those who ridiculed their perception─if they only knew.
Until one day, she'd had enough. She'd gotten up bright and early, adorned her body with her favorite lilac sundress and white sandals, and hid the bags under her eyes with well-applied concealer, making sure she looked every bit the part of Beacon Hills' resident princess before marching her way to Stiles' house to demand answers to questions she was still afraid to ask.
He'd opened the door, toothbrush sticking out of his mouth, eyes growing comically wide as he registered the fact that Lydia Martin was standing with her arms crossed on his front porch. He'd ushered her in quickly, fluffing up his couch pillows for her before rushing to his bathroom haphazardly to complete his task. He sat with her for several hours afterward, explaining things about full moons and wolfsbane and the difference between alphas, betas, and omegas applied to the werewolf logic she'd found herself entrusted with.
She hesitated for only a split second before finally deciding that if there was a single person in the world she wanted aware of the darkest crevices of her psyche that she's successfully kept hidden for the better part of the past year, it'd be Stiles. So she told him; every gory detail about her hallucinations and encounters with Peter Hale and how she was fairly certain she was losing her mind.
Needless to say, he made sure she didn't regret opening up to him; he remained silent as she murmured her way through her trauma, but the mixture of warmth and compassion in his gaze spoke volumes for all the words he didn't say. Against her better judgement, she'd released a few tears and allowed herself to be pulled into the tight hug Stiles offered her, swearing on all things good and holy that it didn't feel comforting and safe and so, so right to be tangled up in his embrace.
If she's being honest with herself, she can say that she owes him a hell of a lot more than the couple of seconds it would take to figure out why he's knocking at her door at ten o'clock on a school night. With a groan, she stalks across her room and peeks her head out the window and into the brisk night air. Surely enough, there stands Stiles, looking up at her, phone in hand and smirk placed languidly on his expression. For a nanosecond, she imagines him holding a boombox above his head or comparing her beauty to that of a rose, but she shakes her head and the mental imagery is gone as quickly as it came.
"What?" she hisses, loudly enough so that he can hear her from the two stories down below.
He frowns. "Are you really not gonna let me in? I'm out in the open, and it's not exactly the safest place to be at this time of the month," he explains, pointing a single digit upwards. Her eyes follow his finger's direction to gaze at that starry sky, with a full moon plastered in the middle, teasing her along with the Cheshire grin Stiles is now sending her way.
As if on cue, there's a howl in the distance, and she distinctly wonders if he barked─pun intended─orders at Scott to assist him in this impromptu visit.
She rolls her eyes and makes her way down the stairs, unceremoniously throwing her door open to face a grinning Stiles. Lydia yanks him through the threshold by his arm before locking the deadbolt she'd had installed after waking up to realize that hey, she's kind of at risk from what are supposed to be fictional creatures─safety first and all that jazz. She stalks past him and heads for her kitchen, oblivious to his pout as he sullenly rubs at his shoulder.
"What are you doing here, Stiles?"
She doesn't have to look behind her to know that he's following, brows furrowed in heavy concern. She starts to wonder when she's grown so accustomed to his presence and mannerisms that she'd know his exact reaction to whatever situation presented itself, but digs her nails into her palms to clear her train of thought, deciding that that's a road best left untraveled.
"I just wanted to check in on you."
His answer is exactly what she knew it would be and she sighs, poking her head into the refrigerator before digging out two bottles of water, throwing one in his direction as she hops to settle herself on the island in the middle of her kitchen. He's blindsided by the water bottle, and Lydia watches in equal parts amusement and ire as he struggles to get a good grip on the plastic before it crashes to the floor.
He breathes a laugh before quickly retrieving the beverage, taking a sip as he leans against the marble island in a failed attempt to be blasé.
"Well, you've checked. And as you can see, I'm still in one piece and have a relatively tight grip on what remains of my sanity, so..."
She trails off when she registers the flood of emotion he's sending her way; his molten brown eyes are swimming with unconcealed concern, affection, and something else she can't decipher that makes her cheeks rosy and her knees weak.
In only the way Stiles can.
She shakes her head. "Don't look at me like that," she whispers indignantly, turning her head so that she's facing her dining room. He always does this; turning what could be a perfectly platonic situation for them into something that leaves them bordering on blurred lines. She doesn't want to see his stupid eyes or his stupid face, reflecting the stupid feelings she pretends he doesn't have so clearly, "I can't drown in the throes of self-pity that a high school breakup requires when you're looking at me like that."
He blinks, the picture of innocence. "Like what?"
She raises a dubious eyebrow. "I'm going to assume that's a rhetorical question, because really?"
He clears his throat, scratching at the back of his head as he studies her toaster so intensely she expects him to burn holes through it. "Lydia, I─"
"Besides," she interrupts, unsure of how many of his declarations of love she can take before she tears his clothes off and runs her fingers through that longer hair of his that does odd things to her thought process. Or spontaneously combusts. Or moves to Canada; these have become legitimate possibilities ever since she reluctantly accepted the fact that Stiles is a part of her life now, "there are a lot of girls that could actually qualify to be on the end of your puppy eyes─we both know I'm not one of them."
"Let's agree to disagree on that, shall we?"
She taps her fingers against her chin, pursing her lips as she thinks of a way to push him in the right, leather-clad, and feral direction. "Isn't Miss Tall, Blonde, and Bitchy into you?"
His eyes widen, voice taking on a high pitch when he says, "wha─how did you know that? Did she tell you? Has she been telling people?"
She shrugs, ignoring the sinking feeling in her stomach that she refuses to discern as anything other than the Chinese takeout she shared with Allison earlier. "It's a talent." She hesitates for a second too long before continuing, "you should definitely explore that; you could surprise yourself."
She won't deny that Erica is extremely attractive, and she's considerate enough to acknowledge that someone should see Stiles for the wonderful human being that he is. With that being said, she also can't help the not-so-small swell of pride, because for all her sexy struts and impressive cleavage, Stiles couldn't care less about Erica, if the way he's looking at Lydia is anything to go by.
"If I lie and agree, will that make your gorgeous smile come out of hiding?"
She searches his eyes for any hint of indiscretion or flawed reasoning, not the least bit surprised when she finds none. She frowns. "Today, I told you I've scraped gum off the bottom of my shoe that was more aesthetically pleasing than that shirt you're wearing."
She expects him to reel back in disgust, to realize that she's undeserving of his incessant devotion, but he just looks down at his shirt and chuckles. "So? I love a woman that can squash a man's hardly non-existent self-esteem with just one sentence. It's extremely hot," he smirks, and she tries to hide her disbelieving smile by turning away, but he spots it and gently turns her face back to his with his thumb and forefinger. "There's that smile."
She immediately sobers, looking at him with wide, perplexed eyes. She knows this isn't the typical role she plays; she's supposed to be comforted and play off his sweet remarks and loving gazes as something that'll only exist in his imagination. She's not supposed to question, not supposed to crave more of what he's willing to give.
Alas, here they are.
"I don't understand why you do this."
He smiles, unaware of the internal battle raging in Lydia's mind. "Of course you don't. You don't see what I do when I look at you." The thumb that's holding her chin tentatively glides across her skin, and she knows he's giving her an out, an opportunity to pull away from his touch, but she just closes her eyes. "It's my personal mission to make sure you do."
She chuckles, opening her eyes to meet his again. "You must be blind."
His lips twitch in amusement. "20-20 vision, actually."
He's looking at her, and, like it always is with him, she feels like she's being seen, because he's always been the only one to notice more depth to her than very berry lip gloss and leopard-print Jimmy Choo's.
He's the only one who's ever bothered to even look.
His hands are still skimming over her skin, his gaze traveling to and fro her eyes and her lips; something she takes to mean that he wants to kiss her, which doesn't surprise her, but what does surprise her is the fact that she'd let him. More than that, she'd welcome it; she blames the way his golden brown eyes make her feel like the protagonist of some idiotic romance novel that would have tweens across the world swooning at Stiles' lack of coordination.
Lydia knows he won't; she knows enough about Stiles to ascertain that he wouldn't dare tamper with her sensibilities so soon after being unceremoniously dumped by Jackson. He wants to wait, until she's ready to delve into matters of the heart again, until he's the only one invading her dreams at night, her constant thoughts, and she'd be damned if that doesn't make her want to kiss him all the more.
She gently extricates herself from his hold and jumps off her counter, taking a nanosecond to appreciate the cool tile that presses against her bare feet and cools her too-warm skin.
"You do realize you're consoling me over another guy, right?"
She speaks the words, refers to the blue-eyed werewolf that now resides overseas who still has a firm grip on her heart, but she can't, for the life of her, conjure up an image that isn't filled with kind eyes and flannel shirts.
He loves her. She's aware of this. It's a fact just like any other; the sky is blue, two plus two is four, sugar makes things sweeter, Stiles loves Lydia. It rips her to shreds while simultaneously giving her the strength to get through each day; if someone as wholeheartedly good as Stiles can still love her after everything that's happened, there must be some hope for her left.
There has to be.
"Yes Lydia, I know," he sighs, looking away.
She moves to stand between his legs, leaning her forehead against his shoulder; Lydia knows she can face a wide variety of things head-on, but trying to dissuade someone from having feelings for her doesn't often fall into that category. She feels Stiles' arms wrap around her without hesitation, mistaking her reluctance for sadness─she is sad, but not for the reasons he thinks.
Evidently, that doesn't make his need to alleviate her heartache any less prominent.
He's here, on a Thursday night, making sure she survives her petty dilemmas when there's people like Scott and Derek, with real problems and life-threatening circumstances, who could use his help. And he's here, with her.
"I don't deserve you," she says, because he needs to know. Without the weight of his too-knowing, too-loving gaze, it's easy to tell him he can do better than some it-girl who gets him into trouble and reprimands him more often than not.
He laughs, and she can't help but think the rumble within his chest feels more than a tad comforting against her cheek. "Why did I always picture myself on the other end of that statement?"
She smiles. "Because you're an idiot."
"Then we just went up to her room and I waited till she fell asleep and left," he finishes, swiveling around in Scott's chair, face aimed towards the ceiling. Stiles is aware he has the goofiest grin plastered on his face, but can't bring himself to care in the slightest. "And that, my sickeningly furry friend, is the story of the best night of my life, ever. Thank you, thank you, hold your applause."
Scott blinks before chucking his pillows at his best friend's head at werewolf speed. "Dude, you're a dumbass."
Stiles sputters, gaping at his friend disbelievingly while simultaneously cursing his own normal-human strength, internally making a note to make a ton of dog jokes later. He throws his hands up in the air. "Okay, what'd I miss? You should be bowing down to me right about now."
"You should've kissed her!"
Stiles rolls his eyes, disregarding his friend's chastising with a flippant wave of his hand. "It's Lydia; she would've never let me kiss her. According to my calculations and recent fortunate circumstances, that part of the plan will approximately take another," he pauses, counting his digits and beaming when he finds himself holding two, "another two years!"
Scott chooses to ignore the latter part of his statement for the sake of his sanity because this guy has been his best friend since preschool, and judging his every eccentricity will only lead to no good. Been there, done that, and let's just say his brand new 64-pack of crayons ended up somewhere they should never, ever be. He briefly shudders at the memory and continues with the original focus of his objective.
"Yes she would've! She would've even kissed you back!"
"Okay, you haven't been obsessing over this girl for the past eight years─I could make a decent career teaching Lydia Martin 101," he states confidently, and Scott can't help but think that he'd make a fortune, because seriously, he couldn't wrap his head around Lydia's persona if his life depended on it. "And I am telling you, she wouldn't have gone for it."
Scott shakes his head and returns to his geometry homework, mumbling something about idiots and timing.
It ends with a promise.
She closes her locker to find Stiles leaning against the cool metal, a noticeable sheen of sweat layered over his skin. He gasps for breath and mumbles indecipherable words for over a minute before she makes a show of rolling her eyes and digging in her bag for her unfinished water bottle.
He gives her a brief smile of thanks before downing the proffered beverage with a single gulp. By the time he's cooled down and the flush in his cheeks isn't as pronounced, she's tapping her foot against the floor and fixing him with an unforgiving gaze that clearly tells him if he doesn't get to his point in less than two seconds, he'll be answering to a Molotov cocktail sooner than later.
Stiles nods hurriedly, reading her expression immediately. "Okay, I need to dispel one of Scott's mind-numbingly psychotic theories," he begins, and she inhales sharply, jumping to the conclusion that she'll need to talk to Allison about formulating a plan and find an excuse for why she's bailing on dinner with her parents, again. "Last night, at your place, if I had...y'know...made a move, would I have made a decent swing, or would I have been back on the bench before I ever hoped to reach first base?"
She breathes a quiet sigh of relief before she looks to him, green eyes dancing over his uneasy expression with thinly-concealed mirth. Lydia leans into him, lips brushing against his ear so intricately that she can imagine the level of restraint it's taking him to not turn into a puddle of goo right there in the middle of the hallway.
"Between you and me, you could've gotten in an easy homerun."
Lydia's never been remotely coquettish where Stiles is concerned, and she tells herself that if her hips just so happen to sashay from side to side more than usual while his eyes are locked on her retreating form in a mixture of confusion and awe, well─that's neither here nor there.
She's making sure her notes tenaciously cover any material that might be on her history final when she feels a vibration from the inside of her purse. She digs it out, clamping down on her lip to keep from smiling when she discreetly reads the screen.
1 New Message: Stilinski
So...up for a game of metaphorical baseball anytime soon?
She turns to where, expectantly, Stiles sits a few rows behind her, putting a little too much effort into inconspicuously looking everywhere in the room so long as it isn't in her direction. Her lips quirk in amusement, because she knows that "metaphorical baseball" in Stiles-speak doesn't mean the same thing as it does in normal guy-speak.
She's fully aware he'll show up at her doorstep with tulips or lilies or something of that romantic variety, that she'll play the gesture off with apathy despite the way her heart will start palpitating against the confines of her chest so thunderously she'd be willing to bet Derek could hear it across town, and that he'll take her out and woo her by stuttering over his words and making sure not a second goes by where she's not reminded of the high esteem he regards her with.
She's not foolish enough to believe she's even the slightest bit over Jackson, and she doesn't think she will be for a good while. The former co-captain of the lacrosse team might as well have stomped all over her heart and sense of rationality for all the good their relationship did her, and the night he stopped by her house with a solemn expression and a goodbye kiss to rival all goodbye kisses, she made an oath to herself not to let feelings cloud her impeccable judgement.
Why waste her energy on boys when she could waste it on making sure that rogue werewolves are delivered their rightful ass-kicking?
But Stiles isn't just any boy; he's...Stiles.
She doesn't let herself dwell on wondering when that had become such an important facet in her life, but if she had to, she'd bet it happened somewhere between "get off your cute little ass and dance with me" and "because if you die, I will literally go out of my freaking mind."
He'll always deserve better, but he'll always want, need, and love her.
This is unfair.
She's not made for this; relationships and love aren't her forte, and she doesn't exactly seem to have the best track record with keeping guys interested past the purely physical elements.
In an ideal world, Stiles would find a girl who gives all of herself to him, without restraints like douchebag ex-boyfriends and inabilities to look at every possibility but the obvious one standing in their way. She'd be with Jackson, or someone just as fucked up as irredeemable as she is. Maybe they'd be friends, but with nothing but a platonic kinship between them.
But this isn't an ideal world, and whatever it is that's between them, be it understanding or affection, she knows one thing─no way in hell is it platonic.
And after yesterday night, she can't really promise it's one-sided either.
His eyes meet hers and it's when she detects the hope that brims his golden brown eyes so fiercely that she's able to spot it easily from several feet away, that she knows, with every fiber of her being, that if anyone's worth the risk, it's him.
Lydia nods, just in time to see Stiles fist pump the air and jump up, looking to his right and embracing an unassuming Danny into a tight hug, making Coach Finstock seethe with frustration from the front of the room. As the teacher begins his daily threats to one half of every faculty member's most hated BFF duo, Stiles immediately releases the lacrosse player and returns to his seat, looking far more happy than anyone who's just received three days of detention should.
She wouldn't have been able to help the genuine laugh that escapes her lips even if she'd tried.