The cell phone buzzed gently in her hand. She quickly looked at it, wondering if it was Allison explaining why she couldn't meet Lydia for lunch. It wasn't like it even made a dent on the list of complications the teen had these days, but her curiosity shined through, and the sense of normalcy was an urgent dream. No matter how immature and plain it may be.

The A name that crossed her screen sent a well deserved wave of fear down her spine. Lydia forgot she, - in not so many words- agreed to go out with the boy from the library. Aiden seemed harmless, charming even. But then Stiles had to catch her off guard, explaining his alpha status and how he was probably planning on ransoming her off after school. She ignored the message with a little pout.

It wasn't like she even wanted to go out with the mysterious, motorcycle riding, identical twin having, hunk of a high school loner anyhow. He was flattering and persistent and Lydia had enough of that in her life already. She gave a sharp look in Stiles' direction.

He was in the middle of a conversation with Dr. Deaton. The two men huddled close, heads pressed together near the examining table. They were muttering softly about something supernatural or another. Lydia wasn't in the mood to pay attention.

She was genuinely surprised to find the towns veterinarian waltz into the school's music room alongside Stiles that afternoon, and was even more surprised that she had agreed to go back to his office, to talk strategy and mythology. Lydia wasn't so sure she trusted the vet, he kept far too many secrets to be deemed reliable in her eyes. But he was the closest thing they had to solving the murders.

Lydia rolled her eyes. She wouldn't have been able to stay away if she tried. And she knew Stiles wouldn't either. She saw the look he gave her that morning. Letting his dad handle the sacrifices wasn't in their best interest, whether he knew what they were or not. It was pretty hard not to spot the betrayal Stiles felt. They were in this together now, he thought she knew that.

Lydia did. It just took some getting used to.

She walked over towards the end of a discussion about the girl Heather who was murdered. Allison had explained in the car the other morning that Stiles knew that one personally, and Lydia couldn't ignore the way her heart sank for him. The loss she felt when she believed Jackson was dead was unimaginable. If Stiles had feelings for this girl, than she'd be able to relate.

It was funny; she insisted to herself while watching the way the dull examination light sharpened his features, making everything angled and rough. Stiles' brown eyes deepened with an authority that Lydia had never caught before. It changed him completely. She was finally in his element. Crime solving and ass kicking. Stiles was good at this. Lydia was shocked that it took her so long to see that there was much more to Stiles Stilinski than a nervous twitch and fumbled sentences. He was brilliant. And Lydia would never use that term loosely.

They weren't all that different. Smart and defensive. Brash and contriving. Their divergence didn't keep them in separate circles, or separate worlds any longer. Stiles was her equal. And Lydia felt safe in knowing that. Finally someone on her level.

For so long she was kept in the dark, slowly allowed to derail inside her own brilliant head. Suffer for months over something completely out of her control. She blamed them. All of them, for longer than she'd care to admit to herself. They left her for dead, and they knew it. But Stiles was the shining light. Just like she thought he'd be. He wouldn't let their mistake go neglected.

Stiles sat with her, for hours some nights; in the soft glow of his bedroom lamp or out in front of her house with the street lights glaring off the jeeps dashboard. He was a fountain of information and she guzzled it down. He didn't give her a chaser and she didn't want it. Something happened to them, over the summer. She could see that now. In the way he had her undivided attention, how his inelegant behaviors were almost favorable, and it was sealed in the knowledge that she called him twice; not another name on her mind.

Lydia wasn't sure if he even noticed. He was so engrossed in the supernatural world these days, he completely missed her new perfume and never commented on the back to school skirts she purchased. It was both refreshing and troubling. And that added to his differences. Going from that awkward, lanky, sidekick that followed her around and gave her cryptic warnings, to a man that wasn't ashamed for the consideration he had for her.

"Lydia, what do you think?" Stiles asked gently, cautious not to startle her. But it was too late. Her heart rate increased and she blinked rapidly at the boy she had been elaborately analyzing.

"What was that?" She mumbled, pushing her hair away from her face and shoved the notebook and that stupid oak tree away from her.

"Deaton thinks we should check Harris' apartment. The schools secretary says he never clocked out for the day but he's gone."

Lydia nodded, shoving the book into her bag along with her car keys.

"I'll ride with you?" She asked, almost coyly. Lydia cringed.

Stiles' lips tugged up at the corner, but he didn't smile fully. She was grateful for that. It had been, like for the three months of summer, the two of them against the world. Lydia put on a brave face, but when it came down to it, she wanted Stiles by her side.

If he knew the truth, he never let on. "Sure." He nodded.

It wasn't like she needed Stiles to protect her. Lydia was a capable woman. If she was going to be honest with herself, she'd have to admit she enjoyed his company. She watched as Stiles rolled his eyes at Deaton while shrugging on his plaid button down. His arms got caught inside the sleeves. He wiggled and flailed until his hands were peeking out of the opening. Lydia laughed quietly to herself.

"Ready?" He asked in a huff. His eyes showed some agitation, his cheeks hot but his words were kind and soft.

"Do you have one of those-" His hand patted his head, full of thick wavy hair. Lydia rolled her eyes.

"Stiles hair pins only work in the movies." She explained while walking towards the door. Stiles followed behind her. Barking a goodbye to Dr. Deaton and holding the door open generously for Lydia.

"But you have one, right?" He whined.

Lydia sighed heavily. "Of course I do." Her comment made them both smile.

As they stalked towards the powder blue jeep next to her sleek blue car, the only two in the lot, it made her think about the two of them. They really were off in their own world. Lydia slammed the door shut as she hopped into the passenger seat.

"Buckle up." He chirped while tossing his phone towards her. "Can you put that in the GPS? It's Harris' address." She nodded, but didn't take her eyes off of the boy to her left.

Maybe Stiles was still the same person, and it was Lydia who changed.