a/n: Sorry this took a little longer than planned, I'm currently studying abroad so I've been out and about! Thank you thank you thank you to anyone who read, reviewed, followed, or favorited, I really appreciate it! I hope you guys like it; let me know what you think and stay tuned for other stories! :)
"Stiles, seriously, where are we going?"
"You wanted it to be a surprise," he says, as they drive straight past the movie theatre. He has the shittiest shit-eating grin spread across his face, like he thinks she'll never be able to guess—and that makes her want to know even more.
Lydia's reluctantly grinning too, but that possibly might just be because Stiles had shown up on her doorstep with a small tulip bouquet, blushing and muttering about how red roses were too cliché, but the sentiment was still the same and he was really sorry for being fifteen minutes early (which didn't even matter because Lydia was—coincidentally, not because she was sickeningly excited—already ready to go).
"Nope. I'm not saying anything. My lips are sealed."
"That's a shame."
"Wha—?" She arches a teasing eyebrow at him, and he chokes a little bit as he hurries to say: "Unless—I mean well, unless there's kissing involved later. Not that there has to be, you know, I'm totally cool with no kissing; but just in case you want to kiss, my lips will be completely unsealed. Scout's honor."
"Good to know," she murmurs, feeling quietly pleased as a flush creeps up Stiles's cheeks.
He merges onto the highway without saying anything else, and Lydia narrows her eyes. "Are you kidnapping me, Stilinski?"
He lets out a snort. "Yes, because after that god-awful fiasco with Jackson, that's something I've really wanted to try again."
Lydia lets out a breath of laughter, and silence falls between them again. The radio is playing in the background, soft and a little scratchy, and after a minute or two Stiles glances at her out of the corner of his eye, his hands twitching slightly. "You look really pretty, by the way. I can't believe I forgot to say that earlier."
"Thanks." And even though she should be used to his compliments by now, there's still something disarming about it.
He smiles at her, brilliant in the falling dusk, and Lydia wonders why she didn't agree to this sooner.
They pull into the parking lot of Beacon Hills Boardwalk and Lydia lets out a long-suffering sigh. "I should've known."
Stiles lets out a loud laugh, launching himself out of his car and showing up on the other side to open her door before she can even get her purse from the floor.
She's desperately trying to fight back a smile, but as she steps out into the chilly air, the whirling carnival lights flash before her eyes and the smells of funnel cake and popcorn swirl around her, and she can't help the way her lips curve up.
"Don't pretend like this won't be fun," Stiles warns, shoving his hands into his pockets as they set off towards the entrance. The words send a pain through her heart. It's been such a long time since someone took her on a date just take her on a date—took her a date just to have fun with no expectations for kissing or having sex at the end of the night—and it's nice. It's really nice. And kind of overwhelming at the same time, but in the good way where you can't really talk because your chest is so filled with contentment.
"They have unlimited passes for 50% off on Thursdays," Stiles is babbling happily next to her, bouncing as he walks. "I think it'll be really cool. I haven't been here in a long time, but Scott and I used to come and just go crazy and—you know—I mean, with all the horrible shit we've had to deal with, I figured we could just come and let loose and eat some good carnival food and—"
He breaks off as she loops her arm through his, hugging him to her side and resting her head on his shoulder. She tilts her head to look at him when they come to a stop and he's blinking down at her in surprise, his mouth half-open. This time she doesn't fight the smile that curls her lips. "Thank you, Stiles," she sighs. "Really. This is perfect."
His eyes flicker over her face; the side of his face is flashing yellow and red in time with the swirling lights on top of the ticket booth, but his eyes are still the same molasses color as they always are. He looks like he wants to say something, but ends up smiling softly and (after a second of hesitation) dropping a kiss to the tip of her nose.
Her heart stutters embarrassingly in her chest and she blushes harshly, but before either of them can say anything the ticket lady is screaming, "Next!" and Stiles is pulling away and fumbling his wallet out of his back pocket.
He comes back a minute later, his fingertips brushing the thin skin on her wrist as he wraps the orange neon bracelet around her, but whatever moment they might have been having is gone now. Lydia almost wishes it wasn't. "Ready?" he asks impishly as they head towards the park. "I have to warn you, I'll probably kick your ass at that game where you hit the target with the mallet and try to ding the bell."
Lydia snorts. "You'd have to be stronger than me for that to happen, Stiles."
He looks at her, eyes wide in indignation. "I am stronger than you! I'm a lacrosse champion!"
She laughs, re-looping her arms with Stiles and tugging him closer (because the wind is cold and he's surprisingly warm and cuddly). "We'll see."
Lydia beats him at the game where you hit the target with the mallet and try to ding the bell.
She's not really sure how it happened, but she can't stop laughing because Stiles's face is priceless.
She accepts the stuffed unicorn the attendant gives her happily and turns towards Stiles, still laughing.
"Oh my—ha ha—Stiles—" she wheezes out and Jesus Christ she hasn't laughed this hard in forever.
"You're tiny," he complains in exasperation. "You should not be stronger than me."
She manages to compose herself long enough to seriously say: "Size doesn't matter."
The tips of his ears turn red and she cracks up laughing again.
"My grip must have slipped," he grumbles as they make their way towards the Dungeon Drop. "Or maybe it's rigged—hey, that's a thing, right? It could totally be rigged."
Lydia can't gather enough breath to answer.
"What's next?" Stiles asks her, his hand resting lightly on her lower back. "Haunted House? Tunnel of Love?"
"They don't have a Tunnel of Love here," Lydia says, rolling her eyes at his puppy-dog expression. "And I want to go on the Carousel. Did you know that used to be my favorite ride?" she asks as they start weaving through the crowd.
"No," he says. "Why isn't it your favorite ride anymore?"
"Well—" she pauses. "I guess it still is. I don't know. I haven't done something like this since I was little."
"I never really had a favorite," Stiles offers. "At least I don't think I did. I just liked to run around everywhere and try to go on every ride before I had to leave."
She laughs, but trails off when she sees a horrifyingly familiar face loitering by a cotton candy cart.
"What the—goddammit," she hisses, grabbing Stiles's hand and dragging him behind a dart-throwing booth.
"What's wrong?" he's asking in confusion, stumbling along behind her. "Lydia—what is it?"
She tugs him next to her, before peeking out around the corner of the booth.
"Lydia—" he says again, squeezing her hand.
"Aiden's here," she sighs, turning to face him again.
"What?" he asks in confusion, taking his own peek around the edge. "Where?"
"By the cotton candy."
"Oh come on," he groans. "What the hell are they doing here?"
He gestures wildly with his free hand. "Ethan's here too!"
"He's what?" She shoves her head under Stiles's, feeling the steady press of his chin against the top of her head as she stares in stunned disbelief. Sure enough, Ethan and Aiden are deep in conversation, their eyes sweeping the crowd. "What—are they spying on us? Did you tell anyone what we were doing?"
"I texted Scott," Stiles says, sounding incredibly resigned. "He probably told other people and the Alpha Stalkers overheard. God—they're not even attempting to blend in. They're as bad as Derek."
"I cannot believe this. They probably came all the way down here just to see if it was true."
"What—is Aiden like jealous or something?" Stiles asks, sounding completely confused.
"Doubt it." Lydia sighs and hugs her unicorn tighter to her chest. "We both knew it was casual—I cannot believe they are such busy-bodies. Beacon Hills has enough old ladies gossiping over quilting without Aiden and Ethan adding to the pot."
Around the same time as Stiles thumb rubs absent-mindedly over her knuckles, Lydia realizes that she's not angry because she's been caught with Stiles—she's angry because her date is being ruined. Her date, which has up until now, been absolutely perfect and filled with laughter and rides that rip screams from her throat (happy screams, not Banshee screams) and actually—Lydia actually fucking forgot she was a banshee for the hour they've been here together.
She stares at where their hands are still clasped in shock. That's not normal, is it? To have so much fun and be so comfortable with someone that you forget the thing that's been weighing on the back of your mind for weeks?
Her eyes flicker back up to his face and it just hits her.
Yeah, it was scary at first because Stiles saw her; he saw her better than she saw herself sometimes, but she's gotten comfortable with that, and honestly there are 10,000 other things (of the supernatural variety) that are scarier than Stiles's feelings now. And maybe she doesn't love Stiles, but she likes him. She likes him a whole fucking lot if the way she's reacted to his nose-kisses and his regular kisses and his jokes and this whole perfect movie-like date is any indication. And she wants to finish this date. She knows it with a fierce sense of determination that she wants to finish this date regardless of what the Gossip Girls might tell other people because people have been whispering behind her back since Peter Hale invaded her mind and she is happy with Stiles and isn't that ultimately the only thing that matters?
She sucks in a breath and tightens her hand around his. "Let's go," she says softly. She feels kind of stupid for taking so long to just accept this, but—
"Alright," Stiles says. He sounds sad. "If we double back, we can probably get out to the parking lot without being seen by them—"
"No, idiot," she mutters, rolling her eyes and taking a step closer (and this time it's not because it's cold). "I want to go ride the Carousel with you."
Stiles blinks. "What?"
"I want to go ride the Carousel with you," Lydia repeats. She smiles at him and it makes his lips curve up too.
"What are we going to do about Thing 1 and Thing 2?"
"Fine with me," he says suddenly, brightly.
She laughs and lets herself get dragged back out towards the pathway, where Stiles promptly intertwines their hands properly together, so that her fingers fit in the space between his. His hand is big and warm and she honestly has no idea whether Ethan and Aiden see them or not, because Stiles is smiling down at her and he looks really, really good with his cheeks flushed from the cold, and his teeth biting at his bottom lip.
They're standing in the Carousel line when Stiles says "Your hand's freezing."
"It's November," Lydia answers with a roll of her eyes. "My whole body is freezing."
With a frown, he lets go of her hand in favor of wrapping an arm around her shoulders. She smiles and turns her face into his neck, laughing when he shudders and complains about her ice-cube nose.
"After the Carousel do you want to take a break and warm up?" he asks, his voice vibrating on her cheek.
It turns out that Stiles's way of warming up consists of buying two cups of hot chocolate, and a large funnel cake to share.
"Food will help," he promises Lydia, around a mouthful of sweet fried dough.
"The hot chocolate will," Lydia acquiesces. "But honestly, Stiles, I don't look like this, by eating crap like that."
He swallows his food down in one large gulp, giving her the most over-exaggerated, dramatic eye roll she's ever been a recipient of.
"Oh my God, Lydia, come on. One funnel cake is not going to kill you."
She eyes it hesitantly, and it does look criminally good. There's powdered sugar sprinkled over the whole thing and it smells like heaven and when Stiles picks up the plate and teasingly waves it in front of her mouth, she caves like a house of cards.
Stiles's shit-eating grin returns.
And for reasons she may never know, Lydia suddenly blurts out: "Everyone's going to think we're dating in the morning."
"Yeah? What do you want to tell them?"
"We could tell them that we are," Lydia says, blushing despite herself.
He takes a huge gulp of his hot chocolate in surprise, wincing as it scalds his throat and Lydia shoves a piece of glorious lovely holy hell thank you Stiles funnel cake into her mouth.
"Wha—what?" he rasps out. She shrugs and Stiles looks at her sharply. "Dating? Like as in multiple dates? Does this mean that you want to go on multiple dates with me?"
She swallows; her throat is suddenly very dry and her hands are very clammy, but tonight has been one of the best nights she's had in a very long time so: "I…yeah. Yeah, I do."
"You do?" he breathes.
"Yes," she nods, and the admission makes her feel freer.
"Oh—wow." He sets his cup of cocoa on the table heavily, looking stunned. "Oh my God—this…I was afraid this might be like only a one-time thing because when you asked me, you called it a favor, not a date, and—uh…holy shit, you really want to date me? Because I would like to date you. I would like to date you a lot—and just so we're clear my definition of dating means that I would be your boyfriend and you would be my girlfriend and you would have to come and eat dinner at my house sometimes and let my dad make stupid jokes and uh, kissing—lots of kissing—but I would also, like, give you piggy backs if you were tired or if your feet hurt from wearing your high heels all the time—"
"No, seriously, I am like 3000% down for all of that. And I'm getting better at lacrosse, so you could come to the games and watch me play and be…well, a little bit proud of me—I know I'm not the captain, but still—"
"Stiles…" Lydia kind of wants to cry and laugh and kiss him all at the same time, but he's still talking.
"And I would watch those movies you like—I know most of them already because Jackson complained all the time, but honestly, I've already seen the Notebook and I cried a lot so maybe if we could wait on that one for a while just until I feel comfortable letting my masculinity be destroyed in front of you—"
Lydia finally settles on leaning across the picnic table and covering his mouth with her hand, leveling him with the most exasperated, affectionate glare she can manage. "Stiles."
"I would like to—"
He jerks his head away from her hand. "No! No, wait—I have to ask this…" he clears his throat and reaches across the table to take her hands, running them along her skin until he's sufficiently distracted her from any nerves she may have had. "Lydia…would you like—to be my girlfriend?" He pauses. "Please?"
She smiles. "I would like that very much."
He lets out a whoosh of air that she hadn't realized he'd been holding. "Holy—God…"
They take their hot chocolate on the Ferris wheel and huddle together when the wind whips against their faces on their ascent upwards. In a fit of completely unnecessary chivalry, Stiles had insisted that as her boyfriend, he should carry Lydia's stuffed unicorn for her, so it's tucked under one of his arms and Lydia's tucked under the other.
The Ferris wheel grinds to a halt when they're halfway between the top and the bottom and Beacon Hills is laid out before them, a mass of twinkling lights and dark masses. It looks picturesque and pretty and calm in the moonlight. It looks like a normal town where normal things happen and supernatural creatures don't exist.
Lydia takes a sip from her cocoa and sighs, relaxing into Stiles even more.
"I think I can see my house from here," she says lazily.
Stiles chuckles against her, tracing patterns on her coat with his fingertips. Even though it's two layers of clothing away from her skin, she still feels goose-bumps threatening to rise on her upper arm and god how did things get so intimate and easy between them already?
"Hey, look! I can see my dad," Stiles says, pointing to a spot where red and blue lights are flashing.
Lydia snorts. "You don't know if that's your dad or not."
"Fiiine," he sighs laboriously. She grins against the rim of her cup. "Let's see…I can see Wal-Mart."
She points to it a second later. "So can I."
"I can see the school. Bet you can't find that den of horrors so quickly," Stiles says smugly.
Admittedly, it does take her a little bit longer (but only a little bit) and when she points it out victoriously, Stiles groans and sinks down in the cart. "I give up. You're too smart for me, Lydia."
The Ferris wheel jerks into movement again and Lydia squeals in surprise, one of her hands flying out and gripping Stiles's knee reflexively. They spend the next few minutes in comfortable silence and Lydia's almost surprised to find her hand still resting on his leg a few minutes later. When the Ferris wheel stops again, they're at the very top of it, and the view is even more breath-taking.
She can hear Stiles swallow heavily and she tilts her face to look at him, only to find him already looking at her. "What?" she asks.
He chuckles nervously, eyes flicking between her lips and her eyes and she feels the breath evacuate their general area like it's been sucked into a vacuum. Her stomach shudders.
"I just…would it be horribly, terribly cliché if I kissed my new girlfriend for the first time at the top of the uh, Ferris wheel?"
"We've already kissed, Stiles."
"Not as boyfriend and girlfriend, we haven't."
Lydia's hand tightens again on his knee and Stiles swallows heavily again. "I don't think that would be cliché," she answers softly, eyes heavily lidded. "I think it would be kind of romantic."
"Oh good, me too," Stiles breathes out, and then his lips are on hers, soft and warm and wonderful.
His hands come up to cup her face and she sighs into his mouth and his whole body shivers. It's not like their frantic make-out session at all—it's slower, more languorous and heady, a mix of warm lips and cold air and hot chocolate and it's nice.
He bends his head lower, laves his tongue along a spot under her jaw. Lydia sucks in a breath (she probably won't ever get used to how sexy he can be without even trying) and she turns towards him even more, capturing his lips again firmly before carding a hand through his hair and holding his face to hers. Her tongue teases at his lips until he opens them on a groan and meets her tongue with his and this is almost better than the first time. Spikes of heat are rushing through her and she feels happy and wanted and loved and…
The Ferris wheel starts up again, bringing them back towards the ground, back towards reality, but Stiles lets his lips linger on hers, comes back for onetwothree chaste kisses, lets their breath mingle until Lydia starts to giggle giddily and buries her head in his hoodie and he wraps his arm around her again.
And this time, she knows she could get used to it.