I remember all those months I spent making fun of Teen Wolf and vowing I'd never watch it. I remember them fondly.

"I'm juss—" Stiles slurs, flopping over into Lydia's lap. "I'm jussayin'—I woul'tot'lly do J'stin T'mberlake. I wood."

"Yeah," Lydia replies sharply. She grimaces and braces four fingers on his forehead, pushing him back up. "You and every other person with a pair of functioning eyes."

"D'you think Deu—Douuuu….Douchamaflalion woul'do Jussin Timb'rlake?" Stiles asks very solemnly, as though this is an incredibly pertinent question, even though it's 2 AM on a Saturday night and he and Lydia are now waiting for Scott to come pick them up because Stiles has the alcohol tolerance of a pigeon and there is no way she is ever driving that bucket-of-bolts Stiles calls a vehicle—you get the picture. And she'd just like to add that her high heels are incredibly uncomfortable.

"Deucalion," she snips. "His name is Deucalion, Stiles."

"Yeesh," Stiles mumbles, and he turns slightly before slumping against her shoulder, his spine aligning with her elbow. "Friggin' wolves 'n their…god, you're byoo…tiful."

"I'm aware." Lydia primly crosses one leg over the other and drums her manicured nails on her raised knee, looking idly around for any sign of salvation. "But the next time you tell me that, you'd better be one hundred percent aware of the fact that you're saying it. That's not just something you spout off after miscalculating your ability to handle a little tequila."

"I love you, Lydia," Stiles says, with greater clarity than he's had in an hour, and then he giggles. "Y'r so warm."

And then he's asleep.

Scott definitely has smugness plastered all over his face when he pulls up in his mom's car and sees her with her head propped up against Stiles's.

"Don't you say a word," she hisses, but his shit-eating grin for the whole drive back while Stiles snores against her says many, many words. She needs to get some new friends.

Okay, don't give Lydia that look. She didn't, like, plan for this to happen. You know what she had planned? A nice, quiet Friday night making good use of those fake IDs Danny had hooked her and Allison up with (and Scott, and Isaac, and Stiles, eventually), maybe a little bit of subtly grinding some unsuspecting hunk on the dance floor, maybe a little bit of above-the-knee-area action—you know. General stuff. General Friday night stuff. Minus the, you know, high probability of it all being interrupted by some hostile supernatural force with a bloodlust and a grudge.

Because yes, that's Lydia's life now: Hoping that she'll be able to at least get to second base with somebody without it being ruined by a jumped-up Monster Mash reject.

And of course, of course, thanks to Allison and her deeply buried feelings for her goody-two-shoes ex-boyfriend, Lydia had been forced to endure, like, two and a half hours of Scott vocally weighing the moral implications of using fake ID cards, and Stiles, being the son of a sheriff, had needed to get into it, listing off a thousand different laws that not even Lydia knows nor, frankly, cares about, and Isaac had gotten more concerned the more Scott had, and when the time came to walk through the entrance to Beacon Hills's only reputable dance club, The Eclipse, those three supreme idiots had almost gotten all of them caught with their jumpiness and faulty consciences and—and—God, Lydia is so beyond over it all.

And to make matters worse, Aiden has a test tomorrow, so he's so sorry, Lydia, forgive him; he cannot come.

Over it.

"Will you please control your boyfriends?" Lydia hisses to Allison after the five of them all miraculously manage to get past the bouncer, Carl. "I amnot on board with ending the night in a jail cell."

"They're not—" Allison starts to retort, indignant, but she shakes her head stonily and huffs, folding her arms at her chest. "Fine. I'll control mine if you control yours."

Lydia opens and closes her mouth, frowning, and Allison nods pointedly over her shoulder. Lydia's eyes fall on Stiles, who is currently aggravating a skinny guy with a drink in one hand and another dude's crotch in the other.

"I'm just asking," Stiles is babbling, "I mean, empirically, am I attractive to you?"

"Oh God," Lydia groans, and Allison bobs her head as though she's proven a point. "Don't even joke. For the rest of the evening…" She steps forward, linking her arm with Allison's and beaming. "You and I do not associate with any of those troglodytes. Sound good?"

Allison smiles wearily and nods, and Lydia bounces happily, her red curls springing with the motion. In her opinion, it will not be difficult at all for her and Allison to grab their fair share of attention tonight – Allison, in her navy blue shift dress and Grecian sandals and earthy lipstick, has already caught the eye of several guys in leather jackets, and Lydia is going to make a killing, she's sure; what do you think the form-fitting white minidress and stilettos are for? She's a pro.

"We're gonna go dance," Allison says aside to Scott, who looks stricken with panic. Lydia cannot believe this; the guy fights werewolves three times his size on a semi-daily basis, but pales at the thought of normal social interaction? Slay her.

"Okay, are you sure you don't, uh, I mean, should we—?" Scott starts to ask, fumbling around with his hands and gesturing alternately at Isaac and a potted tree next to him. "Will you be okay?"

Allison gives him a flat look. "Yes, Scott. I—"

"Can take care of myself," Scott and Isaac finish for her in perfect exasperated unison.

Allison fails to hide her smile. Lydia yanks on her arm to lead her away before she's forced to throw up.

"Hey, Lydia," Stiles calls after them, and Lydia, against her better judgment, halts to glance back at him. His plaid button-down is halfway between loose and unfairly flattering because come on, the guy does play lacrosse; he does have some things going for him, which Lydia would totally care about if he could bring himself to get something resembling a tan. "If any of these douchebags puts a finger on you, just, uh, you lemme know and I'll find a way to string his central retinal arteries together with a piece of twine, got it?"

"Sure, Stiles," Lydia sings back with a flick of her hand, already back in motion before he's even finished his sentence.

"He means it, you know," Allison tells her a moment later, when they're well out of earshot. "You do know that."

Lydia rolls her eyes, one corner of her lips curling upwards. "What I really know is that whatever prudish little Coke Zero you order tonight will be onmy tab, so you could cut back on the little asides, is all I'm saying."

Allison gives a long-suffering sigh, but jostles Lydia's arm fondly. A new song starts up, smashing life onto the dimly lit dance floor, and Allison and Lydia, giggling, dash towards the bar. As predicted, Allison's sipping on a Coke Zero a few minutes later, but Lydia is not as prudent, idly stirring a Cosmo and surveying the dance floor selection.

"God," she observes with a wry curl of her lips. "It's like a smorgasbord tonight."

"Enjoy," Allison comments, raising her glass in mock cheers.

"Allison Argent, do not even dare," Lydia orders her. "You are dancing tonight and you are hooking up with someone. Someone who we do not fight monsters with. If you don't, I'll be personally offended."

"You're a tough girl, Lydia; I'm sure you can handle it," Allison retorts teasingly, tilting her glass up. Her eyes have strayed back to Scott about seven times and Lydia's ready to kill a man. "You know I don't dance."

"I know that you prefer not to," Lydia corrects her, "But that means literally nothing to me, which I would've thought you'd know by now. You can't even make this sacrifice for your eternally faithful BFF?"

She gives Allison a dose of the best glimmering puppy dog eyes she can muster, and she can already see the steelier girl's resistance beginning to crumble. Taking candy from a baby.

"Okay, fine," Allison concedes, and it takes a great deal of willpower for Lydia not to do a little victory jig right there, "But before we get all immersed in whatever you've got planned—" She points subtly toward the bar. "You should probably deal with that."

Lydia blinks before pivoting around to follow Allison's finger. At the end of it, arguing heatedly with the bartender over something totally muted by the pumping music, is, of course, of course, Stiles.

"Don't go anywhere," Lydia huffs, and she swears she hears her horrible traitor of a best friend actually laugh.

With one fist at her side and her lips pursed, she marches through the bustling crowd and comes to a theatrical halt right at Stiles's side. He jumps at her appearance, flailing slightly backwards with errant arms, and she rolls her eyes so hugely that she's pretty sure they go into outer Earth orbit.

"What," she enunciates venomously, "The hell. Are you. Doing?"

"Well, this gentleman here seems to be philosophically opposed to giving a guy a glass of milk," Stiles replies, ruffled, straightening and sending a disgruntled look at the bartender, who looks like he's about ready to break a very specific skinny, pasty neck. "Which is a perfectly legitimate reason to have this place shut down, if you ask me. This kind of discrimination—"

"Tequila for him," Lydia barks to the bartender, causing Stiles to flummox into silence. "Stiles, you will drink it or you will die."

"I, uh, well, I, um—" Stiles splutters, but Lydia glowers at him and he deflates. "Yes, ma'am."

"And by the time I come back here in an hour," she continues tartly, "You had better no longer be a potential victim for the next virgin-sacrificing psychopath that wanders through town. Clear?"

"I," Stiles says articulately.

Lydia flings her hair over her shoulder and struts away, tilting her chin higher at the many pairs of eyes that latch onto her as she goes. Allison is giving her a dry look when they reunite, and Lydia shrugs innocently, downing the last of her Cosmo and smacking her lips conclusively.

"And now," she chirps, "The fun part."

Lydia's outside, in the middle of making out with a football player from the college the next town over, when her phone vibrates. And she would just like to point out that it only took her about fifteen minutes to get this guy eating out of the palm of her hand, which, granted, isn't record-breakingor anything, but she would still appreciate some recognition.

"Please hold, hot stuff," she says airily to him, shoving his face away by the lips with one finger and fishing her phone out of her clutch. She swipes her thumb across the unlock button and immediately frowns.

from: Allison

isaac's having trouble with the crowdedness so we're leaving. you gonna be ok?

Lydia rapidly types out a reply. She feels kind of bad now, because she hadn't even really thought of how Isaac would handle the place when it got more thickly populated, but at least he's got Allison and Scott out there with him, and quite frankly, at least he's a buffer to the rueful looks they won't stop giving each other.

to: Allison

stilinski can give me a ride in that total tragedy of a car, go ahead

from: Allison

thx, have fun

Lydia rolls her eyes. Like Allison hadn't had fun! Even though, well, being Allison, she'd only really danced with Scott and Isaac in equal degrees of suggestive intimacy, which they had reciprocated with alacrity even in spite of werewolves' apparently high tolerance for alcohol, so just try excusingthat laughably obvious boner, Scott McCall.

College football player is currently sucking a hickey onto Lydia's neck. Hm. This is fun, too.

She's just gotten done refusing to let this poor sap – Chad, of course he's named Chad – unzip his jeans when her phone vibrates again. And it's only then that she remembers oh, yes, Stiles is also here, somewhere, and she should probably pay attention to him if she's actually planning on getting a ride home, but not pay attention in the way she'd paid attention to him a few weeks ago when she had suddenly noticed exactly how appealing his lips looked in the dimly lit locker room, just pay attention to him in a way that says, "Excuse me, Jeeves; drive me home so I can take a bath and adequately prepare for my hangover."

It kind of sucks, actually, that she only has these thoughts when it's way too late to do anything with them. Judging by the text, anyway.

from: Stiles

i mis s ym mom

Her eyes go wide and her heart does this thing where it trips and scrapes itself open. How much tequila has he had?

to: Stiles

i'll be right there

Not even a trace of acerbic wit in there. She guesses it doesn't really feel appropriate. She tells Chad he can wait – no, on second thought, he can go home, because he is totally not as much of a catch as he thinks he is and if he wants girls to do him then he should probably invest in tenderer touches – and breezes back into the club through the side entrance, her heels clicking precisely on the tile floor as she approaches the throng.

The music is swollen with sound and life and there's not a single corner left uninhabited, but she spots Stiles in an instant – slumped on one of the barstools with his head in his hands.

She's there before she even realizes it, and the smell of him – grass and cheap deodorant – hits her full in the face even amidst the almost deadly cloud of Axe in the air. She's still never sure whether or not she's at the point where touching Stiles is acceptable, so she starts to lift her hand toward his shoulder on instinct, but then she jerks it back, hovering it hesitantly and biting her lip.

"Stiles?" she whispers, which is a pretty stupid idea, considering she's totally inaudible, so she's forced to say, louder, "Stiles?"

It's hard to tell with the sounds of Ke$ha thick in the room, but she's pretty sure she hears him sniffle.

"Okay, that's it," she tells him, hooking her arm under his and hoisting him up. "Come on, big guy; let's get you a little fresh air."

"I wish I could dance with you," he mumbles in her ear. "I want my mom—"

"Shh, just hang on," Lydia replies gently, glowering poisonously at anyone who dares step in her way as she hobbles through the horde with Stiles shuffling along beside her. The late winter air hits their faces in a crisp blast when they both step out into the starless night, and Lydia's breath streams out in a cloud.

The Eclipse is out on the freeway, just on the outskirts of the woods. The parking lot glitters with leftover rain and the trees are a deep teal shadow in the darkness. Stiles is starting to slump comfortably against her, his face burying itself in her hair, the long and heavy sigh from his nose spilling down her neck.

She wobbles just slightly on her heels before steering him away from the parking lot, away from the music, to the crude sidewalk a few yards beyond the flickering neon sign, and she carefully eases him down toward it. He seems to catch on, loosening his grip on her shoulder and flopping down onto the concrete with abandon. Lydia inhales through her nostrils before settling beside him, taking care that the skirt of her dress doesn't touch the sodden grass behind the cement.

"So," she says. "Your mom, huh?"

Stiles sniffles noisily, wiping his nose. Or, well, he tries, but he just kind of swipes at the air. Lydia's palms start to inexplicably itch and, for some reason, it seems like the most ideal form of relief would be to grip Stiles's hand in hers, but she restrains herself.

"'M sorry," he slurs, starting to tilt away until Lydia grabs his elbow and tugs him back up. "I know yoo w're… widda guy…"

"Oh, please; it's not like I'm missing out on much," Lydia scoffs, and then, like an idiot, she reaches over on instinct and pats Stiles's raised knee. He makes a very peculiar whimpering noise. "Do you wanna… talk?"

(Friendly reminder, Lydia Martin. This is Stiles Stilinski, the boy with the bloodied face and the dark circles under his eyes, shouting to you that he would lose his mind if you ever died. This is Stiles Stilinski, whose mouth had tasted like tears and Oreos when you had rammed a kiss onto him. This is Stiles Stilinski, whose bony fingers you have dreamed onto your naked skin at least once. Patting his knee and asking him if he wants to talk about his dead mother are not things you had ever predicted doing.

Tsk, you would have said, two years ago. I'll believe it when I see it.

You've seen darachs and werewolves and people coming back from the dead after sixteen hours, so you're probably prepared for anything at this point. Except for the fact that seeing him cry makes you feel like your world just lost all of its bright and beautiful things.)

"I'unno," he murmurs, and his hand scrabbles blindly at her thigh before she realizes what he's looking for and gives him her fingers, which he tangles his into with ease. He lets out a shaky breath at the contact, squeezing her hand and wetting his dry lips. "People're always… askin' me 'f I wanna talk."

"Yeah," Lydia whispers, stroking his knuckles with her thumb.

A car passes by them, its headlights sheaving gold light onto the wet road. Three people come out of the club, laughing and stumbling.

"'S funny, y'know," Stiles says after a long, comfortable silence. "S'mtimes when 'm scared I, uh… think of these – songs she used t'sing. 'Bout like, y'know, like, snow 'n flowers. An'—an' then I think of you. 'Cause I'm not – not scared, when she's singing. Or when you're here."

He falls against her, burying his face in the crook of her neck and curling towards her like a child. Lydia gulps and closes her eyes and wills herself not to mirror him, wills herself not to use her free hand to comb through his hair and memorize the skin where his spine begins. She doesn't just dothose things. Not to Stiles.

"D'you know any songs?" Stiles whispers, shifting slightly.

Lydia snorts. "Not the kind of songs you want, I can promise you."

"Betcha you know somethin' really embarrassing," Stiles mumbles, and she can feel his smile pressing into her bare skin. He's almost partially right; she knows all of The Little Mermaid by heart, but she's never considered that something to be embarrassed about.

"How much tequila did you drink, exactly?" she asks him, avoiding the statement.

Stiles holds up a hand and shows one finger. Lydia's eyebrows shoot up.

"One… bottle?"

He makes a face. "Nah. Th' – th'one that you ord'red f'r me. Jussat."

Lydia's eyes practically roll into the back of her head. Of course Stiles Stilinski is a lightweight. Just like the sky is blue and Coach Finstock likesIndependence Day.

After a moment, she slips her hand around to stroke circles onto his back, and she dares to let her chin rest against the top of his head, her gaze straying to the empty sky. She starts to hum "When You Wish Upon A Star," her feet pointing towards each other, her butt chilled from the water soaking through her dress. Stiles snuggles closer to her and she doesn't draw away.

He whispers something against the hollow of her ear that sounds suspiciously like "so in love with you," but she chooses to ignore it, to ignore the fluttering against her ribs, the warmth in her knees. She finishes the song and blows out so that she can see her breath fog up and dissipate again, and while Stiles sags against her, she fishes out her phone and texts Scott, one-handed. With her left hand, by the way. Now this is a sacrifice.

to: Scott

need a ride. say nothing, just come get us

Seconds later, as is always the case with Scott, her screen illuminates with a response: omw.

"D—" Stiles gulps, and Lydia perks up, stashing her phone away again and turning to him. "D'you know 'ny Jus—Jussin T'mberlake?"

Lydia gives him a deadpan look. "No, Stiles. I was born deaf. In Atlantis."

He springs up with surprising force and Lydia stiffens, ready to catch him should he fall, but he just sort of sways there, staring without focus at her chest.

"I'm—I'm juss—" he slurs before losing whatever feeble vestige of control he seems to think he has and flopping completely over into Lydia's lap (she lifts her hands up and away, wrinkling her nose, like he's a stain). "I'm jussayin'—I woul'tot'lly do J'stin T'mberlake. I wood."

Lydia sighs, dropping her arms to her sides.