April 10, 2014

The Dark Side of The Moon 11/14

Title: The Dark Side of The Moon
Rating: R
Authors: Sxymami0909 and Xtremeroswellia
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Stiles/Lydia, Isaac/Allison, Scott/Kira, Derek, Deaton, Sheriff Stilinski,
Wordcount: 99,326
Timeline: Season 3B
Banner: By Sxymami0909
Parts: 11/14
Summary: The ritual is done, but the consequences aren't over. The door inside Stiles' head is still open and they're running out of time to get it closed. Lydia's powers are growing and Derek might hold the key to a link in her past. With Stiles slowly losing his mind and Lydia being the only person who can help him keep it together, the pack is in a race against time to help their friend. Will they be able to close the door in time or will Stiles be lost to them forever?
Previous Chapters: | One | Two | Three | Four |Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten |

Chapter 11

Stiles unlocked the door to the Stilinski household with a hand that wasn’t quite steady. He and Scott ended up with an hour’s worth of detention after school for ditching first period, but neither of them were that bothered by it. Truthfully they’d both probably been expecting it. They’d had so many detentions in the last three years that he’s surprised they haven’t been issued frequent flier miles.

He turned his head to look over his shoulder at Lydia as he pushed the door open. “Sorry again about the delay.” She was the only reason he had any guilt over detention since she was staying with them and he was her ride back. He held the door open for her, stepping back to let her in first and smiling a little when he heard excited barking running in their direction.

Lydia waved Stiles’ apology off, “It’s fine, I got a lot of work done in the library,” she told him as she grinned and bent down to greet Prada, “Hi baby,” she said while pulling the small pup into her arms and standing. “Did you miss me,” she cooed as she walked further into the house and then turned so she was facing Stiles.

She took Prada’s small paw and gently waved it at Stiles. “She might have missed you too...maybe,” Lydia said with a grin. Prada liked Stiles. He played with her, fed her and the other night she’d found her dog curled up on Stiles lap as he read a book for homework. It was cute, very cute.

He couldn’t help but grin at that. Once upon a time it would have been hard to imagine Lydia Martin making her dog wave at him, but there was something inherently Lydia about it and he shook his head, reaching out and petting Prada gently behind the ears. “I think she did,” he told her, indicating the dog’s wagging tail. He stooped down to pick the mail off the floor, sorting through it. Water bill, cable bill, garbage bill, power bill and…

Stiles smiled a little at the yellow envelope that most definitely wasn’t a bill. It had Melissa McCall’s handwriting on it, addressed to him and his dad, and he knew it was one of the ‘Thinking of You’ cards that she never failed to send them on the anniversary of his mom’s death. He set the stack by his dad’s favorite recliner, because he always let his dad open that particular piece of mail even though it was always addressed to both of them. Stiles had Scott for support on the day, and Sheriff Stilinski had Scott’s mom for support.

The card caught Lydia’s gaze as she let Prada back down on the floor. “What’s that?” She asked as she took her purse off her shoulder and dropped it carefully to the table before glancing over at Stiles.

“It’s uh -- a card from Scott’s mom.” His voice was soft. “She sends one every year for us.” He was quiet for a moment, looking up at her, wondering if anyone had ever done that for Lydia. He doubted it. He walked over and slid his arms around her waist.

Lydia tilted her head to the side and smiled. “That’s really nice of her,” she said just as softly.

“Yeah it is,” he agreed.

Lydia ran a hand down his arm, her expression softening. “Hi,” she said as she tilted her head up and brushed her lips against his.

Stiles closed his eyes as their lips met in a tender kiss. One of his hands slid up and threaded through her hair and he leaned his forehead against hers. “Hi.” It was still so new, just walking up to her and sliding his arms around her like it wasn’t something he’d literally fantasized and dreamed about for the last several years of his life. It wasn’t something he’d ever thought would actually happen.

Lydia ran a hand down his back, “I can practically hear you thinking,” she said keeping her tone light. “What’s going on in there? Talk to me?” She said as she let her free hand grip his midsection. Lydia hated that there was still so much she didn’t know about Stiles and his moods. One would think by now she’d know them all.

“Mostly I was just...kinda thinking maybe I’m still dreaming,” he admitted with a short chuckle. “In a good way. Not in a dream inside of a dream inside of a dream that I have to scream myself awake from kind of way.” He hoped that would make sense to her.

Lydia chuckled, “Well I certainly hope not,” she said pressing herself closer to him, “I’d hate to think you’d want to wake up screaming from spending time with me,” She told him with a shake of her head.

Stiles grinned, watching her with nothing short of adoration. “Definitely not, Ms. Martin.” He kissed the tip of her nose, pausing when the doorbell rang. “I should get that. I have a feeling it’s something important.”

Lydia arched an eyebrow amused, “More important than me?” She asked her tone playful. She wasn’t sure what it was about Stiles, but she felt like she could be herself around him. Lydia didn’t need to keep up walls the way she did with the other people she’d been with since Jackson.

“Of course not.” He kissed her cheek lightly, then moved to open the door, stepping aside when he saw it was who he’d expected. “If you just wanna set them on the kitchen table.” He pointed the flower delivery man in the direction of the kitchen, looking over at Lydia briefly and holding his left hand out to her.

Lydia hesitated, but reached for his hand and threaded their fingers together as she watched the delivery man follow Stiles directions and set the flowers on the table. “What’s all this?” She asked softly as she glanced back at Stiles.

He dug some money out of his wallet and handed it to the delivery man for a tip before letting out a breath. “You said your sister liked calla lilies.” He bit his lip, looking at the bundle of flowers that was on the left. “My mom liked tulips.” He shrugged.

Lydia stepped closer to the table finally taking notice of the second vase of flowers sitting there. Her chest tightened as she spotted the calla lilies. Stiles had ordered flowers for her sister. He went out of his way to do something nice for her, something that meant more than he probably knew.

When Lydia turned around to face him she couldn't quite hide the emotion in her eyes and she didn't want to. “You ordered flowers for my sister?” She asked softly.

Stiles held his breath at the look on her face and he nodded, chewing his lower lip. “It felt like the right thing to do. I mean after everything…” He swallowed hard, looking at the flowers for a moment, and then back at Lydia. “Is that okay?”

Lydia closed the distance between them and reached out gripping his waist gently. “It’s more than okay, I can’t believe--” her voice cut off as her chest warmed, “No one has ever done anything that thoughtful for me before.” Lydia explained.

“Thank you,” she said softly before tilting her head up and pressing a kiss to his lips. Lydia wanted to say more, but she was too overwhelmed by the emotion building in her chest. Stiles was a good guy, better than she deserved.

Stiles wasn’t entirely surprised by her admission. Her previous relationships had been with guys who were so out of touch with who she was that it was actually ridiculous. They probably hadn’t even known she’d had a sister, or if they did, they hadn’t cared enough to mention it or bring her up.

He cupped her cheek gently as he returned the kiss without hesitation. “You’re welcome.” It was why he’d asked her that morning if she had any traditions on her sister’s anniversary, because he knew how important it was to remember lost loved ones. He’d ordered both bouquets before heading to second period that morning.

Lydia shook her head baffled, “Why are you so good to me?” She asked voicing the thought that had been floating through her head for quite some time. “You’re always there when I need you no questions asked and you always know what to say to make things better,” Lydia pressed her lips together, “I don’t deserve someone like you,” she told him while leaning into his touch.

Stiles blinked, not sure he’d heard her correctly, and not sure if it was her question or her statement surprised him more. After a moment, though, he realized she was utterly serious on both accounts and he stared at her. “Lydia…” He shook his head and then pulled out one of the kitchen chairs, urging her to sit down in it. “Why do you think that?” he asked quietly.

Lydia sat down, her eyes never straying from his face. “Come on Stiles, I spent most of our middle school and part of high school ignoring you.” She said with an arched eyebrow. “Things are different now, but I wasn’t a good person before.” At least not outwardly. She kept up appearances because it was what people had expected of her.

She always got any guy she wanted, but it was never real, not outside of Jackson and look how that had turned out. Lydia hadn’t been able to be herself with him. She had to pretend not to know how to do things and pretend she wasn’t as smart as she was to feed Jackson’s ego and as much as she loved him back then, he’d never treated her right.

But Stiles, he was the opposite. All he did was care about her even when she hadn’t cared about him. “I’m not used to...being so important to someone.” She admitted.

He was silent for a moment, gazing at her. Then he sat down in the chair beside her, taking her hands in his. “You don’t remember, do you?” He shook his head a little, leaning forward. “The week after my mom...and Elizabeth...we were both back at school. Scott was out sick because he’d had an asthma attack. I started crying at lunch.” He blew out a breath, looking down for a moment and then back up at her.

“A couple of kids from two grades ahead of us started picking on me, calling me names. You got up from your seat in this extremely dignified, classic Lydia Martin way, walked over to where we were, and you kicked one of them so hard in the knee he actually fell down.” He arched his eyebrows. “The other kid ran away he was so afraid of you. And that is when I knew that there was only one girl for Stiles Stilinski.” His eyes were sad as he gazed at her.

“Lydia. I’ve seen you do a million tiny kind things for people over the years when you didn’t think anyone was paying any attention. I was paying attention.” He smiled a little. He lifted her hands to his mouth, kissing her knuckles gently. “So you can get used to being important to someone because well. Now that you have me, you’re stuck with me, so…” He shrugged nonchalantly, voice turning playful.

A hint of moisture filled Lydia’s eyes and she couldn’t help internally rolling her eyes at herself for being so emotional. Lydia did remember that day, but what she hadn’t known was that Stiles saw her. She hadn’t realized he knew she did that. But she remembered being so angry that they were teasing him. After all she knew what it felt like to lose someone she loved and just because she hadn’t cried in front of people it didn’t mean she didn’t want to.

“I love you,” she kept her eyes on his, “I really do.” Lydia hadn’t been sure before, she knew she cared about him, but love was big and when she told him she thought she was falling for him, Lydia should have realized she already had.

Stiles held her gaze, holding his breath at her words, and gently squeezing her hands. “And I’ve loved you for as long as I can remember.” He smiled softly, leaning in and pressing a kiss to her forehead before pulling her into a hug.

Lydia wrapped her arms around him, returning the hug. “Man, you’ve got this boyfriend thing down,” she teased lightly breaking the seriousness in the room. She ran her hand up and down his back. “So, dinner?” She asked trying to push all the heavy stuff away for the moment.

At that, he grinned. He’d never had a chance to do the boyfriend thing before, so it was nice to hear that he was doing it right. “Dinner,” he agreed, kissing her softly before rising to his feet. His dad would be home in a little over an hour. It was about the perfect amount of time for eggplant lasagna.


Lydia bit down hard on a piece of celery as she glanced at her nails. She was in desperate need of a manicure. Maybe she’d get one after she got out of her boyfriend’s mind that weekend. She pursed her lips. Just knowing that they were less than a day away from doing the ritual had her stomach in knots.

Lydia had a bad feeling. It had been there ever since she woke up that morning. But she wasn’t sure if it was nerves or something she should actually be worrying about. Lydia sighed and took another bite of her celery annoyed with the fact that she couldn’t distinguish her own feelings. A light breeze ruffled her hair but she didn’t bother pushing it away from her face as she half listened to her friends sitting around her talking.

Lydia wasn’t the only one on edge. Stiles had pushed food around his plate off and on for the past ten minutes but had only taken two very small bites. If anyone asked, he planned to tell them that it was school food so of course it was crap. He hadn’t had nightmares the previous night, exactly. More like a restless sleep that had resulted in restless dreams, just various broken images and words that had floated through his mind, that least of all included the Nemeton, and Peter Hale. Beyond that, everything was too fleeting or too unimportant for him to recall.

His foot bounced rapidly on the concrete beneath the picnic table where they were all seated. It was nothing new, really. Stiles was always fidgeting or moving somehow. He could practically feel the tension rolling off Lydia beside him and after a moment, he just gave in and reached over, lacing their fingers together without actually looking at her.

Lydia blinked, the feel of Stiles’ hand on hers startling her from her thoughts. She squeezed it and continued eating her celery.

Scott frowned when he realized Stiles wasn’t paying attention to him. He nudged his friend’s foot under the table and cocked his head to the side, “You okay man?” He asked quietly. He was worried about the ritual tomorrow, they all were, but Scott could see how preoccupied Stiles and Lydia were and he wished there was something he could do.

He felt the change in her tension level almost immediately and his own lowered just a little until Scott nudged him. He drew in a breath and glanced at him silently, offering him a silent, one shouldered shrug in return. There wasn’t really a point in trying to lie to Scott because not only did Scott know him too well, he could also hear Stiles’ heartbeat. And while his heartbeat was probably faster than usual thanks to the Adderall he took daily, he knew even a tiny lie would result in some kind of change in his heart’s rhythm. At the end of the day, he just doesn’t want to lie to Scott at all, so he remained silent instead.

Allison, sensing something was amiss, looked around at their group, a troubled expression on her face. She had no doubt their minds were on the ritual they were doing tomorrow night. If she’d said she wasn’t a little nervous about it, she’d be lying, too. It was a big deal. Maybe not quite as dangerous as the one they’d done a few weeks ago that had resulted in three of them dying for seventeen hours, but going into another person’s subconscious certainly didn’t come without risks, she was sure of that much. She shifted closer to Isaac, just a little, as if somehow being physically closer would prevent anything terrible from happening to any of them.

Isaac felt Allison shift beside him, the outside of her leg brushing against his. He reached out and rested a hand on her thigh, a gesture of comfort. It wasn’t hard to see that everyone around them were lost in their own thoughts. He lifted his hot dog in his free hand and took bite as he observed their friends. “That history test from the other day was pretty hard,” he said breaking the silence around the lunch table figuring someone had to.

She reached down, covering his hand with her own. “Yeah, I’m not sure I did very well on it.” Even though they’d studied together for a few hours, Allison still wasn’t sure she’d actually passed it. She tried to chalk it up to worry about everything that was going on, but truthfully she’d been pretty distracted by Isaac himself.

Scott nodded, “Yeah, me either.” he said joining the conversation. “All the studying in the world wasn’t going to help me there,” he said with half a smile. It was true, but he was pretty sure it was because he was too preoccupied with what was going on to retain the information.

A tiny smirk tugged at the corners of Stiles’ mouth and he glanced at Lydia sideways, remembering her comment about enjoying throwing the grading curve. No doubt she had. He gave her hand a squeeze and looked over at the rest of his friends. “One out of five of us doing well isn’t bad.”

“Doing well at what?” Kira asked curiously as she walked up a second later, sitting down on the other side of Scott and setting her lunch bag down.

“The history test from the other day,” Allison supplied, offering her a small, friendly smile.

Scott smiled; he’d been waiting for her to get there. “What about you?” He asked lightly, “How’d you do?” He asked trying to include her in the conversation even though he was pretty sure none of them cared.

Kira joining them at the table got Lydia’s attention. She had promised Stiles she’d give the other girl a chance and she intended to, but at the same time having someone outside their group around right now with everything going on made her anxious. She brushed her thumb over Stiles’ hand and did her best to push aside all the conflicting emotions inside of her.

“Um, okay I think? Not terrible, but not the best, either.” She pulled a sandwich out of her bag and took a little bite of it.

Stiles did the same to her hand with his thumb, almost like a tiny game of comfort that neither of them realized they were even engaged in. “Well I had to be the bearer of bad news, guys, but pretty sure Lydia aced it as usual.” He smiled.

That brought a smirk to Lydia’s face, “Of course I did,” she said enjoying the way Stiles boasted about her grade. He was sweet. He was hers. But for how much longer? A voice in the back of her head provoked. Lydia dropped the rest of her celery stick in disgust and shifted closer to Stiles not even bothering to make the move discrete.

She took her other hand crossing it over her body and rested it on the arm of the hand that was holding hers.

Scott followed the movement, the sound of Lydia’s heartbeat elevating slightly making him frown. He didn’t realize he was staring until Lydia’s voice echoed around their table.

“Why are you staring? Do you have some kind of ynotophobia McCall?”

Scot blinked, “A wha-”

Lydia continued, “Because if you have a fear of living I can gladly fix that for you.” She said eyes turning to slits.

Scott shook his head quickly, “No, no I wasn’t staring I was just…” He struggled to find the words that would appease the glaring redhead, but couldn’t seem to find them. Scott glanced at Stiles with a pleading look for help not particularly wanting Lydia’s ire aimed at him and hoping his best friend would smooth over the little bump that was quickly forming.

Allison frowned, too, because Lydia was clearly upset, and she couldn’t figure out what Scott had done to piss her off that quickly.

Stiles felt her move closer to him and then both of her hands were on his. She wasn’t pissed, he realized, even though it was coming out that way. She was scared. Lydia being scared made his anxiety spike because it meant she was probably having one of her bad feelings and considering what they were doing tomorrow…

His whole body tensed involuntarily. “Okay let’s just...talk about the thing that’s bothering all of us right now because it’s better than lunch hour ending in blood.” He drew in a breath and let it out slowly, glancing at his girlfriend.

Kira was the only one at the table who looked uncertain about what was going on and he sighed softly. It really wasn’t fair for her to be part of their group and have no clue about what was happening. He looked at Scott, searching his best friend’s eyes for a moment, and then looking past him to Kira.

“Awhile back, before you got here, we had to do this thing. A ritual. It was dangerous, but we didn’t have a choice,” he began.

Scott picked up where Stiles left off. “We did it to save our parents who sort of got caught up with a Darach and ritual sacrifices,” he said wincing. God, Kira was never going to want to spend time with him after she found out all of this crap. Welcome to my life, Scott thought. “Anyway the ritual opened our minds up to...dark things that are out there.”

“Bardo,” Lydia supplied knowing Kira would make the connection now since that was the first thing she heard them all talking about. Plus Scott was just taking too long and she didn’t have her normal patience span, not that it was overly long typically. “Stiles and his over busy head didn’t get the memo to close the door, so I’m going to go in there and help him close it.” She told Kira flippantly like it wasn’t a big deal even though the closer the got to the ritual the more that weird feeling in the pit of her stomach clenched.

Allison eyed her best friend with concern. Lydia was being much less patient than usual, even though she knew her best friend wasn’t really known for an overabundance of patience. “And the rest of us have to be there so they can draw strength from us to do that,” she added.

Stiles rubbed his thumb over her wrist soothingly. “And we have to do it on the full moon.”

“Because that’s when the energy for most people is highest,” Kira finished, looking around at all of them. She looked at Scott. “So tomorrow then.”

Scott sent her half a smile, but it came out as more of a wince. “Yeah,” he said quietly before glancing around the table at his friends. “We’re just a little tense. The last ritual we did had a few unpleasant side effects,” though the truth was he was scared. He didn’t want to lose his best friend, his brother. Scott didn’t know what he’d do without Stiles.

Isaac cleared his throat to get Kira’s attention, “They’re afraid Lydia is gonna wind up stuck in Stiles’ head and then the two of them will just be one giant clusterfuc-- what?” he asked when everyone turned to look at him. Isaac hunkered down in his seat beside Allison. “I was just trying to fill Kira in,” he mumbled.

Stiles glared at him. “Helpful, as always,” he muttered, raking a hand through his hair.

Allison patted Isaac’s leg gently, a strained smile on her face and looked at Kira again. “So we’re all a little more on edge than usual.”

Sighing softly, Stiles reached out and laid his free hand on Scott’s shoulder, giving it a squeeze because he could tell that his best friend was as worried about all of it as he and Lydia were.

“It sounds like there’s a good reason for everyone to be,” Kira said, hesitant as she looked around. “Is...I mean, is there anything I can do to help?”

Scott opened his mouth to tell her ‘no’ but paused. “I’m not sure. I mean given what you...what we are your energy might be different. I can ask Deaton if it would be helpful, I mean if you don’t mind. You don’t have to help, Kira.” He wanted to make that clear. Scott would never put anyone he cared about in intentional harm, which was why he’d let everyone make their own decision about helping Stiles.

Isaac angled his head watching the interaction. He knew that sometimes he said the wrong thing, but it wasn’t intentional. He wasn’t always sure how to act in these situations and a lot of the time he just said the first thing that came to mind. That was one thing Derek had never yelled at him about, he supposed because the former Alpha tended to do the same thing most of the time except he didn’t really care what people thought of him, or he used to not care.

He pulled himself from his thoughts as he watched Scott reach out and place a hand over Kira’s on top of the table.

“I mean it; I don’t want you to feel like you have to help.” Scott said quietly though he’d never push help away especially if it was going to make things safer for Stiles.

Kira looked down at their hands, then up at him, her eyes reflecting worried. “I know I don’t have to, but I want to,” she said honestly. She glanced past him to look at Stiles and Lydia. “You’ve all been really nice to me and if there’s a way I can help, I want to do it. I mean I’m still new to all of this, but…” She shrugged a little, looking back at Scott. “I’ll help if I can.”

Stiles smiled faintly at her, and then glanced at Lydia. “I’m sure we can figure something out, right, Lyds?” He squeezed her hand.

Lydia nodded, “Right, according to the ritual the more energy we have the more effective it will be. Stiles and I can draw on it from within the circle.” She explained.

Scott’s brows drew together, “I thought the ritual was written in some weird language, that’s why Deaton needed to get everything together for us.” He said though now he wasn’t so sure.

Lydia sighed, “Not some strange language. Latin,” she corrected, “And some Gaelic thrown in for good measure. I can read both. I asked Deaton for a copy of the ritual a couple of days back.” She explained. She hadn’t said anything about it, but she wasn’t trying to keep it a secret. Lydia just wanted to know what the ritual entailed and she got tired of waiting for everyone to explain it to her.

Stiles knew she had it, it was on his desk though she guessed if he couldn’t read it he probably didn’t know what it was, but Lydia could have sworn she mentioned it to him in passing. After all she did like to be prepared.

Stiles grinned, an almost involuntary reaction to Isaac and Scott’s shocked expressions. “I did mention that my girlfriend is incredibly brilliant, right? Because she is and she teaches herself how to read ancient languages when she’s bored.” He looked at her proudly, letting go of her hand and wrapping his arm around her waist.

Kira grinned at the pride in Stiles’ voice. “Then count me in,” she told Lydia.

Lydia flushed, her cheeks actually filled with warmth and she was pretty sure they were going rosy on her. God, something was wrong with her. She huffed, but there was a mixture of humor and affection in her gaze as she glanced at Stiles. “This relationship is going to work just fine if you keep feeding my ego like that,” she commented jokingly, but it was the first time anyone had boasted about her prowess is something that wasn’t looks, sex, or attitude and she loved Stiles all the more for that.

Lydia let her gaze flutter over to Kira and she nodded, “Thanks,” she smiled at the brunette realizing that Stiles might be right. Maybe she wasn’t so bad after all.


Stiles was getting increasingly anxious as the day wore on. At Lydia’s behest, he spent a few hours after school with Scott, as if she sensed how much the brothers needed some time together. Which meant she was really worried. And that in turn, made him really worried. And he had a feeling they were both worried for very different reasons. She was afraid for Stiles and Stiles was afraid for her.

He let himself in his house with the spare key they kept hidden in a little box beneath a pile of rocks in one of the front flower beds since he’d given Lydia his key since she was staying with them. He knew she’d gone home to see her mom for awhile after school, but it was after seven and he was pretty sure she was back by now. The house, though, was utterly silent.

His dad was working a late shift. Even Prada was nowhere in sight. It was almost eerie. He flipped on the light in the living room because it was already getting dark outside and everything in him just felt...unsettled. He slowly trudged up the stairs toward his bedroom, pushing the door open with his foot and pausing when he saw Lydia there, lying on her stomach, book open in front of her as she read.

“Hey,” he said softly, shrugging off his backpack and setting it down beside his desk. He smiled a little when Prada emerged from under his bed, wagging her tail. “Hey there.” She barked excitedly and trotted over to him. He picked her up and sat down beside Lydia on the mattress.

Lydia glanced away from her book and at Stiles, a smile pulling at her lips when she saw him holding Prada. She was surprised by how much her dog liked him. Then again it was hard not to like Stiles. “Hey,” she said as she marked her page and closed the book. Lydia hadn’t gotten much reading done, maybe half a book, which wasn’t much since the book was short, but she hadn’t been able to concentrate, she was worried.

She sat up resting on her knees and reached out to pet Prada as she spoke. “Did you have fun with Scott?” She asked as she glanced up at him with a small smile.

“Yeah. We played Call of Duty and his mom made us spaghetti for dinner. Which reminds me...did you eat? I could make something,” he offered, arching his eyebrows.

Lydia nodded, “I heated up some leftovers and took some to your Dad and I ate the rest.” She said as she tossed the book aside. “I’m glad you had fun.” She said genuinely as she reached out and ran a hand down his arm. “I saw my Mother, completely obvious to the fact that I haven’t slept in my own bed for the past week,” Lydia said with a sigh. “Though I’m not sure why I’m surprised. She did however notice Prada was missing.” Lydia added.

The breath caught in his throat at her first statement. She’d taken leftovers to his dad for dinner. Gently setting Prada down on the bed, he reached out, tucking some hair behind her ear and pressing his lips to her forehead. “Thanks. For taking care of my dad.” His eyes were sad as she went on, talking about how her mother hadn’t noticed her absence, but she’d noticed Prada’s absence. There was something so inherently wrong with that, Stiles couldn’t even find words for it. “What’d you tell her?”

Lydia shrugged, “That I was staying with Allison because Mr. Argent was out of town on a buying trip again.” She told him with half a smile. “Plus side, that’s going to make sleepovers really easy for us in the future.” She said keeping her voice bright as she leaned in and brushed her lips against his. “Maybe I can convince you to come and sleep at my house next time.”

Stiles closed his eyes, kissing her back softly, and nodding. That was a great alibi, really. Especially since her mom wasn’t in on the whole supernatural secret, and there was little to no chance she’d be calling to check up on her whereabouts. Which was actually depressing. He missed his mother terribly, but he still had his dad. Lydia’s parents were both alive; they just didn’t take time to spend with her or get to know her. They had no idea how amazing she was. They were missing out on so much. And so was Lydia, really. Wordlessly, he wound his arms around her. It was horribly unfair to Lydia. “That wouldn’t be difficult. Pretty sure you could convince me to do just about anything.”

Lydia chuckled as she leaned into Stiles. “You shouldn’t tell me that or I’ll make you do all kinds of questionable things,” she said teasingly as she rested her head on his shoulder.

He smirked. “Questionable things, huh? Well, I do a lot of those already, so hey, partners in crime. Though I have to admit, I’m curious as to what you consider questionable things, and my interest is definitely high.”

Lydia chuckled but the smile fell from her face a minute later. She stayed where she was though in Stiles’ arms. “Tell me everything is going to be fine tomorrow.” She said suddenly. “I just need to hear it from someone who isn’t me.” She had been worried all day and while some of her anxiety had teetered off, there was still a chunk left.

When her voice dropped a little, he held his breath, gently rubbing her back as he shut his eyes. “It’s gonna be fine. I mean we’ll have the whole pack there and, look at all the crazy things we’ve been through together.” He was glad that he sounded more assured than he actually felt.

Lydia smiled and shifted back so she could see his face. She cupped his cheek, “Thanks,” she said before her smile widened into a grin. “Maybe sometime I’ll ask you to do one and you’ll see.” She said as Prada gave a soft bark trying to get them to pay her some attention. Lydia glanced at her as she moved in circle on Stiles bed.

Lydia shook her head, “She’s going to miss you when we go back home.”

“Oh I do hope so.” He grinned at her, too, then looked at Prada, chuckling as he reached out to pet her. “Yeah, well. I don’t plan to stay away so she’ll still see me plenty.” He shook his head in amusement as Prada settled herself on his lap, laying her head down on his knee.

“Good, because I’ll probably miss you too,” Lydia said as she flipped some of her hair over her shoulder and shifted plopping down on the bed so she was resting back against the pillows. “I picked up a few more outfits from home and put a couple in your closet for the next couple of days, I hope that’s okay.” She figured she’d stay with him for a day or two after the ritual just to make sure he was okay.

“Of course it is,” he told her, shifting Prada gently back to the bed and lying down beside her. He was quiet for a moment. “Maybe you should just leave a few things here for future purposes. You know, so you don’t have to worry about it at the last minute sometime.” He looked at her to see what her reaction would be.

Lydia shifted on her side and arched an eyebrow, humor glittering in her eyes. “Stiles Stilinski, are you anticipating me staying here often? Alone together?” She asked biting the inside of her cheek to keep the smile from pulling at her lips.

“It is definitely on my list of top five things that I hope will be happening, yes,” he told her with a nod. Then he realized that it might have sounded a little too presumptuous. He had a bad habit of digging himself into awkward holes and then burying himself deeper. “You know. I mean, only if you want that too.”

Lydia couldn’t hide her smile anymore as she shifted closer to Stiles and rested a hand on his chest. “There’s probably no way you can keep me out of this bed for long,” she whispered. “But I think it’s kind of cute when you get all flustered.”

A faint blush rose to his cheeks and he shook his head. He was pretty sure if he thought about what she said for too long his brain would actually explode. They’d been sharing his bed for days now and it was almost hard to imagine sleeping alone again. He wondered if that was going to be a problem for them later on. “Good thing I’m flustered a lot then, I guess,” he said with a short laugh.

Lydia chuckled, “Good thing.” She rolled her eyes playfully and sat up. “It’s getting late; I’m going to go take Prada for a quick walk.” She said as she carefully climbed over him and stood up. “I’ll be right back.” She told him as she went over to his desk to grab her heels that were lying on the floor.

Nodding, he watched her as she picked Prada up and headed for the door before sitting up. “Yeah, okay. I’m gonna take a quick shower.” He yawned, raking a hand through his hair and climbing to his feet, as well.

“See you in a little bit,” She called out before heading for the front door. Lydia spent fifteen minutes walking Prada around the Stilinski neighborhood before finally making her way back to the house. She gave Prada some fresh food and water and put her leash down before heading back upstairs to Stiles bedroom.

Lydia heard the shower still going as she passed the bathroom and paused by the door briefly before shaking her head and stepping into his bedroom. She glanced around momentarily the heavy feeling still sitting in her chest. She wished she knew what it meant or didn’t mean. Either way Lydia was worried.

What if tomorrow’s ritual turned out worse than the other one? What if after everything she failed? What if she couldn’t help Stiles? Lydia would never forgive herself. She tried to push the thoughts plaguing her aside and walked over to her bag. She bent down and pulled it onto Stiles desk, the pink color standing out in his room.

She rummaged through it for pajamas and paused when something caught her eye. Lydia bit her bottom lip as she gripped the black material and pulled it out of her bag. She must have thrown it in their earlier and not even realized...or maybe it was her subconscious sending her a message, either way the second she saw it she knew it was definitely what she’d be wearing to bed tonight.

Lydia yanked it out of her bag and tossed it on the bed before dropping her bag to the floor again and undressing. She kicked her heels off first and then unzipped her skirt. Lydia pushed it to the ground seconds later and her blouse and bra followed soon after.

She reached for her nightgown and pulled it over her head before picking up her scattered clothes. Lydia placed them in her bag and then reached up and let her hair down shaking it out with her hand. She tossed the clip on Stiles’ desk and turned heading for the bed. Lydia situated herself so she was lying in the middle against the pillows. She reached for her book again and opened it waiting somewhat impatiently for Stiles to get out of the shower.

Stiles took a long, hot shower, trying to soothe some of the anxiety and tension out of his body. He’d been stressed all day and sometimes the hot water, while not soothing of the internal workings of his brain, helped his tight muscles at least a little. The steam from the water helped him breathe a little better, as well. That was a trick he’d learned once from Scott’s mom when Scott had an asthma attack once. He took several long, slow, deep breaths and let them out slowly before lathering his body up with soap and washing it all away a few moments later.

God he was terrified. He was terrified for the possibility that Lydia was going to end up with some kind of terrible consequences for her involvement in a ritual that could go wrong. He was terrified that he was going to lose himself in the ritual and that because of that his dad and Scott were both going to suffer the consequences. He swallowed hard, wondering if maybe it would just be better for everyone involved if he just dealt with the nightmares. He was worried about what an open door in his mind meant for not only him, but for the people he cared about, and really, for all of Beacon Hills. Deaton had warned that having it open for very long would have dire effects.

Stiles was sick of dire effects and sick of rituals and sick of terrible things happening to everyone he cared about. He rarely complained about any of it, but it didn’t mean it didn’t affect him or stress him out. Truthfully his nerves were frayed more often than not anymore and he didn’t know how to fix that really. It felt like everything was a huge struggle just to survive each day anymore, and to survive each day with some semblance of sanity felt like a tiny victory.

He stepped out of the shower, drying off and pulling on an oversized Beacon Hills shirt and a pair of sweat pants before cleaning the bathroom up and heading back across the hall and into his room where his gaze fell on Lydia.

In a very sexy, very revealing nightie.

He nearly stumbled over his own feet, catching himself with an arm on the doorframe as he stared at her wide-eyed and open mouthed. Speech? Absolutely out of the question.

Lydia closed her book with a resounding thud. “Well that took long enough.” She said lightly as she tossed her book aside. “Good shower?” She asked amused at the expression on his face. Lydia liked that she could wow Stiles. She liked the way he looked at her.

“Uh.” He swallowed hard, unable to take his eyes off her. “Shower?” he echoed dumbly.

Lydia bit back her smile as she shifted on the bed sliding her body to the edge until her feet hit the floor. She paused eyeing Stiles before standing up slowly and closing the distance between them. Lydia ran her hands down his arms and leaned forward taking a deep breath. “You smell nice.” She said keeping her tone soft.

Stiles’ eyes widened even more as she actually approached him, holding his breath as she slid her hands down his arms. “Thanks,” he murmured. “You look…” Actually he couldn’t think of a single adjective to describe how she looked. He’d seen her like this once before, a long time ago, but things had been really, really different back then.

Lydia tilted her head to the side. “I look?” She let her voice trail off in question as she took a step closer their bodies practically brushing against each other. “Do you like the way I look Stiles?” The words were soft and calm as she let her hand grip his and guided it to her hip.

Oh, god. And now he was touching her while she was dressed in very little clothing and he couldn’t really think at all. “God yes,” he breathed. “So very much yes.” He gulped as she moved closer.

Lydia tilted her head up and brushed her lips against his jaw as she let one of her hands play with the hem of his shirt. “Would you like it better if I wasn’t wearing it?” She asked her voice barely a whisper as she shrugged her right shoulder letting the strap slip just a little down her shoulder.

A tiny sound escaped him that was somewhere between a gasp and a groan as he watched the strap slip down her shoulder. He’d had dreams like this so many times over the years he’d literally lost track of how many he’d had. Was this really happening? He hesitated a second before reaching up, his fingertips ghosting over her shoulder, like he couldn’t resist the urge to touch her bare skin.

Lydia inhaled deeply and she glanced away from his hand on her shoulder to Stiles’ face. She slipped a hand beneath his shirt resting it on his chest as she leaned into him, this time pressing her body against his trapping her hand between them. “Stiles?” his name fell off her lips in a soft voice as she looked at him from beneath her lashes.

He leaned back against the wall, not at all bothered by her assertiveness even if he was still kind of dazed. “Yeah?” His gaze had dropped to her mouth, his heart beating much faster than normal.

“I love you,” Lydia said the words falling off her lips easier each time she said them. “I don’t want to wait.” She paused, “I mean unless you want to wait.” Lydia hadn’t considered that he might want to. “I just, I want you.” Lydia said simply. It wasn’t the smoothest she’d ever been, but this was different. This wasn’t some random hook-up that she shoved against the wall or into a chair and climbed on top of.

This was Stiles. He was the first person who had meant anything to her since Jackson. And she wanted to do this right.

“I love you, too,” he said quietly, relaxing a little at her easy utterance. His heart still thundered in his chest and he wondered distantly why the hell he would want to wait. He definitely did not want to wait and pass up this opportunity. “No, no, I don’t want to wait at all. Definitely not.” He hesitantly reached out, settling his hands at her hips and kissing her softly. “Just uh...just wait for like, two minutes, okay?” He arched his eyebrows, kissing her again and then sliding away from her and heading out of the room. If they were going to do this, they were going to do this right.

Lydia blinked confusion settling on her face. She opened her mouth, but closed it and sat on the edge of Stiles bed. He had asked her to wait and she would. But now she was feeling nervous. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. She was Lydia Martin; she had nothing to be nervous about.

He returned a moment later carrying an armful of candles, a lighter, and a box of condoms. He set the candles on his nightstand and some on his desk, lighting them with a shaky hand and cuing up his iPod to a playlist he’d long ago entitled, “Lydia.” Chewing the inside of his cheek, he turned to face her, setting the box on the bed before going to shut the door, locking it just in case his dad would get home early or something.

Lydia’s heart warmed as she glanced around the room taking in the candles and the soft music playing in the background. Her gaze met Stiles’ when he turned around from locking the door. She didn’t know what to say. Lydia swallowed hard trying to control the emotion she felt building in her chest. “It’s incredibly difficult for people to surprise me,” she said finally. “But you always surprise me, catch me off guard.” Lydia stood up and closed the distance between them. “Dozens of guys have called me attractive and tried to get my attention, but you’re the only person who’s ever made me feel beautiful and special just for being me,” Lydia said softly as she cupped his cheek. “Kiss me.”

All Stiles could think was all of the guys she’d ever gone out with, or who’d expressed interest in her were deeply, deeply stupid. He on the other hand, was patient because he knew she was worth it. She deserved the best. Stiles lifted a hand to her cheek, leaned in and did what he was told.

Lydia wrapped an arm around Stiles neck as she moved her lips over his deepening the kiss. His mouth was warm and he tasted like mint. She could feel her lungs burning with a need for air, so, she broke the kiss and rested her forehead against his for a minute.

Lydia trailed her fingers down Stiles’ arm until she was able to grasp his hand. She gave a gentle tug to his hand as she took a step back towards the bed.

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