September 26, 2014

Never Too Late 8/17

Title: Never Too Late
Authors: Sxymami0909 & Xtremeroswelia
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Timeline: Set after 3.18 ‘Riddled’ AU from there.
Rating: R
Sequel To: Never Know What Hit You
Word Count: 155, 704
Pairings: Stiles/Lydia, Scott/Kira, Allison/Isaac, Sheriff Stilinski/Melissa McCall, Derek Hale, Cora Hale, Peter Hale
Parts: 8/17
Summary: In the wake of the Nogitsune's distruction Stiles is attempting to put his life back together, but things are never as easy as they seem. Meanwhile Scott attemps to mend his fractured pack but is it too late to fix what's been broken? Or will the past few months strengthen the bond between them? Lydia's link with Stiles has only grown stronger since the death of the Nogitsune and now she can feel Scott too leading Lydia to seek out information about her banshee origins from an unlikely source. While new relationships form, others are tested. Can our favorite trio fix what's been broken or will Scott's pack be broken forever?
Previous Chapters: | One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven |

Chapter Eight

Scott ran down the hallway pushing the wheelchair and he made swishing noises and avoided nurses walking down the hall. He turned the corner with Stiles jerking the chair to a halt. “Sorry,” he said sheepishly and he walked to the open doorway of Stiles’ hospital room. “That was fun,” he commented, “The wheelchair part, not the rest.” He said as he pushed the chair into the room and spotted Derek right away.

Scott smiled, “Hey, you’re back,” he said lowering his voice when he spotted Lydia beside Derek, head resting on his shoulder. He nodded in her direction as he stopped the chair beside Stiles’ bed. “When did she conk out?” He asked as he held out a hand to help Stiles out of the chair.

Stiles snorted at Scott’s remark, craning his neck to look up at his best friend and shaking his head in amusement as he wheeled him back into his room. He nodded at Derek as he took Scott’s hand and rose to his feet, climbing back into the hospital bed carefully.

“Not too long ago, actually,” Derek commented, glancing down at her sleeping form. “I should probably be concerned that I’ve become her newest pillow.”

“No, you should seriously consider yourself lucky that you are her newest pillow,” Stiles informed him without thinking. Then he paused, grimacing.

Scott grinned at his friend. “You can make that face all you want, but we heard you.” He said lightly teasing his friend good naturedly trying to keep his mind off the test he’d just had. His mom and the sheriff were with the doctors now and he knew as soon as they were done talking to him they’d be back in the room.

Scott sat in the chair beside Stiles’ bed and tilted his head. “Should we wake her up and let her know you’re back? She’d probably want to know.” He commented glancing back at his best friend.

Stiles groaned quietly and laid his head back on the pillows. So apparently his feelings for Lydia Martin weren’t quite as buried as he’d thought the last few months. That was frustrating. Then he rolled his head to look over at Derek and Lydia, holding his breath for a moment. “No, just...let her rest while she can. She’s tired,” he said softly.

Derek gave him a knowing look, a faint smirk on his face.

“Shut up,” Stiles muttered, rolling his eyes.

Scott glanced between them and arched an eyebrow, “What’s this? Secrets without me?” He asked his shoulders slumping slightly. He pouted at Stiles, “It’s because Derek spends the days with you isn’t it?” He sighed sending his best friend his best puppy dog eyes.

Derek smirked even wider at that, a short chuckle escaping him involuntarily.

“Oh my god. He laughs. Did you hear that? He laughs.” Stiles’ eyes widened and he looked over at Scott, then groaned at the expression on his face. “Seriously. Put those away, Dude. Not necessary. You know all my secrets. Derek just happens to know one of them now too.” He flopped an arm over his eyes.

Scott grinned, “Look at me Stiles...look deep into my eyes,” he said in an exaggerated deep voice, not able to hold the seriousness on his face for long before he chuckled.

“I swear, you three are like children,” Lydia mumbled in a sleep addled voice, but there was half a smile on her face despite the fact that her eyes weren’t open. She shifted opening her eyes and lifting her head off Derek’s shoulder. “You’re back,” she said softly.

God Stiles hoped that Lydia hadn’t overheard his initial remark. He really didn’t want to make things awkward and uncomfortable between them all over again. It wasn’t going to happen and he accepted that. He valued her friendship way too much to just toss it away because he was upset that she didn’t return his feelings. She cared about him, and a year ago even that had been a pipe dream in his opinion.

“Hey don’t lump me in with those two,” Derek said, jerking his thumb toward Scott and Stiles.

Stiles made a face at him and then looked at Lydia. “Yeah, I am.”

Lydia rested her hand on his arm, “Everything went okay?” She asked keeping her tone light. She had known the second he went into the machine. The sound was identical to the one she’d heard last time only this time she’d felt what he was feeling also.

“Everything went okay,” he told her with a nod. And by that he meant that he hadn’t A) had a panic attack or B) had an evil fox hijack his body. Both of those things were a plus in his book. “Mom and --” He froze. “Uh, Ms. McCall and my dad are talking to the doctors now.” He reached out and plucked at one of the strings on the blanket, which was apparently his new favorite nervous habit.

None of them missed his slip of the tongue calling Ms. McCall mom, but he seemed to not want to draw attention to it so both Lydia and Scott squeezed his arm and hand gently.

Scott knew Stiles thought of his mom as his mom and Scott was okay with that. He thought of Stiles’ dad as a second father, or really a first. They were a family blood or not.

Stiles coughed and smiled a little changing the subject. “Have a nice nap?”

Lydia nodded as she stood, “I finally found Derek an amazing purpose,” She said with a grin as she came over sidestepping the chair and sat on the bed beside Stiles. “He’s a really good pillow. He doesn’t move a lot. He’s sort of like a statue, but soft.” She commented as she met Stiles’ gaze.

Scott chuckled as he glanced at Derek.

“Is that a judgment on the fact that I sleep like an egg beater?” Stiles asked, arching his eyebrows as he met her eyes. “And therefore make a lousy pillow?”

Derek arched an eyebrow, wondering if the two of them regularly shared a bed.

Lydia was surprised by his words and surprised by the fact that they made her chest tighten. She slid her hand down his arm until she was able to curl her fingers around his making him drop the blanket. “It wasn’t,” she said quietly, “Derek might be a really good pillow, but you’re my favorite. You sleep calmly with me.” She said matter-of-factly. “I was actually referring to Scott. He’s a terrible pillow, the boy moves everywhere in his sleep. I’m pretty sure he elbowed me once too.” She told Stiles.

Scott’s mouth dropped open, “That is not true. I am a wonderful bedmate. I’m respectful of the covers rule, I keep to my side of the bed...Okay so I toss and turn a bit, but who doesn’t?” He asked with a huff. “I’m offended.” He said even though he really wasn’t. Of course Lydia liked Stiles the most...she liked Stiles. But not according to her or Stiles. People said he was the oblivious one.

Stiles looked at Lydia, smiling faintly. “It’s about the only time I am calm, probably.” And apparently she and Scott would both know. But he couldn’t help but grin a little at being called her favorite, even if she didn’t mean it the way it sounded. Then he looked over at Scott, shaking his head. “I call shenanigans. I sleep in the middle so if anyone’s getting elbowed from Scott it’s me unless it’s just not waking me up.” He chuckled a little. “And yes, Scott, you’re the perfect bedmate.” He patted his arm affectionately, then looked at Lydia. “He has a very fragile ego. Very sensitive guy.”

“You know, wolves sleep in piles,” Derek spoke up, watching all three of them with the hint of a smirk on his face. “It’s both a safety and a family thing.”

Stiles blinked at that and looked over at him and then at Scott, not even sure what to say about that.

Lydia rolled her eyes, “Fragile my ass, he’s fishing for compliments.” She said side eyeing him. Scott made an indignant noise in the back of his throat and then huffed and crossed his arms over his chest, pouting again. Lydia turned her attention to Stiles, “And I was talking about when I was staying with Scott...before,” she commented letting her voice momentarily trail off before glancing over her shoulder at Derek. “Is that your way of telling us you want to sleep with us?” She asked casually as she gave him a once over, “Because I’m not sure you’d fit in the bed.” Lydia told him.

“My best friend doesn’t fish for compliments,” Stiles defended loyally, even as his lips turned up in a grin betraying the truth on his face. “He’s the hot girl. He doesn’t need to.”

Derek grimaced. “I don’t even want to know what the hell you’re talking about.” He looked at Lydia and rolled his eyes. “Thanks, but I’m just fine in my own bed where I don’t end up getting elbowed or with an arm over my face or drool on my shoulder.” He smirked at her.

Lydia had the decency to look appalled. “I do not drool. And Stiles would never drool on me...I’d kill him.” Lydia said before glancing over her shoulder and catching Stiles gaze, “You heard that right?” She asked not giving him a chance to answer, “And for the record,” her gaze fell to Scott her eyes thinning comically, “I’m the hot girl.” She said with a flip of her hair.

Scott rolled his eyes, “I’m the alpha,” He challenged leaning forward.

Lydia snorted, “You’re not my alpha.”

“Of course he is. He’s all of our alpha and you’re his banshee,” Stiles informed her. “Derek is the grumpy puppy, and I’m his…” He paused, trying to figure that one out. “...Stiles.” He grinned and looked over at Scott.

Derek folded his arms across his chest. “You’re all ridiculous. For the record.”

Lydia held up a hand, “Excuse me, but I am my own personal Banshee and sometimes I let Scott use me.” She paused her brows furrowing, “Those words didn’t have their desired effect, but essentially I am my own person. That’s the point. I belong to me. Derek belongs to Derek and Scott you belong to Stiles and Stiles belongs to...uh, himself.” She said before clearing her throat.

“I have to admit I am in full agreement with Lydia,” Derek informed them.

Stiles rolled his eyes. “Wait, so I have ownership of Scott?” His eyes lit up and he sent his best friend a sidelong glance. “Does that mean I’m my alpha’s alpha?”

Scott snorted, “Please I’m a true alpha,” he said puffing out his chest, “No one’s my alpha but me...and my mom ‘cause she’s kind of scary when she’s mad.” He said scratching his chin thoughtfully.

Stiles nodded “Your mom is kind of scary when she’s mad,” Stiles agreed. “Especially if she’s grounding you from me.” He pouted a little, laying back in the bed.

“It’s true,” He agreed before addressing Lydia’s comment, “But unlike you people I am okay with belonging to my best friend,” he said smirking at Lydia. “But that also means Stiles belongs to me too because he’s like my brother,” He said leaning forward and placing a hand on Stiles’ arm.

Stiles smiled faintly at Scott’s next words and turned to meet his best friend’s eyes. He was pretty sure he and Scott had belonged to each other since they first met so many years ago.

Lydia held Scott’s gaze for a moment before shaking her head and squeezing Stiles hand, that she was still holding, gently, “Stiles doesn’t belong to you,” she said with a sigh.

Lydia’s words made Stiles look at her, eyes curious when she protested.

Scott arched an eyebrow, “No, who does he belong to?” He asked curiously as he watched the redhead-no strawberry blonde- Stiles voice corrected in his head, beside his best friend.

Lydia opened her mouth, “I,” she paused, “I told you himself. “ She waved a hand as her heartbeat picked up speed. “This conversation is nonsensical. Let’s just agree that we’re a pack, but I make my own decisions because I’m me, and put an end to it.” Lydia ordered lightly as she brushed her thumb over Stiles hand.

Scott glanced at Derek, a grin on his face as he leaned back in his seat. “Fine.”

Derek met Scott’s eyes, knowing they’d both heard Lydia’s heart beat speed up just a little when she was trying to determine who Stiles belonged to. He nodded ever so slightly before glancing between him and Stiles, “Your mom grounded you from Stiles? How did either of you manage to survive?” Derek asked with a smirk.

Lydia glanced at Derek, “Guys, Derek made a joke,” she paused and grinned, “I think he likes us.” Her grin turned into a smirk, “They’re dragging you to the darkside,” she whispered, “Soon You’ll be acting just like them and I’ll have to find a new group of friends,” she joked not meaning it in the slightest. Lydia was pretty sure she’d never had real friends until Allison, Scott, and Stiles. Some of her bad mood was finally lifting and she was barely thinking about the test Stiles had just had. It was a nice change for once.

Scott beamed, “I know he likes us. He spends more time with us than anyone else.” He glanced at Derek, “We like you too, Derek.” He glanced at Stiles, “Don’t we like Derek? He’s been very agreeable lately.” He said patting his friend’s leg.

Stiles couldn’t help but smirk at Lydia’s comment. “Of course he does. How could he not? We’re awesome. He’s known it all along; really, he just didn’t want to admit it.”

Derek shook his head. “Hate to tell you this, but I think you were already dragged there, Lydia.”

“He’s not wrong.” Stiles squeezed her hand and then glanced at Scott when he patted Stiles’ leg. “It is a nice change from the broody Derek who used to slam my head into steering wheels.” He gave the older werewolf a look.

Derek grunted something unfamiliar in his chest tightening. “You deserved it at the time.” Or maybe not, Derek added silently, “And I reserve head banging rights should the need arise, though I don’t forsee it in the near future.” He commented with a casual shrug.

Stiles shrugged at Derek’s comment. “Yeah because now you actually like me. Plus the mutual life saving has helped, right?” He arched his eyebrows.

Derek just grunted in response.

Lydia arched an eyebrow, “I’m still confused about the part where I’ve already been dragged to the darkside.” She heard Scott snort, “Shut it alpha boy.” She shifted slightly, her upper thigh brushing against Stiles’. “And let’s keep the head banging to a minimum. Stiles needs his brain cells.” She told Derek offhandedly.

“Well you are spending all your time with these two,” Derek remarked, hooking his thumb to indicated Scott and Stiles. “Enough said.”

“Who’s head banging?” Called the Sheriff as he pulled open the door and walked into the hospital room, Melissa at his side. The room went silent immediately as everyone turned to face them.

Stiles looked over at his dad, chest tightening immediately. “No one, Dad,” he assured him. “Don’t worry. I haven’t started listening to death metal bands and I’m definitely not going to get a bunch of tattoos.” He paused, glancing at Scott and then Derek, shrugging. His fingers found the string on his blanket as he looked at his dad and Scott’s mom, trying to read their expressions. “So uh, what’s the word?” Am I dying?

Scott and Lydia simultaneously winced at his question. Scott stilled Stiles’ hand from picking at the blanket as Lydia clenched his other hand in hers. She could feel how nervous he was and it was only intensifying her own nervousness.

Scott swallowed hard noting the tears in his mom’s eyes. His heart plummeted and he felt moisture pool in his eyes. “I can give him the bite, I can do it right now,” Scott said suddenly as panic built in his chest at the thought of losing Stiles.

The sheriff looked at Scott and he walked over putting his hand on his shoulder. “Calm down son,” he said softly as he glanced up at Stiles. He swallowed hard seeing the uncertainty, the fear on his son’s face and the girl next to him. “Stiles doesn’t need the bite,” he said his voice quiet, “He’s going to be just fine.”

All the air left his lungs in a rush. “So the first one. It was a fluke. Because of the foxfire. Right?” It was one of the few questions that had lingered in his mind after the Nogitsune had left his body. “I mean, I’m sure they called it a mechanical error because who’s going to believe it was an evil fox playing a trick?”

Derek leaned forward, eyebrows furrowing slightly. “It threw the results so no one would suspect it,” he said suddenly. “It wanted everyone to believe you were just sick and not possessed.”

“Which was kind of a moot point, really, considering how quickly it took over after that and everyone noticed right away.” Stiles pursed his lips, looking up at his dad. “You’re sure, right?”

Michael shifted forward and Lydia released Stiles’ hand, slipping off the bed to give the sheriff and Melissa some room. She shifted back bumping into Derek’s legs her gaze still on Stiles as her heart slammed against her chest. He was going to be just fine.

Derek reached out gripping her hip and steadying her so she didn’t topple over because of her ridiculously high heels. Lydia placed a hand over his as she watched the sheriff walk over to the spot she had just vacated. “I am positive,” He said quietly as Melissa squeezed Scott’s arm as she walked by him and stood at the other side of Stiles.

“We checked and rechecked.” She said softly as she brushed her hand over his cheek. “You’re going to be just fine,” Melissa told him not able to fight the tear that slipped down her cheek.

Michael glanced up at Melissa and reached out across Stiles gently wiping the tear from her cheek with his thumb before dropping his hand. “Everything is going to be okay now,” he said his voice gruff as he glanced from Melissa to his son.

Scott leaned forward, his eyes widening slightly even as relief filled his body. Stiles was going to be okay. His best friend was going to be okay.

Stiles looked between his dad and Scott’s mom, shifting in the bed and wrapping his arms around his dad’s waist tightly, shutting his eyes, heart beating quickly in his chest. He was okay. He wasn’t dying. He wasn’t possessed anymore. He could stay himself. He was going to be okay. Tears blurred his eyes, blotting into his dad’s shirt as he nodded wordlessly, tension leaking out of his body.

Michael hugged Stiles back tightly, not able to convey the amount of relief that was currently sitting in his chest.

Melissa watched them hug before reaching out and hugging Scott to her side. “And if that news wasn’t good enough,” she said softly, “Someone gets to go home in two days.” Melissa said squeezing Scott’s arm gently.

The pressure on his ribs hurt a little but he didn’t even care. He hadn’t told anyone his theory about the foxfire interfering with the MRI results because he wasn’t sure he was right and he hadn’t wanted to get anyone’s hopes up only to be dragged back down by harsh reality. But he’d been right and the amount of relief he felt was overwhelming. After a long moment he pulled away from his dad, smiling up at him and then turning to look at Melissa, hesitant.

Melissa stepped forward, “I’ve been waiting for my hug,” she admitted with a warm smile as she leaned in and wrapped her arms carefully around him. Melissa held him to her chest one hand on his back the other on the back of his head. She pressed a kiss to the side of his head. “I’m so glad you’re okay sweetie,” her words were whispered near the side of his head.

Melissa glanced up at Michael and she could see the tears in his eyes as he watched her with Stiles. She sent him a watery smile, only pulling away from Stiles when she felt she’d suffocated him with her hugs sufficiently. Melissa shifted back and cupped his cheeks. “Your dad and I were thinking, when we bring you home, maybe Scott and I will stay for a day or two, just to help you settle in. What do you think?” She asked softly.

Scott stood, “He thinks it’s a good idea...we both do, right?” He asked Stiles as Scott shifted closer to his mom and his best friend.

Stiles closed his eyes, “Me too,” he said quietly, exhaling and looking over at Scott when she let him go. “Come on. Enough hugs to go around, dude.” He held his arms out for Scott. “And yes, I agree with this plan.”

Derek smiled very faintly, rising to his feet and deciding it was probably time to give them some time alone. He nudged Lydia forward and then stepped around her catching Scott’s eye and sending a nod in his direction before quietly slipping out of the hospital room.

Scott watched Derek go before glancing at Stiles and grinning at his best friends words. He stepped forward and hugged Stiles tightly, wrapping his arms around him. “You have no idea how happy I am man...this is the best news we’ve gotten in a while.” He said not able to keep the emotion from his voice, “I love you, dude.” His voice was muffled, but the words were clear.

Melissa shifted so she was standing beside Michael her hand on his arm as she watched their boys, a smile on her face.

His chest tightened and he nodded as he hugged Scott. “Love you too, man.” Stiles had never really had a problem uttering those words to Scott. Or to his dad, even though a lot of kids his age would have struggled with both. He wasn’t most kids. He loved everyone in the room, actually, even if he couldn’t say it to Lydia. Maybe someday, he thought.

Scott patted his back before finally releasing his friend, a grin on his face. He glanced over at his mom and the sheriff, “We should celebrate,” he commented.

The sheriff nodded. “I’ve got to go back to the station just for a little bit,” he glanced at the clock it was already after five. “I’ve got to fill out some paperwork,” he said glancing at his son apologetically.

Melissa glanced at the boys and then over at Lydia who was standing off to the side. She smiled at her and then turned back to Michael. “Why don’t Scott and I go pick up dinner and then we’ll meet back here?” She suggested.

Scott frowned, “You want me to leave Stiles?” He asked his mom his lips starting to form a pout.

Melissa chuckled, “We won’t be long and Lydia can stay with him until we get back. Thirty minutes tops.” She said before glancing at Stiles, “What are you in the mood for?”

It was almost hard to believe that just a few short weeks ago, he’d not only been sure he was going to die, but that he was going to take out all of his friends and family first, and now things were so different. The guilt weighed on him still, and he wasn’t stupid. It probably always would. But right now celebrating sounded like a good idea, and he couldn’t help but feel a stab of disappointment when his dad said he had to leave. “No, it’s okay. Finish your paperwork. No junk for dinner,” he added, giving his dad a look.

He looked up at Melissa, resisting the urge to frown, but he knew that she probably wanted to spend some time with Scott just the two of them. He was sort of monopolizing most of the guy’s time. He glanced at Scott, managing a tiny smile. “Bring me back some curly fries?” He wasn’t sure how well they’d sit on his stomach but at least they sounded good. “Maybe a burger? Veggie’s fine.”

Melissa nodded and glanced at Michael, “Scott and I can go to the Burger Shack,” she suggested.

Michael nodded, “I like their curly fries,”

Melissa shook her head, “No,” she said before glancing at Stiles. “We’ll get enough for everyone and bring it back here so we can all eat together.” She said with a smile.

Michael nodded, “I should be back in time for dinner.” He said squeezing his son’s shoulder, “Shouldn’t take more than fifteen minutes.” He told Stiles noticing the look on his face. “Then we can have a nice family meal...without my damn curly fries,” he grumbled.

Stiles beamed at Melissa before shifting his gaze to his dad. “Yeah? That’s it?” he asked hopefully. “Maybe you can have a couple.” He arched an eyebrow. “Just not a lot. They’re bad for you.” His dad knew that.

Michael chuckled, “You’re too good to your old man,” He said with a smile. “Okay, let me get out of here so I can get back.” He squeezed Stiles shoulder and sent a smile in Lydia’s direction, which she returned. He walked over to Scott and patted him in the same way he did Stiles, before his eyes fell on Melissa, “I’ll see you soon,” he said squeezing her arm gently.

Melissa smiled softly in return, nodding. “We’ll be back with food by the time you get back,” she assured him, draping an arm around Scott’s shoulders and guiding him toward the door as well, knowing that Stiles and Lydia probably needed a few minutes alone.

Stiles watched the three of them filter out of the room before turning his attention to Lydia, a tiny grin touching his mouth. “You saw that, right?” There was a hint of excitement in his voice.

Lydia smiled softly at Stiles’ excitement as she finally moved forward pausing beside his bed. “I did.” She told him her voice light as she picked at the blanket on his bed, “It seems like your dad has a thing for Ms. McCall and if I’m reading her right,” she glanced up at Stiles, “which I am, she has one for him too.”

Stiles’ grin broadened at that. “Okay I’m glad it’s not just me and Scott.” He looked down at her fingers, where they’d begun picking at the string he’d been picking at only a few moments ago. He reached out and covered her hand with his. “You okay?”

Lydia glanced up surprised by his question. “Stiles, you’re going to be fine...Of course I’m okay,” she told him softly as she squeezed his hand. “I just, I didn’t want to interrupt.” Lydia admitted. Seeing how amazing the sheriff and Ms. McCall were and how much they loved Stiles, just seemed to remind her of how alone she was.

Which was fine, Lydia could take care of herself. But she wasn’t going to dwell on that. Stiles was okay and she finally felt like she could breathe, like maybe things were going to be okay. Her head hurt a bit and she still wasn’t really sure where she fit into things or how to control what was going on inside of her, but at the moment Stiles was calm and so was she.

Lydia swallowed hard and turned her hand palm up so she could slide her fingers through his. “I’m really glad you’re okay.” Lydia told him as she caught his gaze again, “I was worried.”

Something He’d felt it earlier when it had just been her and Scott in the room, but it was almost stronger now that it was just the two of them there. Something wasn’t right and he didn’t like not knowing what it was.

Stiles squeezed her hand, shaking his head. “You wouldn’t have been,” he said sincerely. “My dad and Scott’s mom and Scott all love you.” Maybe not as much as Stiles did, but that was another conversation for another time, one day in about fifteen years. Maybe. “I’m sorry for worrying you.” He looked down at their hands for a moment. “Sit with me?”

Lydia didn’t even hesitate. She sat down beside him immediately. “You don’t need to apologize, people worry about their friends.” She commented with a small smile. Lydia worried about Scott and Allison even though she hadn’t talked to her in a while, which she’d rectify soon. She had even started worrying about Derek. Which albeit was odd, but he’d been good to them and Lydia had a feeling that Derek probably felt a lot like she did when it came to not having people around who cared, present company excluded.

Lydia shifted again, “Would you mind if I lay with you?” She asked quietly not looking at him. She could feel worry stir inside of him and she finally glanced up, “Everything’s okay, I’m just a little tired and you’re my favorite pillow remember?” She joked, smiling slightly.

Stiles shifted in the bed without hesitation, making room for her to lie down beside him. “You sure that’s it? Because it seems like there’s something bothering you, Lydia.”

Lydia lifted her legs onto the bed carefully shifting towards Stiles on her side, not wanting to hurt him. She rested her head beside his and placed a hesitant hand on his chest, her dress shifting with her movements. Lydia didn’t want to lie to Stiles, but at the same time this wasn’t about her. He had been through so much in the past month and she wanted to make sure she was there for him. Lydia didn’t want to give him anything else to worry about.

“I was just having a bad day,” she told him carefully, “I haven’t been sleeping well and stuff.” She shrugged shifting closer to him until she could feel his body against hers. “I’m not hurting you am I?” She asked worried.

Stiles shifted onto his side so he was facing her, sliding an arm around her waist and resting his head against hers. “No, you’re fine,” he assured her, reaching up and tucking some hair behind her ear. “I’m sorry you’re not sleeping well. What can I do?”

Lydia let her eyes close, her body relaxing into Stiles, “You’re doing it,” she admitted. Lydia hadn’t realized how much of a rock Stiles had been for her over the past year or how much she’d come to depend on that until it was gone when the Nogitsune had taken him over. And for the first time in a long time she felt like she had him back, but she was terrified to lean too hard on him.

Stiles still had so many things to deal with and she wanted to be his rock...or one of them. Lydia swallowed hard as her hand curled into his t-shirt, Scott had brought him clothes on the second day in the hospital knowing he’d be there for a while. “It’s nice that Scott and Ms. McCall are going to be staying with you for a bit. You guys make a sweet family,” Lydia said keeping her eyes closed.

He watched her as she closed her eyes, relaxing as she did, almost instinctively. He wasn’t sure how just lying there with him was all that soothing considering how high strung he usually was, but he wasn’t going to protest. He chewed on his lower lip for a moment, closing his own eyes for a few seconds before opening them again at her words. Whether or not Scott’s mom and his dad ever actually wound up getting together didn’t matter that much in terms of them all being his family. They’d been that for his whole life.

But there was something tugging at him still. She was sad about something. “You’re part of it. You know that right?”

Lydia smiled without opening her eyes. Stiles was always trying to include her and she appreciated that more than he probably knew. “I’m not, but that’s okay.” She said casually. “I think it’s really nice that you and Scott have such a close connection, your families too. I see you two and,” she paused, “It makes me miss Allison. I need to talk to her this week...I will.” Lydia said firmly.

She and Allison might not be as close as Scott and Stiles, but Allison was the closest thing she’d ever had to a best friend, which only seemed to make her feel worse for not speaking to her all this time. Despite her night at the hospital with Isaac that was the closest she’d gotten to either of them since what happened.

“Lydia. Look at me.” His voice was quiet, but firm and he lifted his head so he could look at her. He needed her to look at him so that she could understand what he was about to tell her was the truth. “Please.”

Lydia kept her eyes closed for a minute trying to work her way through her frayed emotions and shove them all back in their separate boxes where they should be. Her eyes fluttered open a minute later and she held his gaze while arching an eyebrow at Stiles in question.

“Whether you believe it or not, you are part of this family.” Not like Scott was, because Scott was his brother and his feelings for Lydia weren’t sibling-like in the least. But he knew Scott cared for her, knew that his dad loved her even if he hadn’t verbalized it. “And we’re all here if you need anything.” He reached down and laced their fingers together.

Lydia’s chest tightened at Stiles’ words and she felt her eyes moisten. She wondered for about the hundredth time when she’d gotten so emotional. She never used to be so open with her emotions and yet, the past month she’d been a wreck practically for everyone to see. Lydia had broken down crying in front of Stiles more than once and that just wasn’t like her. She guarded her feelings and hid away her emotions so deep that sometimes it was hard letting them back out again.

Lydia swallowed hard. She could feel the truth of his words coming through whatever strange connection they had. Lydia could feel his need to comfort and protect her and it was the first time she didn’t mind opening herself up to what he was feeling. The first time she embraced it instead of trying to push it back.

Lydia sucked in a sharp breath and flattened her palm against his chest, “Thank you,” she said genuinely, “I’m here too, for you.” She said wishing she could just pour her feelings into him the same way he probably didn’t realize he was even doing to her. “I wish you could feel what I feel right now.” she whispered.

Stiles started a little, eyes widening as he gazed at her. He felt a rush of emotions that were intense but didn’t feel like his own either, which meant that...he was feeling hers. “Lyds, I think that -- I am, actually.” He felt a little disoriented and dizzy, actually. Did that mean she was disoriented and dizzy? What was happening? How was it happening?

Lydia’s eyes widened and her heartbeat picked up speed. Her hand pressed against him, “What does it feel like?” She asked wondering if he could distinguish what she was feeling like she could separate his emotions...well some of them. Other she’s couldn’t really grasp at, they just felt warm and comforting.

He drew in a breath, closing his eyes as he tried to pick through them. “Relief. A lot of relief.’re sad, too. I don’t know what that’s…” He chewed his lower lip for a moment. “Some confusion and uncertainty.”

Lydia bit her bottom lip, “Oh...those aren’t exactly warm and fuzzy emotions,” she joked, “Sorry.” She was silent for a minute, “I’m a little sad, but it’s not you,” she reassured him. “My emotions have been a bit off kilter lately, there’s so much going on in my head and I guess I’m having some trouble separating everything, but right now, what I feel from’s good,” she whispered.

Lydia brushed her thumb over Stiles chest “You feel...protective and warm and...there’s a lot there,” she told him patting his chest, “But at the moment it’s comforting.” She admitted honestly.

“Lydia, you don’t need to apologize,” he said sincerely, reaching out and rubbing her arm. “Okay? I can handle it. Seriously.” He gazed at her with worry. “And...I’m glad it’s comforting. I know it hasn’t been much lately,” realizing now this was why Derek had told him he needed to calm his heart beat or he’d wind up with Scott and Lydia back at the hospital before he ever got the chance to Allison and Isaac.

Lydia’s heart clenched at his words. Just the fact that he was worried about comforting her after everything he’d been through was so much more than she deserved. But she considered what he said about being able to handle things. She hesitated and let out a short breath, “My mom left,” she said quietly, “Took a teaching job in San Diego. She’s letting me stay at our house until graduation, so it’s just me and Prada now.” Lydia told him quietly.

Stiles sat up a little, eyes widening. Was she kidding? Her mom had moved out and literally left her behind? In Beacon Hills, town where everything that could go wrong, would go wrong? He supposed he shouldn’t have been surprised, really, because he knew her parents weren’t really that involved in Lydia’s life, but the thought of his dad leaving him behind made a sharp pain shoot through him. “Lydia. God. I’m sorry.”

Lydia felt the immediate shift in his emotions and she pressed her lips together. “It’s okay,” she glanced at him shifting up a little and urging him to lie back down with her hand. “Please be careful, you’re not a hundred percent yet and I don’t want you hurting yourself.” Lydia told him. “It’s really not that big of a deal, I mean she’s not home that much anyway and my dad is always traveling, which I guess is why he didn’t offer up his place for me to stay at.” Plus she knew that deep down he still resented the fact that she’d chosen to live with her mother when he’d originally wanted her to come with him.

“I”m okay,” he assured her. She was the one he was worried about now. She couldn’t stay on her own. She wouldn’t be safe. Also she wasn’t even legally an adult yet. He was already thinking of the guest room at home. Other than recently, no one ever really used it. But he knew better than to invite her to live with them until he’d talked to his dad first.

Lydia arched an eyebrow, “You’ve got your plotting face.” She commented lightly before resting her head back again. “Don’t look so worried, everything is going to be okay now,” she told him before relaxing against him again. “Hey Stiles,” she said softly.

“No plotting face,” he said innocently, laying his head back down, as well. “Yeah?”

“Hold me for a little bit...okay?” Lydia asked resting against him again.

A familiar pang of emotion tugged at him and he held his breath before wrapping his arm around her. He swallowed hard, laying his head against hers and closing his eyes.

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