December 2, 2014

Never Too Late 17/17

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: 17/17
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 | Eight | Nine | Ten | Eleven | Twelve | Thirteen | Fourteen | Fifteen | Sixteen |

Chapter Seventeen

Stiles really wasn’t sure why he’d decided to venture out of his house that day, or why he’d wound up sitting in his jeep outside of Derek Hale’s apartment building of all places, but it was where he found himself just past noon that day. He sat there for a long time, just letting the jeep’s engine run idle until he finally turned the key and shut off the engine. Then he blew out a breath. He tried to remember the last time he’d actually been there and realized he really didn’t know.

Rubbing a hand over his face, he second guessed himself as he pulled his phone out of his pocket. He wasn’t even sure that Derek was there. It wasn’t like he’d texted or called to check first. He’d just gotten in his jeep and driven there without intending to. His thumb hovered over Derek’s name on his contact list but before he could make a decision of whether to attempt calling him or texting him, there was a loud knock on the driver’s side window and he yelped, phone flying out of his hand and landing on the floorboards as he jerked his head over to see Derek standing there with raised eyebrows.

He huffed out a breath, reaching down and rolling his window down. “Jesus Christ, Derek, wear a bell.

Derek smirked, “Well the usual spasticness is back so I’m going to go ahead and say you’re on the mend,” he deadpanned before shifting back and crossing his arms over his chest. “Cora’s not here,” he commented lightly as he watched Stiles closely catching the quickened pace of the younger man’s heartbeat.

Stiles rolled his eyes, giving him a dirty look and shaking his head. “I know that. Schools in session and I know you enrolled her so…” He pocketed his keys and reached down to grab his phone.

Derek’s eyebrows rose, “Lydia?” He asked as he angled his head towards his apartment for Stiles to follow him and started walking away.

He climbed out of his jeep, shutting the door and following Derek toward the building. “No. Cora texted me actually. I’m sure Lydia would have mentioned it eventually.”

Derek nodded, “Ah,” he said as they walked up the stairs to his apartment, “Yes, I’m sure she would have mentioned it too...when you saw my sister at school.” He said amused while pulling his keys out of his pockets.

Stiles rolled his eyes, following him silently until they reached the loft. He was more than a little out of breath by then. Stupid werewolves and their physical fitness crap. “Your apartment should be on the ground floor. You need to make that happen.”

“You’re the only person who complains,” he commented as he unlocked the door and pulled it open, “Once you’re a 100 percent it won’t bother you anymore,” he added leaving the door to his apartment open for Stiles. “So, what brings you by?”

“Yeah, well I’m the only one who’s not supernaturally inclined,” he said wryly, pausing just inside the loft and blinking as he looked around. He was so surprised by all the changes that had been made since the last time he’d been there that he completely missed Derek’s question. The loft actually looked like...a normal person’s apartment. It was bordering on homey.

Derek paused turning around when Stiles didn’t answer his question. He caught his expression and smirked. He reached up and scratched the back of his neck. “That’s right, you haven’t seen the place in a while,” he commented. “There have been some changes courtesy of the very insistent banshee in my life.” He grumbled with a sigh, but there was a hint of affection in his tone.

Stiles looked back at him and then around at all the numerous changes. “Yeah, she...has that kind of effect on people.” He pursed his lips, still surprised. Honestly he was kind of surprised that Derek had allowed it to happen. Then again, Lydia wasn’t an easy person to say no to.

Derek nodded, “She does. She’s,” he hesitated and glanced at Stiles debating whether or not he wanted to come off as some kind of softy. The other man wouldn’t likely let him live it down. Derek shrugged, “She’s like a beacon of light. Crazy as all hell...but she has a good heart.” He admitted before clearing his throat. “So, what brings you here?”

He was tempted to make a remark to that effect, but he let this one slide. “Yeah. Yeah, she does,” he agreed softly. “Kind of always known that.” He let out a breath, shrugging. “I don’t know, really. I was bored, I guess. Tired of sitting at home.” Tired of sleeping. Tired of nightmares. Tired of guilt.

Derek angled his head to the side and studied Stiles for a minute before nodding. “Well, I don’t have any plans until you’re welcome to hang around if you’d like. I have books,” he said reaching up and rubbing the back of his neck, “Oh and I have a TV.” he added as an afterthought almost forgetting. “You can watch something if you’d like.” Derek didn’t think Stiles came there to watch anything, but he didn’t want to push, plus he wasn’t exactly sure how the whole host thing worked.

He relaxed a little, moving over to the couch and hesitating a second before sitting down on it. “I feel like all I’ve done is sleep and watch TV for weeks so...pass. I mean, unless you want to watch something. It’s your place.” He chewed his lower lip.

“I don’t really watch TV,” he said as he followed Stiles and stood in front of him slipping his hands in his pockets. “It’s sort of big...and I’m not 100 percent sure how to turn it on,” he added. “It’s one of those all in one things...I don’t even know what that means.” He sighed and glanced at Stiles. “Something on your mind?” He could tell there was.

“Probably means DVD, Netflix, and BlueRay built in. Maybe surround sound too,” he said automatically. “I can show you how to set it up and stuff if you want.” He shrugged, falling silent at his question.

Derek shrugged, “If you want to...I was just going to let it sit there. You know in case anyone wanted to use it. Cora probably will,” he pondered before moving to the chair across from Stiles and sitting down. “But I don’t think you came here to talk about my lack of electronic experience,” he said trying again. “Is everything alright?”

Stiles was silent for a long moment, twisting his fingers together nervously. “I have no idea what I’m doing,” he admitted almost inaudibly.

Derek leaned forward resting his arms on his legs. “You’re going to have to give me a little more than that. You don’t know what you’re a general sense?” He couldn’t help if he didn’t understand. And if he was being honest, Derek wanted to help.

Stiles let out a breath, rubbing his hands over his face and leaning forward, too. “I mean I don’t…” He paused. “I’m okay when Scott and Lydia are around. I mean it’s bad. It’s bearable. And I feel them both. And they feel me and everything I do affects them now. I don’t know how to handle that. I don’t know what I’m doing; I don’t know how I’m supposed to…” He waved one hand vaguely in front of him. “Just keep going. After everything. I don’t know how to be myself anymore.”

Derek was quiet for a minute. “The guilt,” he said quietly. “You don’t know how to handle the guilt.” He took a deep breath. “It’s not easy.” He admitted honestly.

Stiles clasped his hands together over his knees, leaning his elbows on his thighs. “I killed people.” His voice was hushed. “A lot of people. And I almost killed Scott. Allison. You. Isaac. My dad. Derek, I almost killed my dad.” His voice was strained. “And I see it all, all the time. It’s like an endless loop in my head. Just one terrible thing after another after another and I can’t make it stop.”

Derek nodded. “Stop trying to make it stop.” He said simply. “I know it sounds terrible, but in order to get past the guilt you have to accept what’s been done even if you didn’t mean to do it or in your case if it was someone else in your body doing it. It happened, it can’t be changed. The only thing you can do now is...atone for what’s been done.” He explained quietly. “What you do now is what matters, how you handle what was sacrificed for you will say a lot about where you’ll end up.”

Derek glanced down for a minute. “Do you know why I was so hard on Scott about him and Allison?” He asked glancing up at Stiles.

Stiles rubbed his hands over his face again, knowing that Derek was right. There wasn’t any way for him to go back and change things. He couldn’t right all the wrongs he’d done, whether he’d been in control or not. And maybe he was struggling too hard thinking that he ever could. He couldn’t bring everyone back to life. He couldn’t unshoot Allison with an arrow, couldn’t not almost kill his dad or his best friend.

But he shut his eyes at the question. “Because of Paige,” he said very quietly.

Derek’s eyebrows shot up, his face paling slightly. “I didn’t...I didn’t realize you knew about that.” He swallowed hard his chest tightening as he looked away from Stiles. “Oddly enough it wasn’t because of her.” He said quietly not expecting the sound of her name to still hurt so badly.

Stiles winced at the older man’s reaction to Paige’s name. “Peter...filled Cora and I in on some stuff awhile back.” After Boyd. But he wasn’t going to mention Boyd. Not now.

Derek nodded and shrugged before continuing. “It was because of Kate. After what happened with…” he paused, “I was pretty broken. The did things to me. And at my lowest point I met Kate and like an idiot I fell for her. My family warned me, told me to stay away from her that she wasn’t a good person, but I didn’t listen. I was angry and a teenager and I wanted what I wanted.”

“Well, it turned out Kate was only using me so she could find a way into my house. Her and her hunters set the entire house up in flames while we were in school.” Derek let out a long breath. “There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t blame myself for my family’s annihilation.” He admitted. “The kind of guilt I live weighs on a person Stiles. Makes them do and say things they probably wouldn’t normally do or say. It changes them in a way that they can’t go back from...only forward.”

When Derek began to explain about Kate, everything made a lot more sense to Stiles, even if neither case had truly been Derek’s fault. He understood Derek’s innate distrust of Allison and Chris Argent given Kate’s history with Derek’s family. He swallowed hard, empathy making him turn his head to look at Derek.

“Kate Argent was a manipulative, evil bitch. Don’t blame yourself for falling for her act, Derek. She knew what she was doing and you were just a kid, okay? It’s not your fault. It’s hers. Just hers,” he said with a lot more certainty than he had about most things these days. But the rest of what he said wasn’t lost on Stiles, either.

Derek sent Stiles half a smile. “She was a kid then too and I didn’t think...I didn’t think anyone could be that inherently evil. I didn’t take into consideration who her Father was.” He sighed and shook his head. “I hear what you’re saying and most days I believe it. I didn’t kill them. But I unlocked the door for the person who did and I’ll always have to live with that. I’ll have to wonder if I listened to my Mother and left Kate alone, not brought her to my home, if this still would have happened.” He explained quietly.

“It took me a lot of years to come back here, to accept that I can’t change what happened but I can choose how I deal with it. It’s not an easy thing to do though. Guilt can eat away at you if you let it, burrow itself inside of your very essence and never leave. It can taint everything you do...or you can choose a different path. You can let your guilt drive you to be better. You can control it and use it.” He said matter-of-factly.

Stiles listened quietly as Derek continued, and he chewed on his thumbnail, stomach twisting. He knew what Derek was saying was true because the guilt was already eating away at him. It had been since the beginning of the whole nightmare and idly he wondered if Jackson Whittemore ever felt this guilty about the things he’d done when he’d been the kanima.

“By protecting Scott and everyone,” Stiles murmured, thinking about what Deaton had told him about being an emissary.

Derek angled his head to the side. “It could be that.” He conceded. “The thing is, there’s no magic fix. The guilt is always going to be there it’s not about getting rid of it. Feeling guilt, remorse, it’s a good thing. It shows what kind of a person you are.” Derek pushed himself up needing to move around as he spoke.

“I’m far from perfect. I’m not always nice, and when I first came back to town I had a chip on my shoulder. I was an asshole. I still am sometimes, but I’m trying to change.” He swallowed hard. “There was a time where I had friends and family...when I wasn’t...the way I am now.” Alone, he added silently.

“I want to have a life. A real life. I don’t just want to exist I want to fix the things I’ve broken, help where I can. Getting a chance to talk to my Mother, helped remind me of the kind of person I want to be.” He paused, “You’re a good got a raw deal and it’s shitty. But you’ve got people who care about you who would do anything to help you through it. I didn’t have that.”

Derek took a step closer to Stiles and sat on the table in front of him. “You can do this; you can push through the pain and the guilt. It won’t be easy and when it gets to be too much you can come here. I’ve got,” he paused, “What has been dubbed my angry wolf room. It’s where the workout equipment is. You’ve got guilt, anger...take it out on the bag. And then leave it there at the end of the day and go home to the family that loves you. That believes you can fix what’s been broken, because you can.”

Stiles met Derek’s eyes, chest tightening as he mulled over everything he was saying. He nodded slowly. He hesitated a moment, then reached out and laid his hand on Derek’s arm, gripping it firmly. “I need to set something straight here, from what you just said. You said you used to have family and friends.”

He shook his head. “You’ve got that now, too. You’ve got Scott and Lydia, and you’ve got me and my dad and Scott’s mom, and you’ve got Cora.” Probably Allison and Isaac one day, too. “So don’t think you’re alone either, because you’re not. A lot of people care about you, too. So don’t forget it.”

Derek swallowed hard and he gave Stiles a curt nod, not great with emotion. “Your girlfriend likes to remind me of that too,” he said quietly. “I know I haven’t always been nice to you guys, and I’ve even tried to kill a few of you.” He ducked his head, “But I’ve always tried to be there for Scott. And hope you all know that I’m here if you need anything. I don’t always say that and more often than not I’ll probably complain that you’re bothering me...but you’re not.” He told him quietly.

“Hey, who among us hasn’t tried to kill someone else in the pack at least once?” He paused. “Well. Except Scott. And Lydia.” He looked down, shrugging. “But, I get what you’re saying. Maybe it’s just…gonna take a learning curve for all of us. You know? Figuring it all out. Working together as an actual pack.”

Derek nodded, “It usually does,” he admitted as he leaned back again, “But if anyone can unite everyone it’s Scott. Afterall how many wolf packs can say they have a hunter in them?” He asked with a shake of his head.

“Or humans period,” Stiles pointed out, rubbing his neck. A faint smile touched his mouth as he felt some of his anxiety draining away. “Thanks, Derek.” His voice was quiet.

Derek’s lip turned up in a genuine smile, “Sure.” He hesitated, “You’re a loyal friend. You’ve been there for Scott from the very beginning and even with the change and’ve never let him down. I value loyalty. It’s hard to come by.” Derek had never had a best friend like Scott does, but he imagined if he had, he’d want that person to embody the same qualities as Stiles. Derek might not have been a lot of things over the years, but loyal was always one of them. Once he decided to care about someone, he’d always be there through thick and thin, that’s just how he was.

Stiles could count on one hand the number of times he’d actually seen Derek smile, let alone compliment him on...anything. He didn’t necessarily agree that he’d never let Scott down, but he was going to do his best to move past that. He nodded slightly, looking around the apartment and then back at the werewolf once more. Maybe they both had a lot of guilt to carry, and maybe it would never really go away.

But maybe they’d both end up being okay anyway. Someday.


Lydia dropped down on the bench outside in the quad glancing up and waiting for Allison to do the same. It had been a long morning and she was looking forward to hanging out with her friends for a period without having to worry about anything else. Lydia caught sight of Scott and Kira out of the corner of her eye. She glanced at Allison and Isaac, “Did you guys see the sub we have for next period?” Lydia asked with a grin as she shook her bottle of ice tea.

“Ugh, he’s disgustingly attractive,” Allison said with a sigh, opening her bottle of tea too taking a drink and feeling Isaac’s gaze on her. She turned her head to look at him, suppressing a smile at his arched eyebrows. “In a completely aesthetic way.”

Isaac grunted and lifted his bottle of water from his tray.

Lydia smirked, “Disgustingly attractive doesn’t begin to cover it...I wonder if he’s from the local college,” she said a thoughtful look crossing her face as she twisted the cap on her drink.

Isaac pointed, “That’s a strange look...what look is that?” He asked Allison, “Is that her plotting look?”

Scott put his tray down beside Lydia, Kira at his side. “It certainly looks like it.” He commented while sitting down.

“It’s definitely her plotting look,” Allison confirmed with a smirk.

“And what is it, exactly that we’re plotting?” a familiar voice said from behind them, causing every single one of them to turn around and look. Stiles smiled faintly and set his book bag on the ground under the bench before taking a seat across from Scott and Lydia.

“You’re back!” Scott and Lydia spoke at the same time.

She reached out and slapped Scott lightly on his arm. “Stop that.”

Scott made a face and rubbed his arm. “I didn’t know you were coming today dude, why didn’t you tell me I could have left the bike at home and we could have come together.” He said glad to see his friend up and at school.

“I figured I’d start out with a half day,” Stiles said, amused by the pair’s interaction. He was still tired, but he was also starting to feel better than he had in awhile. “And I wanted it to be a surprise.” He smiled at Allison, Isaac and Kira.

“Probably a good idea to start a little slower,” Allison agreed, nodding as she returned his smile. She was glad to see that there was some color in cheeks now. It hadn’t been there the last time she’d seen him.

“Welcome back,” Kira said with a bright smile.

Stiles grinned and then glanced around at his friends. “So what’s Lydia plotting?” he asked with interest, leaning forward on his arms and looking at her inquisitively.

Scott grinned resting his hand on Kira’s back at her welcome. “We don’t know, we just got here,” Scott said glancing at Lydia.

Lydia arched an eyebrow, “Nothing, I’m plot free.” She said lightly.

Isaac arched an eyebrow, “That’s not what you were just saying, you were asking Allison about, ow-” He reached down and rubbed his shin. “Did I say you were plotting something? My bad...I meant you weren’t plotting anything.” He gripped his water sending a pout in Lydia’s direction as he took a sip.

Lydia arched an eyebrow at Isaac before shifting her gaze to Stiles. She smiled and held out her bag of chips, “Veggie chip?” she offered sweetly.

Stiles eyed all of them warily, even if it was a playful kind of suspicion, then reached out and took one of the offered chips, popping it into his mouth and looking at Scott curiously, then back at Lydia. “Not at all convinced, for the record.”

Kira grinned, leaning against Scott and then leaning back to look at Lydia. “I think he might know you too well or something.”

Lydia rolled her eyes, “Mmm it seems he does.” She responded, “It was a personal plotting session that did not involve anyone here.” She answered. “And I’ve decided to abandon it anyway, so nothing to tell.” She said as she ate one of her chips.

Isaac glanced at Stiles, “Looks like you came back for the easy half of the day. We’ve got a sub next period,” he told him lightly as he stole one of Allison’s fries.

“Oh, do we?” Stiles looked at Isaac and then back at Lydia with a knowing look.

Allison smacked Isaac’s hand lightly. “Ask first,” she teased.

“She kicked me,” he responded glancing at Allison.

Lydia rolled her eyes, “Don’t be a baby that kick didn’t hurt, me marginally human, you werewolf.” She pointed out.

Isaac huffed. “It’s still abuse. You don’t abuse your friends. Not unless they ask nicely.” He glanced at Allison, “Aren’t you know…you supposed to take my side now?” He asked jokingly as he rested a hand on her leg.

“Babe, I’m definitely on your side.” Allison covered his hand with hers, shaking her head as a smile tugged at her mouth.

Stiles smirked and looked at Scott, watching him interact quietly with Kira. His best friend looked happier than he’d seen him in awhile and that warmed his heart. He ducked his head then looked over at Lydia with a soft smile.

She returned it and tilted her bag of chips towards him again. “I’m glad you came today,” she said softly leaning forward slightly, ignoring their friend’s conversations. “It’s not the same here without you,” Lydia admitted.

Stiles met her eyes, then reached out and laid a hand on her arm, feeling the familiar spark of energy when he touched her. “Of course not. I have that effect,” he joked.

Lydia smirked, “Cute,” she joked, her heartbeat picking up speed at his touch. Lydia couldn't remember when that started to happen, but it was definitely fairly new.

Isaac tilted his head in their direction as he continued talking to Allison, the increase in heartbeat drawing him in.

Lydia slid her arm back until her hand was level with his. She brushed her fingers against his, “Your Dad’s working late tonight,” she commented, “I was thinking we could grab something to eat, and then maybe drop some off for him on our way back to your place,” she commented casually.

Stiles smiled at that, a genuine smile. “Yeah, that sounds like a good plan.” He glanced over at Scott even as he wrapped his fingers around Lydia’s. He kicked him lightly under the table. Not enough to hurt, just enough to get his attention. “How’d your Chem test go?”

Scott glanced away from Kira and up at his friend with a grin. “B plus. Five points up from last time,” he added as he pointed at Stiles, “You’re the best for making me study that crap,” he said with a boyish grin as he threaded his fingers through Kira’s. “Are you going to make yours up this week?”

“Yep, later today. Good job, by the way. Not that I had any doubt.” He smiled at Kira, who returned it easily. “How about you? How did yours go?”

“A,” she told him, leaning into Scott again.

“Excellent. All my friends are smart.”

Isaac shook his head, “Nope, got a C,” he said with a sigh. “I can’t help it. Whenever I’m studying I get distracted.” He explained.

Lydia arched an eyebrow, “Then use my study game, Allison knows it. It can be a very effective studying tool.” She said lightly. “It’s how I used to get Jackson to study.” She said not even realizing she’d said his name, something she never did because it just hurt too much.

Stiles winced a little at the mention of Jackson, but didn’t remark on her mention of the other guy’s name. “It’s effective. Isn’t it, Scott?” He nodded at his best friend. Then he glanced at Isaac. “Besides, you could do worse than a C. A C’s at least passing.” He shrugged.

“Stiles has a point. But maybe we could start doing study groups with Lydia’s game,” Allison suggested.

Scott nodded, “I could use a study group.” he glanced at Kira with a smile, “What do you say, study group once a week? Snacks, books and some friendly competition.” He said with a grin.

“I’m in,” Kira agreed, nodding.

“We could probably rope Derek into helping us, too,” Stiles added. “He’s got this giant loft that’s all nicely fixed up.” He looked at Lydia with a meaningful gaze. “We should help it look more lived in now.” Mostly he didn’t want Derek to feel like he was alone.

Lydia’s expression softened and she squeezed his hand gently at the gesture, but also curious when he’d seen it. “That’s the perfect idea. Derek’s loft is my second favorite place to be.” She said brightly.

Isaac cocked his head to the side, “Where’s your favorite place to be?” He asked curiously.

Lydia arched an eyebrow, “That’s none of your business Lahey,” she teased lightly.

“Is it my business?” Stiles teased.

Allison rolled her eyes. “I think the answer to both of your questions is very obvious.” She smirked and looked at Lydia sideways.

Kira laughed softly and ducked her head, picking up a fry off her plate and eating it. She groaned when the bell rang. “Didn’t we just get here?”

Lydia arched a brow, “I bet it’s not what you’re thinking,” she teased as she capped her ice tea and dropped it in her purse glancing over at Scott when he grunted.

Scott glanced down at his tray, “This is why I’m always so hungry when I get home. They never give me enough time to eat,” he sighed as he took one more large bite of his burger before wiping his hands and standing. “Off to class we go,” he glanced at Stiles, “Catch you in Chem after I walk Kira to class?” He asked as Isaac and Allison got up.

Stiles looked up at Scott and nodded at his question. “Yeah, definitely.” He smiled at his friend and shifted his gaze to Lydia as the others headed off after telling him it was good to have him back. “Walk you to class?” he offered quietly.

Lydia turned in her seat, lifted her bag over her shoulder and held her hand out to Stiles so he could help her up. “Yes, please.”

Stiles rose to his feet and slid his hand into hers, gently pulling her to her feet and smiling softly. “Good surprise?” His voice was soft.

Lydia smiled and threaded their fingers together. “Best surprise,” she admitted as she leaned into him bumping his shoulder lightly with hers as they walked away from the table. Lydia glanced at him out of the corner of her eye, “Still curious what my number one place is?” She asked casually.

“I’m kinda hoping you were going for my bed,” he admitted with a shy smile, looking down as they walked into the school.

Lydia smirked, “That’s a little forward,” she commented casually pausing as she glanced at him out of the corner of her eye, “And entirely accurate. I fear there’s absolutely nothing left for you to learn about me. You know it all,” Lydia joked brushing her thumb against his hand

Stiles grinned sheepishly, shrugging a shoulder. “Yeah, well. You know what I meant.” He walked alongside her down the hall. “And I think you’re severely underestimating yourself. Or overestimating me. Maybe both.”

Lydia laughed lightly, “I’m not sure I know what you meant, or maybe you didn’t know what I meant,” she teased. Lydia moved her other hand across her body and gripped Stiles’ arm gently. “It’s nice having you back at school. My partner in crime,” she commented her grin widening.

“I mean...I don’t think an entire lifetime will be long enough to solve all the mysteries of Lydia Martin,” Stiles admitted, glancing down at her, expression full of warmth. “It’s nice being back.”

Lydia arched an eyebrow at his comment, “Well you’ll have to stick around and see,” she told him softly as they made their way to the door that led inside. Lydia paused a chill going up her spine. She shivered beside Stiles and glanced over her shoulder, her brows drawing together as the hair on the back of her neck stood on end.

“I intend to,” he assured her quietly, pausing when she shivered and looked behind them. Instinctively, he turned, too, scanning the distance for any sign of trouble, but not seeing anything out of the ordinary. “Lyds? You okay?”

Lydia glanced back at Stiles and opened her mouth pausing briefly before shaking her head and smiling, “Yeah, I’m good. I think I’ve got overactive imagination syndrome,” she joked. “I thought,” she rolled her eyes. The feeling was gone now so it wasn’t even worth bringing up. “It’s nothing, I’m good, actually let’s upgrade that good to great now that you’re back.” She told him rubbing her hand up and down his arm lightly.

Stiles studied her, troubled by the uncertainty he felt from her. He reached down with his free hand and covered hers with it. But then he felt the same uncertainty fade away within seconds and even though he wasn’t convinced it was really nothing, he was going to let it go for now. He smiled softly at her words and reached out, opening the door for her so they could head into the school. So maybe something new was coming. It usually was.

Right now, though, it was time to focus on the day ahead. The normalcy of being back at school. For both of them.

It was time to start moving forward.

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