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the one that's a little bit party of five

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"Tall, dark and dangerous checking you out, three o'clock," Lydia says, swiping the crumpled twenty off Stiles' drinks tray and tucking it into her bra.

"My three o'clock, or yours?" Stiles asks, making a slapping motion at her hand when she snags the ten as well. He doesn't actually connect, because he's not suicidal.

"Behind you, dumbass," Lydia says with an eye roll and swishes away. Stiles takes a beat to lean a hip on the bar, makes like he's waiting for an order and scans the room while he waits. He's been feeling eyes on him for the last hour or so but that's pretty natural given he's supposed to have people looking at him, that's what he's paid for. This feels different though, there's a weight to it, but Stiles hadn't wanted to be obvious.

He does a casual three-sixty and catches the gaze of a glowering werewolf with thick eyebrows and a strong jaw. The guy has artful stubble going on and he looks like he's pissed off at the room, but especially at Stiles and Stiles can roll with that. Lydia wouldn't have called attention to him if he hadn't been Stiles' type.

His sister is good like that.

"I'm not covering for you this time," Lydia says, circling back to the bar and slicing neatly through any fond thoughts he'd just been having about her. "Ahab catches you fucking in the bathroom again you're out and we're still short on the gas bill."

"I wasn't going to do anything," Stiles says, but he stretches while he says it. The shirt they make him wear at the Lone Wolf is too tight and too short. It means he gets better tips and he plays it up when there's a whale on the horizon. Lone Wolf is in the sketchy part of the city, a little dank corner known by the locals as the Shingles, and most of the Lone Wolf patrons are the more affluent members of the supernatural community wanting to feel a little more dangerous.

It's all an illusion and it's pretty hilarious. Ahab, the owner, intentionally plays up the seediness, over charges on watered down drinks and does a brisk trade in the more illegal fare that the supernatural crowd prefers. He also only hires hot cocktail waiters which is lucky for Stiles and Lydia who happen to have been blessed, genetically.

"Some of us more than others," Lydia always says.

"We shared a womb, you can't claim to be hotter than me. We're the same."

"We're fraternal, ugh."

Ahab also looks the other way if said waiters decide to trade in other kinds of illegal merchandise but while Stiles and Lydia don't do that, they're more than willing to flirt and make people think they might be willing to if it gets the tips flowing.

They have a few hungry mouths to feed.

"Take his order. No funny business," Lydia instructs with her eyes narrowed.

"I can't help that, I'm naturally funny," Stiles says, moonwalking away from her with his tray balanced on his fingertips. It would've been awesome if he hadn't caught a stool with his heel and had to fumble to save it and not end up on his ass.

"Suave," Lydia says, making a show of giving him a slow clap and Stiles turns away from her smirking face and back to his target. If he plays his cards right, he could get fifty, maybe a hundred out of the guy.

He sidles up to the guy's table, making sure to put a little more slink in his step and also tilt his chin, baring the side of his throat. Werewolves he can do, and has done on many occasions. He has a bit of a thing, actually. He doesn't touch the guy because werewolves are big on the personal space until they invite you into it but he does brush his hand over the air just above his shoulder.

"Can I get you something?"

The guy blinks, then puts a hand up to his own neck and scratches and it's almost adorably nervous which is a contradiction and a pleasing one. The guy is all leather and hardness and to have this little peek of vulnerability makes Stiles think that he's definitely going to piss off Lydia if the guy is willing.

"You got anything on tap with wolfsbane?" the guy asks, his eyes drawn to Stiles' hipbones when Stiles puts a hand in his jeans pocket and forces them down a little, his other hand spinning his tray lazily.

"We got WB Stout and also Fanger but they're about as bad as each other. If you're interested, we have a bottle of Knucklebones knocking about, but once we open it, it starts losing potency so you have to buy the bottle."

Stiles hears Ahab in his head when he does stuff like this, his mantra of upsell, upsell, upsell. The guy's leather jacket looks like it could've paid for Isaac's braces so Stiles smiles and takes the chance.

"WB's fine," the guy says, disappointingly. Ahab had promised a bonus to whoever could sell the last bottle of Knuckle.

"Sure thing. Pint or pitcher?"

"Pint," the guy says, and suddenly he doesn't look the least bit interested anymore, like Stiles has failed some kind of test. His gaze drifts to the back of the room where the pool tables are, dismissive and Stiles' flirty smile switches to his pleasant customer service one before he nods and heads back to the bar.

"Non-starter," he says to Lydia when he gets back and puts his order in with Warren behind the bar.

"Really? I could've sworn-"

"Here you go," Warren says, setting Stiles' order on the counter and he smirks. "Losing your charms there, superstar?"

"Shut up," Stiles grumbles.

"Maybe you should get some more sleep. Dark circles aren't really attractive to anyone except Skinners."

"Bite me," Stiles grunts and Warren flashes a fang because he's a vampire and they're pretty much the worst.

Stiles delivers the WB and the guy merely grunts in acknowledgement, not even looking Stiles' way. He retreats, his pride having taken a little knock but forgets about it when he sees Lydia has bailed up Ahab in the corner and she's got her phone out.

He makes a beeline for them because Lydia looks agitated and Ahab has his arms crossed and is shaking his head. "-wouldn't ask if it wasn't an emergency," she's saying when he draws closer.

"You're got three hours left and I expect you to work 'em," Ahab says.

"Problem?" Stiles asks.

"Stiles, Scott called. Erica has a... fever," Lydia says, which is their code word for one of the kids freaking out and not being able to pull back. Scott can usually handle it, but he's still only sixteen and even though he's a trooper, sometimes the kids just want either him or Lydia and they won't settle without them. Usually he and Lydia try to stagger their work hours as much as possible, but the Lone Wolf is always the most lucrative of their jobs and they hadn't wanted to turn down the shift they'd been scheduled to work together since they were having a tighter than usual month.

"I'll cover for her," Stiles says.

"You can't cover a shift you're already on," Ahab says.

"I'll work back to dawn. I'll lock up, clear the gutters. I know you hate doing that," Stiles wheedles.

"I'm not paying you to lock up."

"I'll clock out at four like I was supposed to. You get me for three hours for free, it's the same as Lydia's got left."

Ahab looks torn, because he does hate closing but usually doesn't want to pay someone to do it and does it himself. He eventually throws up his hands but then jabs a dirty finger in Stiles' sternum. "This is a once-only deal. You do your shifts like you're supposed to or I'll find someone else," he warns, before pushing back through the crowd.

"You're a saint!" Stiles calls after him, then digs into his jeans pocket and tugs out his keys.

"You take the car," he says.


"Lyds, seriously. I can walk home."

"Around here?" Lydia says, arching an eyebrow.

"It'll be daylight when I leave. I'll be fine."

Lydia hesitates for only a second more, before she leans forward and kisses him on the cheek, snagging the keys.