He was the big man on campus. It was impossible to go to BHHS and not know who Derek Hale was. Hell, everybody in town knew the Hales. Talia was a prominent lawyer who took mostly abuse cases, and her husband William was a contractor. He owned half the fucking town. And then there was Peter, who was also Talia's brother, and he was a defense attorney. So yeah, everybody had heard of the Hales.
It wasn't easy being the popular one at school. Sure, everybody wanted to be popular, but nobody really appreciated the amount of effort that Derek had put in. He had followed his Uncle Peter's footsteps, taking up basketball and baseball, and the popularity was just coincidental. For a while, he dated Jennifer Blake, head of the cheer squad, but after a while, things just went south. Derek felt like he and Jen just didn't get along any more. While it had been fun in the beginning, they just fought now. Derek knew he had to end it. In the beginning, everybody loved them, they were the definition of the power couple of the school. But they had quickly gone from the couple that everybody envied for being so perfect, to the couple that nobody wanted to be. Derek couldn't count how many times he had heard people whisper, I'm so glad that's not me. He knew it was time.
Of course, one of the hazards of being popular was that by lunchtime, everybody knew they had broken up. Derek knew that when Stiles started talking to him at lunch.
"So I hear you and Jen crashed and burned," Stiles said conversationally at lunch. Derek glared at him.
"It wasn't like that," Derek answered. Stiles gave him a look like he didn't believe him.
"I'm just saying," Stiles said.
"Our relationship was over," Derek said. "Thinking we could save it would have just been stupid. I mean, all we ever did was fuck and fight, and that just wasn't healthy."
"Some people like it that way," Stiles said.
"Hey, whatever you and my sister do together, that's your own business and I don't wanna hear about it," Derek said. It made Scott, Isaac, Boyd and Liam laugh. Stiles just stuck his tongue out at him.
"Don't give him shit, Stiles," Scott said, jumping to Derek's defense. "That kind of thing happens in relationships sometimes, and you know it."
"Really," Stiles said after a moment. "Because I heard that she said she could do better than you."
"Please," Derek scoffed. "Better than me? Who could she get that's better than me? I could have any girl I wanted eating out of my hand in a matter of weeks if I wanted."
"Any girl, huh?" Stiles said. He looked around at Boyd, Scott, Isaac and Liam before saying, "I don't know about you guys, but to me that kinda sounds like a challenge."
"C'mon, Stiles, don't give him a hard time," Isaac said. That was pure Isaac; he was the peacekeeper in the group. Growing up in an abusive household like he did, he hated fighting and tried to discourage people from doing it as much as possible.
Stiles, however, was ignoring Isaac. That was a normal thing, though. He watched Derek intently and repeated, "Any girl, huh?"
"You think you can pick someone who wouldn't kill to be with me, Stilinski?" Derek said accusingly. Stiles just smirked.
A silence had fallen over the table, so Derek said, "Go ahead. Pick someone. Anyone. I bet I could have them eating out of my hand in a matter of weeks."
"Weeks?" Stiles scoffed. Derek really should've known better; all of his friends were competitive, sure, but Stiles was the worst one. "I'll be generous, Hale, and give you three months. If you can't get any girl I choose to love you by then, it'd just be sad."
"Sure," Derek said. "Pick anyone."
"Okay," Stiles said, looking around the lunchroom. Biting on his lower lip, his eyes traveled around the room and they landed on someone. He smirked slightly, which was a pretty good indication that this wasn't going to be good, and then said, "Her. None other than Lydia Martin."
"Are you sure that's such a good idea?" Isaac asked. "I mean, the Martins and the Hales go way back. Laura dated Lydia's older brother, not to mention she fucking babysat Lydia - along with a lot of the rest of us - when we were little. Aren't you worried it would kinda fuck things up?"
"I'm sure," Stiles said. "I mean, unless you don't want it to be Lydia. Go ahead, Derek. You can veto this one if you want."
Derek thought it over for a long minute. Lydia was the artsy girl, the girl that got made fun of a lot because of her drawing, her paintings, but Derek knew more of her than that. Isaac wasn't wrong when he said the Hales and the Martins had been close. Lydia's parents had been really good friends with Derek's, and even though Lydia's parents had been divorced for almost ten years now, with Lydia's older brother off to college, Lydia and her mother still came over for dinner quite often. He had been exposed to Lydia a lot more than the others had, and he liked her. Even when they were younger, she and Cora had been really close, and he had always wanted to talk to Lydia, to get to know her better, but he had always chickened out. She liked her space, her privacy, and he knew that she just wouldn't be interested in anything he had to offer.
She was also quiet. It wasn't that she was shy; no, Lydia said stuff when she had something to say. But she mostly kept to herself and her circle of friends. Nobody teased her about it, though - well, at least, not to her face, because the last person who teased Lydia at all ended up with a broken nose and a concussion, thanks to Cora. Lydia's circle of friends were very protective when it came to her.
"Done," Derek said, making his decision. "I'll do it." And sure, maybe it wasn't the greatest decision, that much was true, but it was the decision that Derek was going with.
"Are you sure?" Isaac asked him hesitantly. "I mean, you're really sure?" The reason that Isaac was so nervous was the fact that his girlfriend, Allison, was friends with Lydia - best friends, as a matter of fact - and he knew that if Derek ended up breaking Lydia's heart, Allison would never forgive him. "I mean, seriously, Derek, think this over really well before you decide to jump into it."
"Yes, I'm sure," Derek said. And then he watched Liam and Isaac. "I know your girlfriends are friends with her, so do me this favor and don't tell them, okay? They're her closest friends and won't be able to keep it from her. And as my closest friends..." Derek let the last few words hang, making sure he looked into both their eyes and stressed how they should be loyal to him, "bros...before...well -" Derek stopped himself. After all, Malia was Liam's girl and no way was he going to imply that his cousin was a ho.
Neither Liam nor Isaac were very proud of themselves when they nodded in unison and said, "Okay."