The city is thrumming with activity. Or maybe it's the night club across the street where Stiles and Scott are standing, trying to blend.
"Do I really have to be here?" sighs Stiles.
He can’t believe he had to dress up for this. He isn’t even the one who’s trying to get some action tonight. He could have been sacked out in front of his TV watching Spike’s marathon of Star Wars rather than standing outside a swanky restaurant in the classier part of the city. Scott is as broke as he is. So Stiles definitely hopes he won’t be stuck with the bill at the end of the evening. He tries to straighten his tie, his father’s tie. One he hopes he doesn’t miss. He is not looking forward to this evening.
"I need you here, she doesn’t speak Wolf," replies Scott, looking around to spot his date. He’s practically vibrating with excitement. And nerves. If he was a puppy he’d be wagging his tail. Maybe wetting the carpet. Stiles snickers at his own joke.
"Then how did you get this date?" grumbles Stiles, his accent coming out. Werewolf is a complex language. His mouth can’t help being human. Werewolves have an affinity for high pitch whines and growls. Stiles is woefully human in that respect. Well, Stiles actually loves being human. He's already pretty hairy without being a werewolf.
"I’m pretty good at the human texting," Scott preens, straightening his own sports coat and fiddling with his phone.
"Oh god, you wrote it on your hand," groans Stiles, pulling his friend's right hand out for inspection. He squints at a half washed out Sharpie message before Scott yanks away his hand. "You have got to stop writing messages on your hand. That is not a good form of communication."
"Allison liked it. She smelt like raspberries and sunshine," grins Scott, goofily. He even tried to say her name the proper way. Stiles sighs, his friend can’t even get his name right. And they’ve been friends since diapers.
"Urgh," grimaces Stiles. "TMI, Scott. TMI."
"Just talk me up," Scott says. "And I’ll owe you forever."
"You know, you will eventually need to learn how to speak English," growls Stiles.
"But I have you," whines Scott guilelessly. And damn, Stiles is a sucker for those puppy dog eyes. Motherfucking werewolves.
So Stiles is beyond the third wheel, he’s the Zeppo. Allison, a charming girl, and Scott have been eye sexing each other for over half the evening. About halfway through the main course. Stiles is done being the werewolf equivalent of Cyrano de Bergerac. At least Cyrano got some action. All Stiles got was tap water, the cheapest chicken meal on the menu and splurged on the apple pie that nowhere near compared to his mom’s recipe. So yeah.
He figures it's time to bow out gracefully and hope to catch the last train back home.
Laura Hale nearly cracks the casing of her phone when she hangs up on yet another shrill call. She feels a cluster headache forming. One that she can name Derek.
"That is the fifth translator that quit," sighs Laura, pinching the bridge of her nose in frustration as the waiter presents her drink with a flourish before hastily bowing out at her brother’s scowl. "Five, Derek, five."
"I can’t be held responsible if they can’t cope with the stress of the job," Derek replies, leaning back into the booth.
"Can’t?" scowls Laura. "You’re the reason they quit. Or retired. Or had a mental break. Take your pick. I've heard them all. There isn’t a magic well of humans that can speak our language, Derek."
"They were speaking it wrong," her brother says, looking down at his drink.
"Wrong? Wrong? And what? You are suddenly the language police? Do I need to remind you how important these negotiations are?" Laura growls, her eyes flashing red.
"No," bites Derek reproachfully.
"Good, then find someone who can string a sentence together, or beg one of the five-"
"I will not beg," cuts off Derek with a growl, his eyes flashing blue.
"Then find another," orders Laura, sharply. Her gaze holds her brother’s before he is the first to look away. "Well, glad that’s settled. I wonder what’s good here."
She picks up the menu with gusto. Derek gulps down the rest of his drink.
"Don’t sulk, brother. I am sure you’ll find the right one for the job," she grins sharply. "You just have to be your usual charming self."