It’s not that Stiles gets a kick out of watching Isaac, Boyd and Erica get their asses handed to them by Scott. Although it does tickle him, he’s not going to lie. No, the satisfaction in watching his best friend besting the new wolves isn’t why Stiles suggested Scott should start teaching them a thing or two. Nor is it because he thinks it would do Scott some good to take on some responsibility or a leadership role -- it’s not like it’s something that Scott can exactly put on his college application.
“Don’t think I don’t know your grand scheme, Stiles,” Lydia says, the snark back in her voice in perfect, clipped clarity. But there’s a smile on her lips that Stiles has missed--the shiny, glossy, happy kind of smile that turns the male of the species to putty in her hands.
There are two lawn chairs just out of the training zone and it’s there that they’re sitting. Lydia’s perfect poise and critical eye never missing a thing while Stiles, who
sometimes, rarely, never really gets to join in on the werewolf games, has found it’s nice to have a place to kick back and watch.
“What scheme?” Stiles asks, his attention half on her, half on a showdown between Boyd and Scott.
“If big brother Scott plays with the puppies, that means they’re occupied. And if the baby betas are being trained, that means Derek is free and clear to sneak away with you so that the two of you can make out amid the scrap metal. You’re not nearly as covert as you think you are.”
“If you think I am trying to be sneaky about my intentions at all, you’re totally mistaken. In fact, I think I have been the opposite of covert.” Stiles’s split attention is immediately rejoined, redirected, and wholly focused on the figure walking out from the shadows of the other side of the room.
Even without the aura of complete and utter badass that radiates from every inch of him, everyone’s focus is momentarily shifted to Derek and the click of his boots on the concrete floor and the shhh of fabric as his zip-up jacket brushes against his jeans. And let’s not forget the tank underneath... There’s not a person in the room who wouldn’t--at least for a moment--think about saying ‘hello.’
Lydia’s laugh is short and high-pitched. “You’re right. You are about as obvious as they come.”
“I am a man without shame.” Derek’s eyes flash from the resumed training session and over to Stiles, where they stay. Stiles feels his skin get hot--and other parts of him react, too. He is, after all, only human. The only only-human in the room, to be precise. He wonders if there’s going to be a time when he doesn’t get that rush when Derek looks at him. Probably not.
“Anyone who has seen you eat would agree with that,” Derek says, walking toward Lydia and Stiles.
"Wow, the mythical Hale humor. And at my expense, nice." Derek's hand brushes against the back of Stiles's as he moves to stand next to Stiles’s chair. "See if I put my master plan into effect now."
Before Derek can respond with more than a toothy grin, one of Isaac’s moves goes awry and Boyd is airborne and heading directly toward them. Lydia has just enough time to start to scream and Stiles is starting to topple over in his chair when Derek moves, blocking the impact and sending Boyd hard to the floor. Somehow he also manages to grab hold of Stiles’s arm, keeping him upright.
“Want to maybe rethink that last sentence?” Derek asks, righting Stiles’s chair and pulling him out of it in one swift motion.
“I’m willing to be persuaded,” Stiles agrees, sliding his arm from Derek’s loose grip. He tugs on the front of Derek’s jacket, straightening it, and Derek flashes him an amused grin. “Lydia, do you mind watching the kids?”
“Just get out of here,” she says, shooing them away with her hand. “Go set your cunning plan into motion and out of earshot.”
Derek hooks his finger through the front belt loop of Stiles’s jeans, and as they not-sneakily-at-all walk away, Stiles can hear Lydia say, “Okay, now let me show you how it’s really done.”