Laura might have to admit that this had gone on long enough. Especially if she took the increasing infuriated texts from Cora into account. Her phone chimed again.
Case in point, she thought wryly, unlocking the screen and reading the latest from Cora.
Look. UR OLDEST. AND Alpha.
That’s really your argument? Laura sent back.
Yes! And Lydia is tired of Stiles pining at her about him. Make it stop or I’ll never be laid peacefully again. :( :( :( Cora admitted.
Ah. Laura shot back. Fine. Summon the troops. :P
The girls made it to the house within the hour, Erica pausing at the door to say, “You owe me $20. Pay up.”
Cora scowled. “You bet on me?”
“Being the first one to cave and demand that someone makes our two favorite idiots get their heads outta their asses?” Allison asked, sliding up to high five Erica. “Absolutely.”
“And I was pulling for you,” Lydia said, patting Cora consolingly on the arm.
Kira giggled, giving Laura a quick hug. “We brought snacks.”
“Wonderful, let us take this to the kitchen and get started,” Laura said, clapping her hands together and grinning.
“Hi Derek,” Kira chirped, with an adorable little wave.
“Hi?” Derek made it a question.
They were all smiling at him now. The hair on the back of his neck stood up. Something was totally going on here and he wasn’t sure that he liked it. Maybe if he just backed up slowly, they wouldn’t ask him to do anything.
“Relax, Der,” Laura said, giving a dismissive wave of her hand. “We’re just having a little girl talk.”
“Right,” Derek said and he knew he still sounded unsure, but these women were dangerous. He’d seen them do lethal things. His sister turned away the Alpha pack. Allison and Kira eliminated a pack of ghouls on their own with a pen knife and a handful of throwing stars in 3 minutes flat. Lydia melted a troll with a mix of things found in her purse. Erica disassembled Jackson’s Porsche on a double dare with an allen wrench. And Cora? Well, Cora knew how hung up he was on Stiles and hadn’t said anything to him, as far as Derek’s been able to tell.
So this whole girl talk thing would only spell doom. He was 90% sure.
“I’m going to go turn in,” Derek said, backing up slowly and toward the stairs. “Try not to disassemble or blow anything up.”
“Of course,” Laura waved him off.
“Have a good night,” Kira called.
Derek took the stairs two at a time.
Stiles squinted suspiciously at Kira who just kept pleasantly smiling at him.
“Hi,” he said and lifted an eyebrow. “You want your usual to go with whatever subterfuge you’re up to or what?”
“My usual please and Derek’s usual,” she said amicably. “He’ll be along in a few. How’s research for your thesis going?”
Stiles noticed with distinction that she totally passed over that subterfuge insinuation.
Wait. Did she say Derek? It’s not his usual sit in the back nook while doing paperwork day. Not that Stiles paid a lot of attention to his schedule or anything. Much.
“I see,” he said.
“Do you?” Kira asked hopefully.
Stiles went back to narrowing his eyes at her. He did not see. He’d hoped she’d spill the beans on whatever she was up to.
“I mean,” Kira pasted on a slightly panicked grin. “I’ll be right over there. Just yell when it’s ready.”
Then she practically hopped off without explaining herself. Stiles frowned and went to pull espresso shots and froth milk, giving Derek a nod when he walked into the shop. Derek gave a little smile at Stiles as he made his way to the counter.
Stiles sat the two lattes on the counter in front of him and Derek’s eyebrows lifted in surprise.
“For you and your partner in crime,” Stiles said. “Actually, grab yours and I’ll grab Kira’s. I have a bone to pick.”
“Please tell me this isn’t the start of another weird and treacherous prank war,” Derek grumbled, picking up his drink and falling into step with Stiles.
“Not since my eyebrows have finally grown back properly,” Stiles scoffed. “Did you get done with that cabinet you were working on?”
“Yeah,” Derek smiled, proud set to his shoulders. “Just finished with the last coat of varnish before I came to town.”
“I bet it looks great. Those carvings half finished looked badass,” Stiles said.
“Yeah?” Derek asked, faint touch of blush to his cheeks. “You should drop by and see it.”
“Yeah?” Stiles licked his lips.
Derek nodded. “Hey, Kira.”
Kira was watching them both with this fond and slightly exasperated face
“You’re being unusually devious,” Stiles observed and sat her coffee down on the table in front of her.
“I solemnly swear I’m up to no good,” Kira winked, hand held up in the Scout’s salute.
“Actually that’s my line,” Erica said, sliding an arm around Stiles shoulder, pushing him a little toward Derek enough that he could feel how warm Derek was through his soft long sleeved shirt.
“Cute,” Stiles said.
“Take your break, Batman,” Erica gently nudged them into the love seat across from Kira. “I’m here for my shift.”
“You’re being unusually nice,” Stiles squinted at her, taking a moment to lean into Derek while trying not to be too obvious.
“Nah, I’m just channeling my customer service mode,” Erica said with false cheer and a little fist pump as she made her way to the counter.
“I’m going to get a pastry,” Kira said, jumping up. “I’ll bring you two back something.”
“Is it just me or are they acting really weird?” Stiles asked.
“When I got home last night, they were all sitting at the kitchen table.” Derek confessed.
“Creepy,” Stiles observed, stealing a drink of Derek’s latte.
“More than a little,” Derek agreed, arm resting over Stiles’ shoulders.
At the counter Kira and Erica shared a significant look, but Stiles decided to ignore it, settling more firmly into Derek’s side.
“Kira said that Erica basically shoved Stiles onto Derek's lap,” Allison said, turning into the Stilinskis' driveway.
“Leave it to Erica to have the most direct yet unsuccessful approach to this problem,” Lydia rolled her eyes. “Bold is great for a lipstick choice, but not for a romantic overture.”
“Maybe Cora’s right and we should just take them aside and tell them that, ‘yeah, he really likes you too,’” Allison said, giving Stiles a wave as he locked the front door.
“Sure, and watch as they dismiss the facts completely as they share every stolen glance and heave longing sighs? Have you even been paying attention?” Lydia shot her a look.
“Pay attention to what?” Stiles asked, climbing in the back of the car.
“To not reading any potentially dangerous occult texts out loud,” Allison matched Lydia’s look.
“Right,” Stiles said doubtfully.
“Derek’s meeting us,” Lydia said.
“Yeah?” Stiles asked, pleased.
“Try not to enchant him like last time,” Lydia warned. “His ears don’t need to be any cuter.”
“Hey, that was an accident,” Stiles protested.
“That won’t be repeated,” Lydia said pointedly.
“Whatever,” Stiles waved a dismissive hand. “Don’t think I don’t notice what you two are up to.”
“Oh?” Allison asked, backing out into the street and taking off toward the shop. “And what are we up to?”
“Something devious,” Stiles said and didn’t elaborate.
“Good to see you remain completely on top of things,” Allison said.
“Ha,” Stiles grumbled.
“Since you’re so on top of it, how’s your research going?” Lydia asked, smoothly changing the subject.
They’d conveniently left them alone and they still weren’t making out. But they were standing close. Maybe even closer than normal? She wasn’t sure.
Just as she was about to slide back in there and just shove them together, Lydia grabbed her hand, giving it a squeeze.
“Are you about to tell me to be patient?”
“We might as well be.” Lydia shrugged.
“And if we leave now,” Allison said, “we can get milkshakes and text them on our way home. Unless you found something interesting?”
“No, nothing of use. You’re right, if we head out, Stiles will just talk to us about what research he’s found for his thesis and I have no desire to listen at this time,” Lydia said, pulling Allison back toward the exit. “We’ll text them around the time they’ll have realized we’re not here.”
“Maybe they’ll figure it out when they’re in the same car,” Allison said hopefully and tried to believe it.
“So, probably it’s just teenagers,” Laura said. “But we’re gonna do a sweep to be sure. Split up into groups of two or three. We’ll meet back up at the house.”
“Hey Stiles,” Scott said and stopped when both Kira and Allison elbowed his side.
“Hey buddy,” Stiles said, frowning as Cora shoved him into Derek. Her brother put an arm over Stiles’ shoulders to steady him.
“I’ll just go with Kira and Alli and see you at the house later?” Scott said as the girls pulled him off.
Laura was starting to think that maybe lessons in subtlety should be added to the pack meeting itineraries. She didn’t facepalm, but she wanted to.
Erica pinched Cora and then jumped onto Boyd’s back to escape Cora’s retaliation.
“We’ll head north,” Derek said, arm still on Stiles.
“Good,” Laura nodded. “Take your time.”
Derek lifted an eyebrow but led Stiles away.
Cora waited until they were out of earshot and stepped up next to Laura.
“Yes, sister mine?” Laura asked sweetly.
“We’re going to follow them and see if they make out, right?” Cora asked.
“Absolutely,” Laura agreed, grabbing Cora’s hand. “I’ve got money riding on tonight.”
Laura did get a kick out of Stiles making a surprised, indignant squawk and leaping into Derek’s arms. That almost made up for having to pay Erica $40. Almost.
Cora didn’t even care about the betting pool at this point.
Cora was tired of the deep, contemplative sighs from her brother and introspective texts from Stiles.
These two damn idiots. It’s like they were even more clueless than they’d all believed. In fact, she was pretty sure the only way this was gonna come to the end was if they got a very firm push.
The bakery would be as good a place as any.
“I don’t see why you couldn’t just drive yourself out to town,” Derek grumbled, stepping out of the car and falling into step with Cora.
“You have been holed up in your workshop for the last two days. You needed an actual break where you at least grunted at people that aren’t me and Laura,” Cora reasoned, holding the door for him.
“Oh, hi Stiles,” Derek said, pausing in the doorway.
“Hi,” Stiles said, clutching a loaf of sourdough wheat to his chest.
Cora shoved Derek forward. “For the love of everything holy, just kiss already,” she ordered.
“Cora, stop,” Derek looked like he was trying to put a hand over her mouth and- just nope. She didn’t have time for this.
“What is the problem? You like him. He is head over heels for you,” Cora gestured. “Now get your heads out of your asses. In fact give me your keys.”
Derek opened his mouth to say something and stopped, reaching his keys over automatically when Cora made grabby hands at him.
“You like me? Like, you like me like me?” Stiles asked, bashful and hopeful.
“Yeah,” Derek said, smiling sheepishly. “Like, more than like.”
“Oh,” Stiles said and grinned.
“Yeah, oh,” Derek rolled his eyes and reached out for Stiles.
They bumped noses first, but finally lined up and had a good and proper kiss, only stopping when everyone in the bakery started to cheer.
Cora grinned and gave herself an actual pat on the back. She shot off a text to Laura on her way to the car, It’s done. Finally.
Awwwwwww, I’m kinda sorry I missed it. Laura texted back.
I took a pic. :P Cora confirmed.
That’s probably some sort of privacy violation but I don’t even care. Did you just put their faces together by force though? Because that would be cheating. Lydia shouldn’t get to be quietly smug if you cheated for her.
Nope, but close.
Well, as long as you weren’t too violent. Pick up steak for dinner. We’ll all celebrate.
I’ll get enough for all of us. Derek will probably be way too busy to see us all gloat anyway.
Cora normally hated going to the grocery store, but this made it all worth it.