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Stiles knows it’s coming.  He doesn’t necessarily know how, just that it is.  It turns out to be his dad talking to Melissa after Stiles has already talked to Scott, and it’s the breaking point.  Friday afternoon, as they’re walking out to the parking lot, Scott slings an arm around Stiles’ shoulders and says, “Pack pile at yours this weekend.  Your dad knows,” and then he’s heading off toward his bike.

 

Stiles watches him go as warmth floods through him.  When he finally turns away and makes his way over to the jeep, he can’t help but feel immensely grateful.

 

When he gets home, his dad’s cruiser isn’t in the driveway, so he calls him as he’s letting himself in.  “Hey kiddo,” his dad answers, “How was school?”

 

“Fine.  Should be a good semester.  Did you talk to Scott?”  Stiles dumps his backpack on the island and opens the fridge.

 

“Melissa, actually.  There’s money for dinner on the counter.  I’ll be home late, but I have the day off tomorrow, so we can have a big breakfast.  Melissa said they’d be staying until Sunday.”

 

“Are you okay with that?”

 

“As long as it isn’t an every weekend thing,” his dad says, and Stiles can’t help smiling.

 

“Nah, we’ll go to Scott’s next weekend.”  His dad laughs, and it’s been so long since he heard it that Stiles almost—almost­—laughs with him.

 

“Listen, I gotta get back, but call me later, okay?”

 

“Yeah, of course.”

 

They say their goodbyes and hang up, Stiles grabs an apple, and he starts to head for the stairs when there’s a knock on the door.  When he opens it, his smile widens at the sight of Lydia.  “Are you going to let me in or just stand there being a dweeb?”  Stiles rolls his eyes and steps aside.  Lydia snatches hi apple and clicks past him, tossing over her shoulder, “I want tea.”

 

That’s when Stiles notices she’s carrying something along with her backpack and a small overnight bag.  He shrugs and goes to make tea for both of them, and when he finally gets upstairs, Lydia has commandeered his bed.  The something she was holding ends up being a container of fruit salad that she’s casually picking at.  Stiles smiles and goes to join her, and the end up spending the afternoon doing homework and talking about nothing until Scott and Isaac show up around five, Allison not far behind them.

 

Then, it’s just this cacophony of people, a whirlwind of putting away snacks and deciding what to get for dinner and picking out movies and board games until they’re all crowded in the living room, building a nest of blankets and pillows.  They end up balancing Monopoly on the coffee table, circled around it, and they play loudly and happily until the Chinese arrives, and then there are white containers everywhere.

 

They finish up Monopoly, throwing pillows at Isaac when he wins, which leads to him tossing a light punch at Scott, who jumps at him, and Isaac kicks out as he’s going down, smacking Stiles in the shin, so he lunges forward, and the girls laugh as they watch on.  They clean up while the boys are wrestling, and then start looking through the movies.

 

Allison ends up picking out What’s Your Number?, which Scott flails about, grabbing at Stiles as he says, “I wanted to see this, dude, and you wouldn’t go with me.”

 

“Because she is not attractive.”

 

“Pfft, whatever, bro, it looked cute.”

 

Isaac grumbles something rude under his breath, which of course means he needs to be tackled again, and Lydia just rolls her eyes and goes to curl up on the sofa, pulling a blanket over her knees while Allison puts in the movie.  They finally all settle once it starts, Stiles dropping down next to Lydia, Scott on her other side, and Allison sitting in one of the loveseats while Isaac sits at her feet, back resting against her legs.

 

Halfway through, Lydia shifts until she’s leaning against Stiles, head resting against his shoulder and hand tangled with his in his lap.  Stiles just smiles and leans his head against hers, and they finish the movie that way.

 

“My turn,” Isaac says, crawling forward.

 

Stiles squeezes Lydia hand and says, “Let’s go get snacks.”

 

She nods and straightens, stretching as he gets up.  When they get into the kitchen, Lydia goes for the fridge while Stiles goes for the cabinets.  They find bowls and start emptying bags of chips and trail mix, Stiles hunting down popcorn while Lydia makes it all look nice.

 

He’s just pressing the popcorn button and turning when Lydia is right there, and he jumps back, eyes closing for a moment.  “You scared me,” he admits, his voice dying on the end as she reaches up a hand, laying it over his chest, his heart thumping against her palm.

 

“Stiles,” she says softly, and he finds he can’t swallow, but it’s not in the way that usually makes him panic, but in a way that is so wholly Lydia.

 

There is so much on her face, so much he can and can’t read, but he sees one thing very clearly—her mouth is tilted up toward him, lips parted in a perfect, little oh, her breath ghosting over his chin like ice.  Stiles lets out this broken, wanting noise before he takes the plunge, hands coming up to curl around Lydia’s jaw, tilting her toward him further until he’s fitting their mouths together in a kiss so different from every other one.  It’s not like their first, a shared gasp of breath that he associates with panicked intelligence; nor their little ones, on hands, on foreheads, on everything that isn’t just yet there, ones he associates with quiet breaths of release.  This is like the sun, a golden burst of red beauty, fiery and overwhelming in a way that Lydia makes impossibly stunning.

 

Stiles wants to hold onto this moment forever, to close his eyes and never open them again so that he can always keep this right there.  And yet, when Lydia pulls away with a soft gasp, he can feel it in the way her fingers curl around his arms, in the way she lilts closer to him, body pressing against his, in the way she breathes out against his mouth, he can feel that this is only the beginning, and she’s kissing him again before he comes full circle to this realization.

 

It’s slow and easy, and everything that makes Stiles a little wild, his whole being aching for his Lydia, his love.

 

The microwave goes off at the same time Scott clears his throat.

 

For a brief moment, Stiles expects Lydia to jump back, scandalized, but she’s Lydia Martin, and she lingers, letting Stiles press a last kiss to her lips before she blinks open her eyes and smiles up at him.  “Buttered?” she asks, and Stiles just wants to pull her back and never let her go, but she’s already stepping down onto her heels and turning to flash a smile at Scott.  “Stop gawking, McCall, and get the chips.”

 

Scott hastily obeys, not looking at either of them, though he’s grinning like a fool, and Stiles rolls his eyes, fighting the urge to throw something at him.

 

When they get back in, Isaac has decided on Pacific Rim, which Lydia groans at and Allison is fidgeting excitedly about.  It happens that Lydia falls asleep in Stiles’ arms, mostly curled up in his lap and facing away from the television, her head resting on his chest.  The rest of them are still far from sleep, so Scott chooses The Avengers, which Isaac makes fun of him for while Allison makes cooing noises, and Scott just throws pillows at them and tries to hide behind Stiles while not waking Lydia, which wakes Lydia, who, in turn, stretches out, reaching a hand to pull Scott closer to them, legs curling around his thighs.  He laughs and rubs her leg affectionately as he scoots over until he’s leaning against Stiles, which, eventually, means that Scott falls asleep against Stiles, who just laughs and snuggles a little deeper into the sofa, yawning.

 

They make it halfway through The Princess Bride before Stiles’ jaw hurts from yawning, and he calls it quits.  He shrugs Scott awake, who comes to with a soft shout, jerking out of sleep, which wakes Lydia, who groans softly and burrows closer to Stiles.

 

“Want me to—”

 

“If you offer to carry me upstairs, so help me god, Stiles,” Lydia cuts him off before stretching and sitting, though Scott’s still pretty close, so she’s mostly on top of them.  She frowns and looks over her shoulder at Scott.  “Your muscles are not cushiony,” she complains, poking him in the chest before getting up.

 

Scott makes a lame joke about Stiles being the Pillsbury Doughboy, which ends in them lazily wrestling until they’re just kind of on the floor, limbs tangled, and drifting off until Allison gives them a nudge before she tugs Isaac off toward the hallway.

 

They eventually make it upstairs, where Lydia has already taken the inside of Stiles bed, snuggled under the blankets and already in her pajamas.  Allison and Isaac go to set up camp on the floor, and Stiles starts to head for his dresser when Scott catches him by the elbow.  He nods toward the bathroom, and Stiles returns the nod before going to get his pajamas.  They meet in the bathroom, Isaac snorts when Scott closes the door, and he locks it as he turns.

 

“How do you want this?” Scott asks as he starts to undress, his pajamas in the sink, Stiles’ on the closed toilet.

 

“I dunno.  I mean—Lydia’s already there, I should be good, I think, but—I dunno.”

 

“I can just keep an eye out, if you want.  If things start to get bad, I can come up with you two.”

 

Stiles gets dressed before he answers, “Yeah.  If you don’t mind, I mean.”

 

“It’s totally cool, man, whatever you need.  He hugs Stiles briefly before heading out, and Stiles stares blankly at the wall until he hears Allison and Lydia talking in his bedroom, and then he goes to brush his teeth, trying to compose himself.

 

He never thought, in his lifetime, he would be lying next to his Lydia in bed.  When he did think it, it was a stretch of the imagination even for that, but now she’s curled up against him, head pillowed on his chest, red hair loosely braided and brushing his arm, her breath warm against his neck.  It’s easy to fall asleep like this, so close to her.

 

Scott listens to Stiles fall asleep, listens to his breathing even out, his heart thump a beat slower every time, his energy calm until he in a deep sleep, and Scott settles a little, not quite asleep but not quite awake.

 

It happens so fast.

 

It’s barely been an hour before he hears a hitch, and Scott frowns, coming up out of his half-slumber and looking over at Stiles.  He waits, listening, and there it is again, followed by a soft whine, his fingers tangling in the sheets.  Scott is up and stepping over Allison and Isaac before Stiles’ head finishes its turn, his brow furrowed and his mouth turned down.  He recalls everything his mom told him before taking a deep breath and reaching forward.  He tries to exude peace and security as his fingers trace lightly over Stiles’ cheek, thumb swiping up over his temple, sliding back to card through the soft hairs at the nape of his neck before he says Stiles’ name, a careful whisper, “Stiles.  It’s Scott.  I’m here, you’re okay, you’re just dreaming.  You’re safe, I promise.  You’re okay, Stiles.  I’m here, it’s Scott, it’s just a dream.  Come back to me, man, I know you can do this.”

 

He runs his hand up along the side of his face again, and then Stiles wakes, jerking up out of his nightmare with a quiet, terrified noise, but Scott just shushes him and shifts into his line of sight, smiling.  “You’re okay,” he says, and, after a moment, Stiles nods.

 

“Thank you,” he whispers.

 

“Of course, dude,” he says before standing and motioning for Stiles to move.

 

He does so, trying to shift Lydia, but she stirs, frowning as she looks up.  The moment she sees Stiles, her gaze snaps up to Scott, fearful, but he just holds his smile, so Lydia nods and moves over to give Stiles room to move so Scott can join them.  Lydia snuggles against Stiles, reaching for his hand to lace their fingers together as Scott curls up on his other side, nose pressed against his shoulder and arm wrapped around his midsection, and Stiles falls asleep feeling safe.