What started out as an awesome last minute decision for twenty-seven year old Tyler Hoechlin to surprise his long term girlfriend Britt, short for Brittany Snow, and spend almost four days and three nights with her before flying back to Europe to attend this year first Wolves’ convention in Cologne is slowly turning into a freaking nightmare.
And to think it started out great seeing how for the better part of the last three months he'd been working, and mostly living, on the island of Orivaru, an inhabited island in the middle of the Indian Ocean filming a modern remake of The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. While it was a whole lot of fun and he got to work with an amazing cast he longed to spend some actual time with Britt. After all, texts and mails and FaceTime calls can only cover so much when they’re so many time zones apart.
So when he learned he would end shooting five days earlier than planned he jumped on the opportunity to book the first flight back to California and, thanks to her best friend who planned a fake girls-only-getaway, have some eighty-six hours with her.
It had been exactly what he needed. What they needed.
Leaving home to fly out to Europe was hard. Partly because their time together, no matter how amazing it had been, had simply been too short and partly because they both knew it wouldn’t be until the end of September before they would be reunited again. Tyler had a movie to shoot in Italy after attending the convention in Germany while Brittany had a new project of her own in the States.
“Text me when you land in Germany,” she told him in between kisses. “The moment I land,” he promised.
Britt’s words still resonate in his ears though they were spoken almost twenty-eight hours ago. In a perfect world he should be waking up in his hotel by now, ready to join Ian and JR, if they manage to get the man out of bed, for a morning workout and enjoy two whole days with them until the convention would begin Saturday morning. Should being the operative word.
As it is he hasn’t even left the country yet. Right now, Tyler and everyone else who left Los Angeles with him are stuck at John F. Kennedy International Airport, which to be honest should – is –an improvement from their previous diversion; Western Nebraska Regional Airport.
One hour into their American Airlines flight it became pretty clear something wasn’t functioning as it should; the air temperate suddenly dropped, significantly so. Two hours in, the crew were out of blankets and passengers, despite having put on jackets and sweaters, were shivering in their seats. The pilot made the decision to divert to the first airport with a runway long enough for a Boeing 767 and have technicians fix whatever needed to fixed. The problem however was that Western Nebraska Regional Airport’s a small airport, one that didn’t handle international flights and as such didn’t have the required personal or material to fix the plane’s systems. In the end a senior engineer ‘patched up’ the airplane to the best of his abilities. “This should hold until you get to JFK.” From there on, their captain assured, they would be transferred onto an awaiting plane to continue the rest of their journey to Dusseldorf.
Sure enough they made it to JFK, fourteen hours after having left LA, without freezing their asses off. And sure enough there was – probably (hopefully) – still is a plane waiting to fly them to their destination. The thing was they were one of the last flights authorised to land on the East-Coast due to a massive storm. Since then all air-traffic got suspended due to flooded runways and kickass winds and judging the weather forecast he’ll be stuck there for another twelve to sixteen hours at least.
To add to his bad luck, there’s not a single airport hotel room available. Not anymore at least. There was one left, a small single bed one, but when he saw the young couple with two young children next to him looking for a room, too, he couldn’t, he refused to be that kind of man and graciously offered up his room to them. At least the kids would get a good night’s sleep.
And that’s how Tyler sitting in an overcrowded VIP lounge, surrounded by jittery and cursing businessmen barking down orders and what not into their phones, cracking his neck for the sixth time in the last twenty-five minutes, standing up every so often to avoid his ass from falling asleep wandering who the hell he pissed off in a previous life to deserve this. Luckily Ian and Tyler Posey (who are still in London with JR after attending a con in Birmingham) are keeping him sane by texting back and forth. Relax dude, Tyler texts him, at least you’re stuck between business men. Me and Ian got stuck surrounded by Bieber fans earlier on and let me tell ya bro: THEY’RE FUCKING LOUD!!!
Tyler can’t help but laugh at his phone before sending back a whole line of laughing emojis followed by ‘Teenage girls bro. Teenage girls.’ He’s about to pocket his phone when BOOM more shit gets thrown in his face. In his case it comes in the form of two teenage girls with ‘Sterek Is Real Bitches’ printed on their t-shirts who enter the VIP lounge accompanied by a deep sighing young looking man carrying an impressive amount of shopping bags. It doesn’t take a genius to see the girls are spoiled rich brats with no regard to anyone, or anything for that matter.
Of course they spot him right away and of course, what else did you expect, they scream their ass off and run all the way up to him and no shit, throw themselves in his lap, hugging and kissing the man without any regard for personal boundaries causing him to almost fall out of his seat as he tries, and barely manages, to get away from them.
“Ladies!” he barks, shooting daggers at the man who’s accompanying them and who looks like he would be relieved if the ground underneath his feet would open up and swallow him whole. “Miss Jones, Miss Lucy,” the young man finally speaks up, having dropped the bags so he can pull the girls away from Tyler, “this is a public place. Please remember that. Your parents-“
“Oh shut it, Miles! I can have you fired in no time,” the taller of the two threatens, yet somehow she and her friend allow themselves to be lead to the opposite side of the VIP lounge.
It doesn’t mean he’s out of the woods. Oh no, the girls come with state of the art camera’s and they’re taking picture after picture, giggling like the schoolgirls they are when laptops are being pulled up and one of the girls shows him her open laptop screen. Even from where he’s sitting he recognizes it. Twitter. Facebook. It goes on for hours. When one sleeps, the other just keeps at it and vice versa.
He wants to fucking die! He wants to strangle those two girls. He wants to smash their laptops into a million pieces. Not necessarily in that order.
Thirty-nine hours after having left Los Angeles two runways are being cleared and Tyler’s flight (with the new plane this time) is one of the first allowed to take off.
"Who gives a crap?" Tyler curses under his breath as a number of information is announced over the speakers. “Just get us on the fucking plane.” He's not tired anymore. He’s exhausted at this point. He’s been awake for over forty-eight hours.
Of course, of fucking course his nightmare doesn’t end there. Oh no. The two girls somehow end on his flight. On the seats in front of him! "My dad's the CFO at AT&T. He’s got connections,” she says defiantly, popping another gum in her mouth. “And she,” she points to the other still squeaking girl, "is my BFF."
Tyler manages exactly zero hours of sleep on the flight to Dusseldorf, when they aren’t talking to him they’re talking about him in the most objectifying way leaving him one French fry short of becoming a fucking happy meal when they land.
The young man they’re traveling with Tyler learns on the plane is Miles Bokan, a not nearly enough paid full-time go-for/babysitter for a spoiled brad. I’ll try to buy you as much time as I can when we land so you can get out of the airport a handwritten message says. Tyler nods his most sincere thanks to the young man even though he’s preparing himself for the worst.
The worst turns into reality when Tyler – no lie – all but runs for his life when he passes the passport check, his carry-on clutches in his arms through terminal two, two screaming teenagers hot on his heels. Either they’re doped on something or his running speed is severely compromised due to his severe state of fatigue.
When he eventually finds a cab and jumps in, promising one hell of tip if the man is willing to step on it to get him to his hotel asap, he sees the two girls and a heavy sweating Miles doing no doubt the same when they too get into a waiting cab.
Everything’s against him however and soon enough they found themselves stuck in traffic, the girls two cars behind him. He can see my-dad’s-the-CFO-bitch on the front passenger seat no doubt barking something at the driver, or maybe Miles.
By pure luck, his cab manages to turn left just before the light jumps to red and his followers are temporarily stuck. Frantically looking for a way out in this dense traffic Tyler spots a small looking restaurant, its door wide open as three people step outside, saying goodbye on the sidewalk. He throws all the cash he has on him, almost two-hundred and thirty euros, at the driver and gets out, “Don’t tell them where I went!” and ducks past the people outside inside the restaurant.
Thirty-four year old Tatjana Limbach just finished swallowing her last mouthful of food of her late lunch at her favourite seven table counting restaurant when it happens.
It coming in the form a man, at least she thinks it's a man carrying a red carry-on, literally diving under the table next to hers. Not crawling or graciously dropping to his knees and hide. No siree! Whoever he is honest to God dives under there like his life depends on it, almost knocking over her glass in the process.
"Was zum Teufel?” she thinks, looking to the door just in time to see two young girls burst in.
“Where is he?” one of the girls asks her companion, shewing obnoxiously around a mouthful of blueish gum. “Where did he go? Do you see him? Shit! You sure he got in here?”
“Yes, I'm sure,” the other says, chewing just at bad around a pink gum, albeit on a – thankfully – lower volume. “At least I think he did."
“Fuck! Fuck! FUCK!” Bleu Bubblegum grits out. “Where'd you go Tyler Hoechlin? Where the fuck did you go.”
Tatjana chokes on her drink thinking she surely misheard. Tyler Hoechlin? Her Tyler Hoechlin?
"Entschuldigen Sie meine Damen,” she asks the girls.“Kann ich Ihnen helfen? Help you?" No way is she speaking fluent English.
"Can't you speak English, like normal people?" Blue Bubblegum Bitch spits out.
Tatjana wants to face palm and tell those goddamn wanna be princesses they need to definitely get a much needed fucking education or maybe a lobotomy. The goddamn nerve! "I speak, little," she says, pretending to struggle. Oh yeah, she's going to have fun with this.
"We're looking for this guy," Pink Bubblegum says, showing her phone to Tatjana. It's one of her favourite pics of Tyler, the one with the goggles around his neck. Fuck he's beautiful she thinks.
“Er ist nicht hier,” she says firmly. "No here," she repeats. “Nicht hier."
“Are you sure?” Blue Bubblegum Bitch says to Tatjana’s face. “I'm gonna check for myself. You wait here,” she tells her friend.
“Was glaubt ihr Kinder, wer ihr seid ?! Dies ist mein Restaurant, kein verdammter Spielplatz!” An angry looking chef dooms over the two teens, kitchen knife at hand to add the scare factor as he herds them towards the door. “Verschwindet, bevor ich die Polizei rufe!”
The girls look like they’ve just seen a ghost. The look on their pale faces is glorious! It’s that good Tatjana actually has to look away not to burst out laughing out loud.
"You can come out," she says turning her attention back to the table next to hers when Fritz closes the door, slowly lifting up a corner of the green tablecloth. A broad back dressed in a dark blue jeans jacket is barely all she sees from this angle. "They're gone. Fritz locked the door, they can't come back in."
The broad back shifts, disappearing all together, revealing sneakers and legs dresses in tight jeans in its place. Getting out from under the table proves to be a little more difficult than diving under it. But sure enough, right before Tatjana’s eyes a fiercely blushing, and shaking, Tyler Hoechlin arises. The same Tyler Hoechlin she’ll meet at the Wolves con starting tomorrow morning. The same man she bought a photoshoot with. The same man she not so secretly dreams about. Life sure works in glorious, mysterious ways!
“Are you alright?” she asks, voice filled with concern. “Why don’t you sit down for a bit?”
“Geht es dir gut?” Fritz appears next to Tatjana. “Hier, nimm ein Drink. Es wird dir helfen stark zu sein.”
Tyler accepts the drink, thinking it’s a glass of water. "Wha- what is this?" Tyler wheezes. God, it burns.
"I would have to kill you," Fritz grins wildly, his accent thick. "Home-made recipe. From my grandfather. Before the war.”
Tyler holds up his arms in surrender, grinning just as wide, taking another – smaller sip. He likes this Fritz guy.
"Who were those girls and why were they following you?" Tatjana asks.
"I..." Tyler starts looking from Fritz to Tatjana, "I guess you can say they're fans... I'm an actor," he adds quietly, like it's a matter of National Security. And oh my gosh, five o'clock stubble or not, his already flushed cheeks darken even more. Tatjana's not quite sure how she will survive this.
She all but rolls her eyes though. "Fans? I don't know what you're used to, but those chicks," she makes a weird looking gesture towards the door, "they're not fans. They're called crays!" She says fiercely and she knows. She's a fandoms' girl. Fandoms. Plural. She's seen her fair share of crays.
Tyler looks like he wants to say something, maybe stating how it comes with the job, or how the girls were young. Young people tend to do stupid shit and all. The look on Tatjana's face however makes him close his mouth instead.
He takes another sip from his drink. Then, "It's never been like this. Ever," Tyler admits, still visibly shaken by the whole ordeal. “They chased me with a car,” he says in disbelief.
"I'm sorry," she tells him earnestly. No celebrity should ever have to go through something like that. "Guess there's a first time for everything. At least now you can say you stared in your own James Bond remake."
Tyler looks up to her, a shy smile appearing on his face. "That's one way of looking at it."
“Do I know you?” he asks suddenly. “You look familiar.”
Fritz, bless the man, excuses himself right as she’s about to answer they did meet before – at Teen Wold Conventions – he has a kitchen to clean and dishes to prepare for the evening reservations.
Subject diverted they fall into a surprisingly easy conversation after that in which they talk about the countries they visited; Tyler mostly to work, Tatjana for the pure fun of it. They share travel stories over tea for Tatjana and coffee for Tyler. They share anecdotes, places or dishes they wholeheartedly recommend. They talk about music and Tyler’s first love: baseball. He even tells her about how the game is played since she knows nothing about it. It's all fun and nice and Tyler’s stress seeps out of him.
The funny thing is, not once do they introduce themselves. They just talk, and laugh, and talk some more. They're completely unaware a couple of hours have passed until Tyler's jet lag hits him hard and he starts yawning uncontrollably. “I'm sorry," he says, words stifled by yet another yawn. "Gotta love jetlag."
"What hotel are you staying in?” Tatjana asks, “I could take you back, you know."
Tyler tells her the name without a second thought. "Oh no, you don't have to. I can take a ca-"
"Shush you," Tatjana says, effectively interrupting him. "I'm older than you therefore you should listen to me."
"No. No buts. Besides, all kidding aside, I'm heading the same way you are." It's true. They're staying at the same hotel after all.
They take an Uber Cab to the hotel and share the ride’s fair and awkwardly look at each other outside the hotel entrance.
"Well,” Tatjana says, “I guess the only thing left for me to do is wish you a good evening.”
“Thanks. You too.” And just like that fun and carefree Tyler turns into shy Tyler. It’s quite remarkable and strange.
"Hey," Tyler calls out, turning on his heels. "I never got your name."
"It's Tatjana," she says cheerfully, not having moved from her spot. "Tatjana Limbach."
"Nice to meet you, Tatjana," he says, holding out his hand to her. "My name's Tyler. Tyler Hoechlin."
She shakes his hand. "The pleasure's all mine, Tyler,” she tells him suddenly feeling damn anxious about meeting him tomorrow.
"Come here," Tyler says, letting go of his carry-on in favor of opening his arms to hug her.
Thinking maybe she shouldn’t, Tatjana’s feet and arms ignore any and all command and take two steps forward, welcoming and returning Tyler’s hug.
The next morning, Tatjana barely managed a couple of hours of shit quality sleep, she’s queuing for her first photo-op, the much anticipated duo shoot with Tyler Hoechlin and Ian Bohen and she’s a nervous wreck. "You're next," a young girl informs her, taking her meet and greet card. Here goes nothing she thinks, counting down the seconds till it's her turn.
"Hi Tyler, it's so nice to see you again" she greets excitedly, a soft blush spreading on her cheeks. Tatjana’s not referring to their time together in the restaurant but to their prior meetings at Teen Wolf Cons.
"Hello," he says back, turning to fully look at her after having high fived Ian over an inside joke. He stops mid turn, his hand still somewhat up in the air when recognition dawns. "You... Oh my God! You!" A genuine smile appears on Tyler's face.
"Yeah," Tatjana smiles back, her eyes lighting up and this time there can be no doubt; she's definitely blushing, furiously so even. Before she can so much as rejoice the fact he definitely did recognize her before and keep her screaming sixteen year old self in check Tyler has taken a step forward, invades her space so he can wrap his arms around her and hugs her tight. "We have met before haven’t we? Thank you. Thank you so much for keeping it real," he says quietly.
"Yes, yes we have. I’m sorry I didn’t speak up before. I didn’t want to freak you out even more by saying I’m a fan,” she whispers back, hugging him back just as tight, never wanting to let go of the man. “You’re so very welcome by the way.”
Everyone around them - from the fans who had their turn to the photographer, to Ian, to the people from the Con - is looking at them with a huge question mark floating above their heads. No one’s making heads or tale about the scene in front of them. The photographer however follows his gut and starts shooting as he walks around them. Snap. Klick. Zoom in. Zoom out. Snap. Picture after picture gets immortalized.
“Oh my God,” Tyler stumbles when they eventually break apart. They’ve been hugging – full body hugging – for the last whole minute, if not longer. “I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”
No matter how cute or adorable the man looks when he’s blushing - God the man is downright beautiful when he blushes - Tatjana is having none of it. “Don’t you dare,” she scolds him without any heat to her voice. “I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.”
“Me too,” he admits. “Well minus the bubblegum-princesses that is. I had a lovely time. We-“
“You know, Hoech,” Ian interrupts, clapping a hand on one of Tyler’s shoulders, “it’s considered rude, man, not to introduce this nice lady to your friends.”
The raised eyebrow come-again-look Tyler gives Ian is such a typical Derek feature, Tatjana wonders how much of Tyler actually blends into Derek as both men interact with each other.
“Ian, I’d like you to meet the lovely lady who saved my ass yesterday; Miss Tatjana Limbach,” Tyler says in a most formal tone. “Tatjana, may I introduce to you to Ian Bohen? He’s the man who plays my psychotic uncle on the show,” he mock whispers that last part in her ear.
“Oh really?” she deadpans a hint of glee in her eyes. “I would have never have recognized you without all the make-up.”
Ian’s faux affronted face is so hilarious she can’t hold back the boisterous laughter that fills the air. And just like the day before Tyler can’t help but join Tatjana’s infectious laughter. Neither can Ian for that matter and soon all three are clutching their stomachs.
“Make sure she gets every pic you took of us," Tyler tells the photographer once he caught his breath.
"But," someone from the organisation pops up.
"No buts," Tyler fires back looking at Tatjana. "They're on me. It's the least I can do for a member of the pack."
“On us,” Ian corrects, remembering how agitated Tyler had become the evening before when he told JR and him what had happened. Both girls were denied access to the convention and were kindly – and rightfully so – asked to find another hotel. “The pictures are on us. Now,” he says, moving in to stand on Tatjana’s right. ”What do you say we take a couple of extras? And could someone go find JR? Tell him we require his ugly face for a mugshot.”
It's cliché as fuck, yet to Tatjana they're the sweetest words ever. “You guys are amazing,” she tells them in earnest.
“No we're not, “ Ian says, pulling her against his chest. “You’re amazing. You’re the one who got my boy’s back when he needed backup and that, that makes you way more amazing in my book.”
She's pack. She's part of Tyler Hoechlin's and Ian Bohen’s and JR Bourne’s men-pack. There are worst things in life.