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Log

Arrow

Players

Stiles Stilinski, Lance De Leon

Arrow

NPCs

Incidental

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Artifacts

None

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Factions

N/A

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Music

Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"

Arrow

It's not been that many months since an exasperated Stiles declared his desperate need for romance. Funny how things sneak up on you...

Type:

Social

Emitter:

None


July 25, 2015
Downtown Beacon Hills, Beacon Hills Pool Hall

It's a dark and stormy day in Beacon Hills. The clouds have been dumping buckets of rain all day, punctuated by occasional bouts of thunder and lightning. It's exactly the kind of day to be at home, curled up with a hot drink and a book or movie, and most sensible people who have the option are doing just that.

Not Stiles Stilinski.

In fact, home is the last place he wants to be. Since Scott and the pack have been off doing wolf things, he's been largely left to his own devices. Sitting in a nearly empty Starbucks by the windows where he can watch the street, he's on his laptop and ostensibly doing research--on vampires, no less, so there's a hell of a thing, though really not much weirder than werewolves.

But he just can't seem to focus. He finishes the last of his coffee, staring into the bottom of the empty paper cup, and considers going for a refill. Benefits, caffeine and sugar. Drawbacks, increased need to pee. These are the things running through his mind, as though his brain were doggedly taking refuge in the mundane in rejection of the strange life he's come to live.

It's just been that kind of day.


It's been that kind of day: dark and dreary, water pouring from the sky as if it were a cotton-packed spigot. But a convenient coffee shop holds its certain appeal for many caught out in this day, or who choose to be out in it.

A motorcycle roars up into the parking lot, figure clad in black leather straddling it. It purrs as it settles into the parking space, then the stand's down and it hushes, put to sleep for the moment. Its pilot steps off, swinging a leg over. There seems to be no hurry to his movements. He walks calmly in the direction of the door and opens it, stepping inside before he pulls the helmet off and unzips his jacket. The shirt underneath is surprisingly cute, which may say a lot about him. Maybe. He just shakes out his hair and tucks the helmet under his arm, continuing over to the counter.


The motorcycle draws Stiles' attention, and he glances up sharply--but, no, it's not Scott's. He knew that before he finished looking up. As the newcomer arrives, Stiles quirks an eyebrow, watching him come striding in like some kind of runway model biker dude. The shirt brings a small smirk to tug at the corner of his mouth, as he's enough of a geek to appreciate that sort of statement. Not that he's ever felt hip enough to try pulling that sort of thing off. Blending in (or, too often, failing to blend in) is more his style. So to speak. He watches as the stranger orders coffee, then shrugs and pushes to his feet, heading over to the counter as well. Guess it's a refill after all.


The stranger turns, and he's met with an eyeful of Stiles. "Oh! Sorry." He smiles, and it's one of those ten-thousand-watt deals, but so natural, so incidental, it has a ring of truth about it. Whatever he's drinking, it smells strong. It's not a sweetened drink or a particularly complicated blend. "You're like a ninja or something."


Stiles shakes his head back and forth in a tiny but emphatic gesture, as though someone had just told him he were a Smurf. "I--what?" Dammit. All the pretty people have to flaunt in his face, don't they? This guy probably gets all the girls. Or guys. Or, hell, both! Unfair. Managing an uncertain smile, Stiles holds up his empty cup and says, "Ha, yeah... that's me. Refill ninja." He sets down his cup, glancing back toward the stranger's drink. "Hey, what're you having? That... actually smells really good." He glances at the barista, vaguely gesturing with his off hand toward the guy's cup. "Could I get one of those?"


"It's, uh, Greek or Turkish. Pretty basic. I mean, it's not exactly how they do it there, but it's really strong. You want a sip, before you commit?" Lance moves to take off the lid, holding it out to Stiles. "Might keep you up at night. I mean...if you're the type who likes to sleep at night." There's a pretty bold statement. Much bolder than the ninja one. It just slipped right out there, and bam! There it is.


Stiles seems mildly surprised by the gesture, but he smiles and says, "Oh, hey--thanks." He accepts the cup, taking a small sip, though some paranoid corner of his brain screams in protest. He shuts this impulse up, reasoning that no random stranger is likely to drug him in the middle of a coffee house. Unless they're a serial killer. Shut up, brain, he tells himself firmly, and as he hands the cup back, makes that exaggerated "frowning-not-frowning" people make when they're indicating they're pleased or impressed, and gives a mild shrug. 'Nice!" He glances back to the barista, nodding, and says, "Definitely one of those, please!"


Then, turning back to the stranger, he offers his hand and says, "Thanks again for that. Nice to meet you--I'm Stiles." He even manages to approve of himself. He sounded almost entirely like a normal human, there! (And, upon reflection, the irony of that last thought is not lost on him.)


Lance takes his cup and has a sip from it, somewhere in the vicinity of where Stiles did. It's so incidental though, it could be passed off as just a coincidence. But it's definitely not drugged, or at least if it is, he's somehow immune to the substance. When Stiles introduces himself, he takes the hand and squeezes it, pumping once. It's a good grip, but not compensating for anything. "Lance. I just rolled into town. So tell me, where do you go to party in this town...you look like a fun guy." He lowers his voice, leaning closer. "And I don't mean a mushroom." He grins at his own little joke.


Stiles can't help grinning at the lame yet endearing pun. "Ha! Fun-guy, nice. They outta put that on a t-shirt." In fact, he reflects with a mental kick to himself, they probably have. He ends up pressing his hands together, a longtime unconscious gesture when he isn't sure what to do with them, and giving another shrugging kind of motion. "Well, welcome to Beacon Hills! Crappy weather to hit town on a bike, but looks like you made it in one piece." And he tries not to look anywhere awkward when he says the word, but of course then he's thinking about it--dammit. Covering this with a feigned cough, he drops his hands to shove them in his pockets. "Well, um. There's a couple of clubs in town--Sinema and The Jungle, depending on what you're into."


Lance just laughs. "They probably have. Right? I mean..." He motions to his own t-shirt, pulling his jacket open a bit more with the hand not holding a hot drink. "Can I twist your arm to tell me more about them? Let me buy your coffee. That's the least I can do." Before Stiles can really protest, the leather-clad redhead has money on the counter. "I've been here all of five minutes and already I've drafted you to be my welcome wagon and board of tourism."


Stiles hardly has time to open his mouth to argue before it's done, and then he just rolls with it, nodding, and says, "Hey, thanks, man! That's really cool of you." The barista hands over his drink, then, and Stiles gestures over to his table. "You, uh... wanna sit?" And yet, at least for once there are no doggy jokes in the offing! He turns to start back to his seat, thinking out loud, "Anyway, I mean, Sinema is more of an all audiences kind of place, uh... not that I really frequent it or anything. Kind of a 'something for everybody' place if you buy into their advertising." He raises his eyebrows, tilting his head, and exhales a bit. "Now, the Jungle... it's more, uh... specific."


"Yeah! Let's take a load off. It's nice to have a seat every once in a while that doesn't vibrate constantly." Lance follows Stiles to his seat and sits down with him, leaning back and taking another big mouthful as he settles. Slowly he nods, digesting all the information. But he pauses at the last little bit. "Specific? Like...specific how?" The grin returns and he rests his cup on the very edge of the table, though he keeps his hand carefully around it. Must be just an idle habit. "If it's a biker bar, I think I can handle it."


Stiles has to work hard to shove back the responses that come to mind at the mention of vibrating seats, even as he drops into his own (non-vibrating) seat--and has a moment of brief panic, shutting his laptop just a bit faster than needed. Last thing he needs is for the hot new guy--Dammit, I am not thinking of him like that!--to see him reading up on vampires. He takes refuge in a slightly awkward laugh at the mention of a biker bar, shaking his head, and says, "Nah--actually, it's, well... more of a... gay bar." He takes swift refuge in his drink, though he has to pull back swiftly, barely managing not to spill any. "Yeah, okay, that's hot," he mutters in embarrassment.


"You okay?" It is hot. This whole situation could be called that. Lance doesn't seem to be at all bothered by the revelation. "Oh, I see. Well, which one do you prefer? Wanna give me a tour? I could use a night out, feel the scene, see what's going on...I'm not really moving into my new place for a few days, so otherwise I'm gonna be stuck in a hotel watching cable reruns."


"Yeah, fine, I'm good," Stiles answers with a flash of a smile. Then he picks up a wooden stirrer he'd left on a napkin--he'd pointedly added cream and sugar to the first coffee--and swirls it around in his cup, ostensibly to cool it off. Looking down at the motion, which gives him an excuse to avert his eyes, he admits, "Well, uh... I don't really do much clubbing. Well--any, really. I'm... not a club... kid." He gives another mild shrug. "I've been to the Jungle, but... well, I'm not sure it was really my scene. And Sinema, I guess I mostly know it from seeing ads."


Lance nods, seeming to take this with an easy acceptance. "I know it's kind of sudden, but I literally only know one or two people here and they're really more like...mentors. Professors. You know, like that." He laughs softly again, lifting his cup to take another sip. The way his adam's apple bobs when he swallows...there are little contours of muscle on his neck... "Ahh. I guess I had you pegged wrong. Are you more of a party-at-home type? Because I am not believing you aren't a lot of fun. Do you smoke?" With his free hand, he puts the tips of his thumb and forefinger together, taking them in an arc to and from his lips. It not only draws attention to his mouth, it's presumably an illustrative gesture for something or other.


"Well, I'm not sure I'm really a party... -er," Stiles concedes, putting down the coffee stirrer. He sips his drink more carefully, then sets it down on the table, nodding in a "Yep, that's good" sort of way. He's distracted a bit by the little details that seem to catch his notice, feeling a mild flush on the back of his neck. God, it was like talking to Derek Hale. Now, why in hell did I just make that comparison? he wonders, and then he catches up with the conversation to blink a little. "Smoke? Me? Aw, nah--I mean, lung cancer and all that, right? No thanks!" He puts on a slightly awkward grin, trying to cover what he's sure can only be confirmation of his complete social ineptitude.


Lance looks surprised for a moment, and then he justs breaks out laughing, setting his cup down more squarely on the table. "Seriously? But you're like a tiger in the sheets, right? I'm looking into your eyes and I'm not seeing 'stays at home reading textbooks Saturday nights'." And he is looking into the other boy's eyes, even if they're not exactly looking back. "Maybe I'm just being selfish. Sorry. New to town and I'm already getting on someone's nerves."


Blinking, Stiles furrows his brow and glances up, actually meeting Lance's eyes. "What? No! No, you're not getting on my nerves. I'm just... boring, really. I don't stay home reading on Saturday nights... always... but when I do go out, I'm usually doing something weird, like... hanging out with my friends or... wandering around and getting lost in the woods." He groans softly and reaches up to scrub both hands across his face. "God, I need to get a life."


"You like getting lost in the woods too?!" This, it seems, has hit a real chord with Lance. "I *love* getting lost in the woods! Look, I know I just met you, and I hope I don't sound like a crazy person, but uh...if you're not doing anything with your friends tonight...maybe I can bring the beer, you can bring...well, whatever. I mean, or you could bring friends. Yeah, this sounds like I'm taking you out to the woods to kill you, I'm totally not that kind of guy!" And he laughs almost helplessly, holding up his hands. "I'm just gonna be bored. And I'll confess, I'm pretty boring. I mean, the main reason why I'm even in town is to do pre-U research work. I guess I'm desperate for anything that isn't musty old books and musty old scholars."


Blinking a few times as he takes all this in, Stiles says, "Well--okay, sure. I mean, I don't know about the woods." He glances out the window, where the storm still surges. "At least night tonight, but... we could catch a movie or... something? If you want, I guess?" This is weird. Virtually uncharted territory. Stiles is acutely unaccustomed to anyone taking interest in him like this. Even Scott used to have to be coaxed or dragged into doing things, and lately, well, who's had time? It's always been school, lacrosse, or... wolf business. Smiling some, Stiles says, "I mean, it could be fun, just... hanging out. Or whatever."

As an afterthought, he asks, "Wait--beer?" He perks up some. "I haven't been able to get any since my dad took my fake ID."


It looks like Lance is even blushing a bit as his laughter turns almost to giggling. "Oh man, I'm so smooth. Meet a nice guy, invite him for a night of horror getting lost in the woods." He looks up, his grin just about the definition of sheepish. "Yeah, beer! Or if you want something harder." It either hasn't occurred to him that the statement can be taken more than one way, or he just soldiers right on from that because he's already embarrassed himself enough. "Don't worry about it. That's a dad duty. What, uh...what would you like to do? I just don't want to be sitting around in my hotel room, because I'm just going to end up studying or watching TV. Anything but that!"


Reaching to rub the back of his head, Stiles picks up his coffee and takes another long sip. One he sets it down, he folds his hands loosely together and attains a thoughtful expression. "I play a mean game of chess," he says, half-seriously, and then amends it to, "Do you... play pool? I mean, I'm not great at it, but we do have a pool hall. It's something to do, anyway, that doesn't involve studying or TV."


Lance gestures at himself, specifically to his clothes. "Take a good look. Could I have arrived at this point in life not playing pool?" The grin widens. "But I'm up for chess too. Or checkers. Chinese checkers. Parcheesi. Backgammon. Uh, go fish? Strip poker? Marco polo. Strip marco polo." That's an intense gaze that very nearly seems to be boring into Stiles, most specifically his eyes. Unlike most people, Lance seems to look people directly in the eyes most of the time when he speaks to them. At least, when he's interested enough in someone.


"Okay, uh," Stiles says, grinning a bit. "Maybe the pool hall it is, then? I just figure, we've both been sitting on our butts all day--uh, vibrating or otherwise--so it'd be nice to move around a little." He pops his eyebrows up and down, not avoiding Lance's gaze so much as seeming to have a hard time sitting still when he's not obsessively focused on something. He picks up a backpack from the floor, shoves his laptop into it, and moves to sling it over his shoulder as he stands up, managing not to knock over his coffee in the process. "Let's go! We can take my car so we don't get soaked."


Lance stands, taking one last gulp of his coffee to finish it off. "You sure? Is it okay for me to leave my bike here, or should I just follow you? I don't mind getting a little wet. In fact...I kinda like it. Cools you off in summer. It's like going swimming, but the pool's allll around you." He tosses the empty cup in the trash on the way to the door.


Giving a good-humored smirk and a shrug, Stiles says, "Hey, if you wanna get soaked, that's your deal! Do whatever suits--I doubt your bike would be in any trouble, but it's good either way." He then heads for the door, coffee in hand, and says, "It's basically a straight shot south, near the old rail yard. Just follow the busted old jeep." He waves his free hand, its thumb pinned to his chest by the strap of his backpack, at the jeep parked outside. Then he pushes open the door and heads that way.


Lance takes his helmet and starts to put it on...but then he thinks better of it and just decides to climb into the jeep. "When it's better weather, I'll have to pay you back for this and give you a ride." On his bike. That's what he means. Probably. He's pretty quiet for the duration of the trip, but once they're there, he stretches a little bit in his seat and prepares to exit. But only after Stiles opens the door first. He's following his lead. "Looks like it's not too hard to find your way around here."


"It's really a small town," Stiles agrees, putting the jeep in park. Leaving his backpack stowed in the rear seat, he hops out, pushes the door's manual lock, and slides the keyes back into his pocket. Shutting the door, he starts on his way into the pool hall and shakes his head, laughing faintly. "Man, this is weird. I never do this. I never just... go and do something like this. And I definitely don't remember the last time I just took a situation at face value and went to do something... normal, like, with anyone." He shrugs, tilting his head, and says, "Kinda nice." And heads into the pool hall.


Lance leaves his helmet in the jeep too, hopping out with little ceremony but making sure the door is shut fast. "Sometimes the best thing to do is go with your impulses. I mean...yeah, I guess this isn't the usual for me either. I'm just determined not to be mister lone wolf here like I was the last place I was doing research work. Couldn't even pick up a 'plus one' at a club for some fun." He heads in just behind Stiles, pressed a bit close, and along with the bouquet of rain, he also has a deep, rich, very masculine cologne or possibly soap or something on him. And then of course, there's the leather too.


No, Stiles is not going to admit to noticing those scents. Not for a moment! Though, privately, he does admit they're nice. You know, if you're into that kind of thing. Yep, definitely jealous of this guy--but hey, being jealous of friends is hardly new in Stilesville, so he soldiers on. Himself, he wears very simple deodorant and aftershave, but it's drugstore cheap and more designed to be unobtrusive than interesting. He heads up to the counter and says, "You paid for the drinks, so this is on me." After paying for a table for the afternoon, he leads the way in. "Well, I... guess we 'rack 'em up,' right?"


Lance is happy enough to be close, it seems, though if he takes not of anything in particular, he doesn't mention it. He's pleasantly surprised at the offer for it to be a treat, and he certainly won't disagree! So he moves to the table chosen and starts setting up the balls on the table before the question is even asked. "Yep! Then you get a good cue and chalk the tip. But just the tip," he jokes, making it clear with his tone. "Then it's balls to the wall!"


Stiles racks up the balls, nodding, and says, "Yeah, I remember." Though he's smirking, amused rather than annoyed at being instructed. "But who do I get the feeling I'm about to get spanked?" he adds, shaking his head with a grin. "I'll let you break, just to see how screwed I really am." He finds a cue and applies the chalk, not expertly but not ineptly either, and leans lightly on the stick as he watches to see how Lance does with the break.


Lance moves like he has a profound familiarity with the game, going through a couple of cues before he chooses one, and then reaching over for the chalk and giving his only a brief twist before setting it down. "Nah, don't worry," he answers. "That's for later, when we know each other better." He winks, then takes the frame and slides it into its slot in the table, walking to the other side of the table and breaking the triangle.


Lance breaks.


Stiles laughs a bit at the comment, though he stops then and gets a puzzled look, mulling that over. He gives his head a shake, raising his eyebrows, and then steps up to shoot. "Well, okay, then--guess I better earn my stripes," he says, trying to sound at ease and all part of the game. He concentrates on the lay and says, "Right... gonna go for the fifteen." Bending over the table, he carefully lines up his shot...

Stiles steps up to the table and takes careful aim... Stiles expertly sinks the 15 ball.


Lance seems endlessly amused by Stiles. "Stripes, huh?" Lance rests the cue's end on the floor and tosses the upper part between his palms idly. When the ball sinks into the pocket, he gives brief, quiet applause. "Am I gonna get hustled? Is this your secret fun guy thing?"


Stiles shakes his head, laughing a bit as he lines up another shot. "Dude, no way," he assures Lance. "I'm just aiming for the low-hanging fruit so when you do beat my ass, I at least look like I put up a fight." A slight flush touches his ears, though, and he quietly reflects on the strangeness of metaphors of defeat seeming to gravitate so much towards one's butt having some kind of violence visited upon it. Throwing that thought aside, he takes the shot.

Stiles steps up to the table and takes careful aim... Stiles expertly sinks the 9 ball.


Lance just watches, laughing as another ball sinks into the pocket, just as aimed. "Uh huh. So far on the Stiles list: low-hanging fruit, spanking, putting up a fight...and pool hustling. What other delightful secrets will I learn about my new friend today? Let me guess -- you're secretly Batman!" He idly continues tossing the cue between hands as he watches.


Stiles blushes visibly at this litany of his comments, but he manages a sheepish grin. "Language is weird, okay? I was... just noticing that, myself." He coughs again, shaking his head, and says, "But I am so not Batman. Like, not even a little." Leaning in, he takes another shot, a bit more recklessly this time.

Stiles steps up to the table and takes careful aim... Stiles's shot is off target.


Lance whistles low and takes his cue up at last. "Finally!" He steps up to the table and looks around at the lay of the land, as it were: which balls he has a chance of sinking. "Okay, so you're not Batman. Does that make you Robin? Do you have those little shorts with the green scales on them?" He lines it up...and...

Lance steps up to the table and takes careful aim... Lance expertly sinks the 6 ball.


Stiles' expression gets a strangled look for a moment at that, and he watches the ball sink almost as though it had betrayed him personally. "Not Robin," he declares adamantly. "No little green scaled shorts," he adds, practically strangling his cue. "Given the choice, I'd way rather be Batman."


"Okay, so you're not Robin," Lance replies, amusement sounding in his voice. "But you're not Batman. Are you Superman? Because I don't think Batman is something you *settle* for. Or are you...someone else?" He circles around the table, finally choosing another ball and lining up his shot. "The Flash? Green Lantern? Wonder Woman?" The last one is asked with no small amount of teasing relish.

Lance steps up to the table and takes careful aim... Lance's shot is off target.


Stiles steps up to the table and takes careful aim... Stiles's shot is off target.

Stiles is lining up his shot when Lance asks his question, and Stiles, making a face, misses terribly. Straightening, he gives Lance a mock-wounded look. "Wonder Woman? Seriously?" He rolls his eyes, but he smiles too. "Honestly, I guess given the options I'd have to go with Batman. He keeps up without super powers, and he solves mysteries. That's pretty cool."


"Wonder Woman's awesome, don't be hating on Wonder Woman." Lance just seems to become more and more pleased with everything that happens, especially when Stiles seems to have about the same bad luck as he has. "So you like to solve mysteries? But wouldn't you like to...I don't know...be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, or pick up a car with one hand, or have an invisible jet or something?"

Lance steps up to the table and takes careful aim... Lance expertly sinks the 7 ball.


Stiles holds up a hand in mild defense. "Hey, hey! I'm not knocking Wonder Woman. I just don't really feel much like an immortal Amazon warrior." He leans on his cue a bit and makes a mild sour face. "Plus, I'd look even worse in her outfit than Robin's."


Lance continues around the table, closer to Stiles, stopping next to him and lining up another shot. "I think you'd look really cute in Robin's outfit, personally," he counters, leaning over with his leather-clad rear stuck back. He draws back the cue and tries his luck.

Lance steps up to the table and takes careful aim... Lance expertly sinks the 5 ball.


Stiles nearly falls over at this declaration, only just managing to catch himself on a bench by sitting on it with an audible thump. "C-cute," he sputters. "Seriously?" Stiles is a smart guy, but he doesn't always show it. Only then does his brain finally register that Lance might have been flirting this whole time. And it mostly just confuses the hell out of him. Coughing mildly and trying to recover himself, he says, "Well, I guess maybe, just..." and he ducks his head a bit, the puzzled look returning, "I think you are literally the only person ever in the history of time to think so!"


Lance straightens up, turning slowly around to lean back against the table, looking Stiles over. "Really?" Confusion and disbelief combine on his expression, until he seems to settle shaking his head and shrugging his shoulders. "Their loss. I'd have thought you'd be beating them off with a stick!" Just a moment passes. "I mean, uh, you know. Fending them off. Fending them. Off."


Stiles takes the diplomatic approach of ignoring the double entendre, reaching up to rub the back of his head. "Well, um... nope. The girl I liked since forever basically preferred an asshole jock over me, and... well, I guess that's basically it. Nobody even notices me, usually, except to tell me I'm being... y'know. A giant, spastic weirdo-boy." He shrugs and offers a little grin. "But, hey. At least I've got a thing. I know where I stand." He doesn't mention how the only girl who ever actually showed interest in him ended up dead. That's the sort of thing one tries never to think about again.


"Well too bad for them! Giant spastic weirdo boy just happens to be my type. I mean, how lucky is that, first person I meet in town is so perfect?" Lance has to laugh again, shaking his head and turning back around to lean over the pool table. Perhaps a little farther than is technically necessary. And those pants really do show off his assets admirably. "Seriously, you haven't run away screaming yet from my awkward attempts at conversation, so that's like a billion bonus points."

Lance steps up to the table and takes careful aim... Lance expertly sinks the 1 ball.


Stiles looks like he has no idea what to say to this. He takes a moment, sliding a hand through his hair, and then expels a long, slow breath, puffing out his cheeks and letting his lips vibrate together slightly. "Wow," he says, brow knitting. "I guess that... answers that. Y'know, like a year or so ago I was totally obsessed with finding out whether guys found me attractive? I never did." He reaches up to rub at the center of his forehead, grimacing.


Lance sinks another ball. Click, clack, the sound of the ball rolling down into the table is a little loud, but it quiets as the ball can be seen sliding along the side window with the other ones that have been sunk so far. The redhead straightens again, glancing over his shoulder. "Why wouldn't they? I guess you've had a bad time of it, I mean...but still!" He suddenly pauses, turning to face Stiles more fully. "Uh, if you're not interested, I mean...I don't want to make you uncomfortable or anything. I mean, we just met and everything. But...yeah. I mean, who wants asshole jocks? They're dime a dozen and they peak in high school."


Stiles turns quite red at this, and he clutches the pool cue tighter as he sputters, "I--I didn't say I'm not--or that--you're not--!" He reaches up to smack his forehead with one hand, then takes a deep breath. "Uh. What I mean is. Sure, I've... thought about it. I've wondered, but... I was totally obsessed with Lydia since, like, the third grade. I'm still kind of still trying to figure out what I'm attracted to that... isn't her." His brow furrows again. "I mean. You're obviously... attractive, though."


Lance laughs again. He seems to do that a lot around Stiles, and it's a pleasant sound rather than a mocking, derisive one. "Lydia's a pretty name," he quietly replies, after a time of silence, as if he's contemplated all the possibilities he could say. "Names are supposed to reflect a quality of the things they're attached to, so...maybe that's what happened. All that pretty captivated you." He just looks upon Stiles for another stretch of silence, smile softening to a slighter one, an easier, more relaxed expression. At first he starts, as if to move and take another shot at the table. But he stops himself. "Thanks, by the way. I mean...I must seem like a real goof. Believe me, I think this is the first time in ever that I've run into someone at the first place I go in town and...done all...this." He takes a hand and runs it through his fiery hair, rolling his head back. There's that neck definition again. "It's so crazy. This is so not like me."


It takes a few moments for Stiles to react. Then he slowly stands, approaching Lance, and just as slowly reaches out to take his hand. Feeling and looking rather awkward, uncertain, he says, "Look, um... I don't know exactly where I stand on all this, but... I guess I'd like to find out? So, I... don't really know how this is supposed to go, but... you're making me feel... things. I don't really know what kind of things or what to do about 'em, but... yeah. So, uh. I guess I'm sayin'... it's cool. I'm glad I did show you around." Letting the cue rest in the crook of his arm, he reaches up to scratch his head, making a mild face, and says, "Just promise me nobody's filming this so they can post a 'gotcha' video to YouTube or something. Because if so, I will break this tick off up in your ass." He's hovering between serious and joking, as if unsure which to go with.


At first it's just such a clumsy thing, the two trying to find their words and what they want to express. And then Lance's hand is taken, and he lets it be taken, smile widening slowly and every word sinking in. He gives it all time to settle into his mind, to digest what he's been told. "Nah, nobody's filming this. That's for later, when we're doing all the spanking and low-hanging fruit and stuff. So forceful! Do you offer to shove things up everyone's ass, or am I just special?" He is rather hard to truly unsettle. Even the clumsiness and embarrassment didn't last too long.


Stiles flushes, and he says, "No! I--just, y'know. Defense mechanism! This is unfamiliar territory for me!" He feels almost dizzy. It's not like he'd ever even admitted his attraction to guys before--not even to himself, not fully. Sure, he'd explored the idea a little, like when he thought Danny had offered, and he'd tried to jokingly float the idea to Scott a couple of times just to see what happened, but nothing did. It was all safe and imaginary. And this is--"Wait," he says, abruptly cutting off his own inner monologue. "S-spanking?"


"Yeah!" Lance answers, so simply. "Remember? You were talking about beating ass or something." He starts chuckling again. "I don't think I've ever realized before this afternoon exactly what a massive portion of linguistic expression centers around asses and doing things with them."


"There was a YouTube video about that," Stiles says absently. "About how 'your ass' represents 'you.' Technically, I think you'd call it synecdoche." Then he clears his throat and gives Lance an even look. "I think it's a little bit early to be suggesting anything that, uh... personal, isn't it?"


Lance's brows lift. "About beating ass? Oh." The quick explanation afterward clarifies it nicely. "Well you're the one who brought it up, let me remind you." With a wink, he turns back to the table. "I'm fine with whatever pace you want to take. I mean, some people like to jump into bed and build it from there, some people like to just spend fuzzy time together and cuddle." He leans forward, positioning the cue in his fingers. "Some like to beat ass."


Stiles coughs again, clearing his throat. "Well, um," he says, venturing a step closer, and then reaches over to put his pool cue down on the table. Very tentatively, he reaches out to rest a hand on Lance's arm and says, "This might be absolutely the most pathetic and desperate sounding thing I've ever said, but... my dad's not gonna be home until tomorrow night. So, the house is empty." He bites his lip, mentally squashing the corner of his brain that's freaking out. Because even though he's been reticent about overtly picturing himself with a guy, he's not kidding himself--Stiles is very damned tired of being a virgin.


Lance closes one eye at the ball that just bounced off the side. Oh well. Every one can't be a winner. He turns, as if preparing to speak, but then Stiles gets there first. And then he's got a hand on his arm. And now Lance looks almost bashful. Almost. "Okay. Want to give me some directions and I'll hop on my bike and pick up some beer? Maybe a pizza or something we can just...stick in and heat up, oh there it goes again." His laughter this time is quieter but somehow more genuine. "But like...I don't wanna pressure you or anything. I *really* don't wanna mess it up. Just...be sure."


Stiles gives Lance a level look. "Dude. Earlier this year, I literally shouted the words 'Someone needs to sex me right now!' in the middle of my school hallway." He reddens again, adding, "Look, there's a story there. The point is, I, uh... I'm not declaring true love, here, or anything. But if you want to...see where it goes, then... well." He shrugs some and gives a half-smirk. "You might not be Lydia Martin, but at least you're a hot redhead?"


"Oh, so you're settling now, are you?" Lance edges ever closer. There's that scent of cologne again, mingled with leather and the faint memory of gasoline, and the natural one of his body. "I *definitely* want to see where it goes. Unless you're talking about something else, in which case I think it's only fair to inform you that I know exactly where it goes."


Stiles grimaces in a "yep, walked right into that one" sort of way and nods. "Okay, here," he says, pulling out his phone. "Give me your number, and I'll text you my address. Then I'm going to walk out on this game, go home, and experience what I will candidly tell you is going to be a state of elevated anxiety until you actually show up. Until that time," he gestures wildly with one hand for emphasis, "I am at least 51% convinced that this is an elaborate hoax designed to make my enduring virginity the laughing stock of all teenagerdom."


Lance slides a hand into his jacket and produces his phone, punching up the display and handing it over to Stiles. A cute devil wallpaper. This is a motif in his life. "Oh, well, if you're worried about that, I'll just lift you up on the table and we can probably get far enough to punch your card before we get thrown out." Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of this statement is its tone. He may actually be serious. He doesn't do it, but he very well might.


Stiles nearly drops both phones. Staring at Lance, his mouth hangs open... and then he begins furiously texting information back and forth. A moment later, he hands back Lance's phone. "You're killin' me with that... thing you do," he mutters. Why does Lance keep reminding him of Derek Hale? Except, like... nice! He pushes that thought aside. The complicated feels he has about Derek are anything but welcome just now. "So, uh... guess I'll see you at my place, then?"


"Sure." Lance stifles a laugh as he says it, taking his phone back and reading over the directions. "Oh. Just one more thing." And he waits until Stiles looks up at him, drawing only slightly closer. But then, when he does look, Lance is right there, mouth to mouth, lips to lips, and then he's halfway to the door, practically skipping out. "Clock's ticking!" He calls over his shoulder.


Stiles melts into the kiss with all the grace of a Howard brother taking a prat fall down a flight of stairs, but he at least leans into it. Then, as Lance slips away, he literally does faceplant onto the table, having rested his hand on the 8 ball. Picking himself up, Stiles scrambles after, though after about three steps he stops, puts on an air of rather forced composure, and walks out with, if not dignity, at least the pretense of it.


Moments later, the sound of tires peeling out fills the pool hall.

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