Lydia rolls her eyes when she plays Scott’s message on her phone.
She doesn’t have the time or the patience for this shit, but still she takes the nearest exit to return to the Kroger she had just driven by. All she wanted was to head home, take off her heels, slip on a pair of sweatpants she always denies she owns and maybe down half of that bottle of red her mom sent her from her last trip to France. But now she has to make a quick trip to the frozen section of the supermarket.
She knows this is sort of post-breakup protocol. Cry, talk crap about the ex, watch shitty rom-coms, and pig out. Lydia was all on-board during the first week. But now, almost three weeks after Stiles and Derek’s fallout and two skirts that she can no longer zip up, she’s had more than enough.
That is, until she sees Derek in the candy aisle, carrying a shopping basket and looking...great.
Clean, is the first word that comes to mind, actually, and she thinks of Stiles and how it took almost ten days to convince him to take a shower. Well, it was more like an idea of Scott’s gone right, dumping a can of Dr. Pepper on him had really done the trick. And it’s been seven days since then; she was hoping a bag of just fried curly fries could sway him.
She really isn’t thinking, when she keeps walking, pushing her cart and not attempting to stop as she nears Derek. Luckily, he looks up, probably from the clanking of her heels, or maybe the slightly whirring noise from the cart’s wheels, and stops her before she can hit him. “Lydia.”
“Derek. Hi,” she says, calm and collected, as if she hadn’t been about to ram into Derek’s crotch with her cart.
Perhaps she’s staring at him too intensely, she can tell he’s struggling between fleeing the aisle or staying around for polite conversation. They aren’t friends per se, but they got acquainted enough during his thing with Stiles. “Are you okay?” Lydia notices how he glances at the contents of her cart, from the value packs of chocolate chip cookies, to the four tubs of different flavored ice cream.
“Of course. Just dealing with a break-up.”
“I didn’t know you and Jackson had broken up.” He gives her a sympathetic look and Lydia is on the brink of slapping him.
“No, you idiot.” Besides, how dare he. She and Jackson are doing fine, mastering the art of long distance relationships. “I’m talking about Stiles.”
“Stiles?” He looks lost.
“Yes.” His expression remains the same. “The guy you were hooking up with regularly for like, three months? Until three weeks ago when you decided to move on?”
He still looks like there’s something he doesn’t get and Lydia starts to question Stiles taste. She can definitely see the appeal, but this? “But why does he need all that?” But then again Stiles’ best friend is Scott. Being more clueless than Scott is a feat, but somehow Derek seems to be managing to. Although Lydia is sure Derek is more clueless bordering on plain stupid.
“Because there’s no better glue for a broken heart like ice cream and deep-fried food.”
“Broken heart? But why—” She really doesn’t have time for this.
“Oh my god. Yes, broken heart. Why? Because he hasn’t left his apartment in three weeks. Because he’s eating all sorts of fattening foods at ridiculous times all day. Because he’s watched 500 Days of Summer more times than it’s healthy in the past three weeks. Because he hasn’t showered in days and we only convinced him to leave his bed because Scott ‘accidentally’ spilled a whole can of Dr. Pepper all over and the smell of it apparently makes him cry because it reminds him of you.” She leaves the cart and begins walking towards Derek, and under normal circumstances she’d find it amusing how he backs away and holds his basket in front of him like a shield for his balls. “I’ve heard him sing way too much Phil Collins, every obscure song about heartbreak of his I know by now.” She stands in front of him and points an accusing finger at him. “And you.” A thrill of satisfaction runs through her when the action earns her a flinch from Derek. “You look just fine, all calm and clean like nothing has happened.”
“I didn’t know he was going to react that way,” he says slowly, still confused (and most likely terrified) about her reaction and the turn of events. “I thought he’d be relieved.”
“Why—why would you even think that?”
“Because...we said it’d be casual.” Right, she remembers Stiles mentioning that plenty of times. Just a few hook-ups, no strings attached just hot sex. And hot sex it was; Stiles had filled her in with all the details. “And then things just...weren’t.” Right, she also remembers how Stiles was planning to introduce Derek to his dad, which what?, but to Stiles it sounded like an absolutely natural thing to do with someone you’re casual with, just because he thought they’d get along great. However, as far as she knows, that wasn’t the reason he broke things off because Stiles hadn’t even brought the subject up to Derek. It must’ve been something else that tipped him off about Stiles’ feelings. “I honestly thought I was doing him a favor...and myself,” he adds quietly.
Lydia lowers her finger, but her glare stays right in place. “Right, you didn’t want to deal with some feelings you didn’t sign up for.” For a moment Lydia is sure that she can see a flash of anger in Derek’s eyes. Good, finally she got something other than confusion out of him. “And what’s with all the chocolate?” She points at his basket, full with bars of expensive chocolate, none of that Hershey’s sugary crap.
“That’s how I deal with heart-break,” he says with a shrug.
And that’s when she realizes that Derek isn’t the only idiot she’s been dealing with lately.
“He’s in the shower,” Scott announces chipperly as Lydia opens the door. “That spilling shit over him trick doesn’t get old…” His carefree smile turns into a frown in a second flat when he sees Derek. “What is he doing here?”
“Ran into him. Please, put these in the freezer. No point in them melting away.” Scott just looks at her dumbfounded, but takes the bags into the kitchen. He’s back in no time. “Come on, Scott,” she says as she takes him by the arm and attempts to drag him out.
“You don’t want to be here for it.”
“If Stiles is going to punch the shit out of his face, I sure as hell want to see that!” Her fingers tighten around his biceps and he has no other choice but follow her out. She has a mean grip.
Once they reach the elevator, she stops to explain because otherwise Scott will keep on arguing. “Scott. Stiles is moping post break-up. Derek is moping post break-up.” She waits for things to click in Scott’s brain. Nothing. “Stiles thought Derek didn’t want a relationship. Derek thought Stiles didn’t want a relationship.” God, she doesn’t have time for this. “If you want to be there when they realize the morons they’ve been for the past three weeks and start making up for lost time, by all means.” She motions for the door, but Scott doesn’t look as eager to go back inside. “Now, come on. There’s a bottle of red waiting for me.” Scott scrunches up his nose. “And a few cans of Four in that disgustingly artificial flavor you like,” she adds with a playful eye-roll, and this time Scott doesn’t complain when she grabs him by the arm and pulls him along.
A few days later, Lydia finds a bottle of white wine cooling in a bucket full of ice, right outside her apartment door and there’s a small note attached to the obnoxiously huge red bow that is tied to the bottle’s neck.
Derek wanted to give you chocolates, but I knew you’d appreciate the wine better, especially after 3 weeks of junk food.
(I’M SO SORRY ABOUT THAT)
Thank you, you queen xx
She inspects the bottle and she’s pleased to see it’s a good one.