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Bidding for love

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She’s still not sure who came up with the idea and why she helped plan it (and it’s marginally better than the kissing booth some years back from what she had heard) but it’s quite ingenious if one considers the fact that the engineering department seems to be made up of some very attractive people, so as far as fundraisers go, it’s almost meant to be really.

“Next up is Adeline Milner, majoring in nuclear engineering, so watch out everyone. She’d much rather drink you under the table (I thought we edited-) than take long walks on the beach. And she’s more than ready to beat you at bowling- though I don’t know if it’s wearing those shoes or not.” Johanna’s eyes go to where the light is pointing at on the stage, a fellow classmate with an absolutely gorgeous navy blue dress and dangerous silver stilettos poses exaggeratedly and blows kisses when the audience claps.

Johanna would be impressed if she could bowl in those shoes, but really just the fact that Adie is wearing them is amazing enough (she’s trying not to think of her own dainty flats).

She vaguely registers Daniel starting the bidding at $100 (and rapidly rising - looks like the engineering department will raise more than enough money), her attention wandering towards the double doors of the hall as they are opened and closed quietly and two figures slip into the room, one significantly bigger than the other.

She isn’t sure who she should look at, the man she’s sure she has seen before on campus, quite attractive and very toned if the fitted black suit is any indication. So, yes, the man seems like an excellent subject of admiration (which says something because there’s lots of beautiful people milling around), but it’s the girl he’s with that certainly deserves the attention as well.

She is the cutest little girl Johanna was ever seen (not that she’s been around lots of children before, mind you).

Long dark brown locks cascade down her back, and even from a distance Johanna can see her startling green eyes glinting under the lights. She’s wearing a simple red dress and Oxford shoes, which is adorable because she seems quite happy with them, and tiny white gloves adorn her hands.

So the fact that Johanna holds in her coos is quite a feat. She can’t help but follow the pair as they get closer to the stage, keeping to the left side of the hall.

Daniel has just finished with Adeline, turning her over to a young man with olive skin who seems to be quite happy with the date he has won, and by the looks of it, so is Adeline. It’s when he moves on to the next individual that Johanna notices the little girl light up immensely, tugging at the man’s suit jacket and pointing at the stage, squirming excitedly. They seem to know who’s coming up, even without the individual walking onstage yet so Johanna takes a peak at her program and smiles when she sees the name.

“Alright, thank you Andrew, for that wonderful donation. Now then, next up we have-” whatever Daniel’s introduction was going to be is interrupted by the next future engineer almost taking down the stage’s curtains with him as he trips on an unnoticed cable, somehow managing to stay upright by sheer force of will and sending the audience a bright smile as they laugh and clap at his save. From the corner of her eye, she can see the man shaking his head, the little girl mimicking his actions. “Right, next up is quite the dancer apparently, Stiles Stilinski, majoring in-”

“Hale.”

Daniel pauses. “Pardon?”

Stiles - a good friend of Johanna’s and looking dashing in black with a gray bowtie- smiles, “Stilinski-Hale.”

“Really, Stiles?” Stiles continues grinning. “Fine, ok, here we have Stiles Stilinski-Hale,” Daniel glares at Stiles, earning a few chuckles from the audience, “majoring in bioengineering with a minor in civil engineering, the little overachiever. And he seems to enjoy basking in nature, so be prepared for a picnic under the stars.”

Stiles seems a little miffed at Daniel’s spiel. “I can write a better OkCupid account than that.”

Daniel continues to grin winningly, disregarding Stiles’ grumbles, “Shut up Stiles, bidding starts at ten dollars.”

“Wha- hey!”

The audience laughs at Stiles’ offended look.

“Alright, alright, bidding starts at one hundred.”

Stiles nods, crossing his arms. “Much better.”

Quite a few individuals seem to go after Stiles, which isn’t surprising if she’s being honest. He’s quite a strange person but seems to have this aura that just attracts people to him. And he’s cute, so that helps.

The bidding seems to dwindle at around one thousand (which is a pretty good number after Adie), Stiles looking quite accomplished at the three people still rooting for him, when a voice rings out, trilling a sweet “two thousan'.”

The hall goes quiet and though Johanna has a pretty good idea of whom the voice belongs to, it’s Stiles she’s still staring at, and the look of absolute joy that fills his face when he finds the source of the voice is captivating. She has never seen him look as happy as he is now, not even when he won curly fries from their professor after winning an argument.

Daniel seems to get his bearings and quickly continues with the bidding. “Alright then, two thousand going once to the lovely lady in red, going twice-”

“Twenty-five hundred.” Johanna turns to the bidder, a girl she has seen trying to get close to Stiles in a class they share, Bree might be her name.

Before Daniel has a chance to speak, the little girl chirps out a “three thousan',” her gloved hands going to her waist as she glares at the other girl.

Johanna can’t help but laugh, and neither can Stiles, looing far too pleased at this outcome.

“Thirty-five hundred.” Maybe-Bree says, but looks unsure at the amount.

The little girl turns to the man, who bends down and whispers something to her before straightening up again.

“So, thirty-five hundred going once…” Daniel says, clearly waiting for the little girl to speak up.

She clear her throat before smiling widely at Stiles and Daniel, “five thousan'.”

“Five thousand going once, twice-” Daniel raises an eyebrow at Bree only for her to look defeated as she shakes her head, “-and congratulations Stiles. Miss, if you’d like to come up for ‘im.”

The man pushes the little girl slightly in encouragement and that’s all she needs before she takes off running into Stiles’ waiting arms, smile never wavering. The whole audience aww’s at the hug, and claps as Stiles carries her off the stage with a matching grin on his face.

“Doubt we’ll have a cuter bidder than her, but up next we have yet another wonderful lady who is bound to design our future computers…”

Johanna stops paying attention to Daniel’s introduction, opting to get closer to Stiles as he joins the man still waiting to the side.

She’s kind of amazed that much money went to the fundraiser. She sort of expected only a couple hundred to go into the event, but they’ve already surpassed their goal in just a couple of bids, and they still have some more to go.

She inches closer, curiosity getting the best of her, and manages to catch the last bit of Stiles’ question. “-dress her up?”

“Did it herself, from what Lydia gave her.”

Stiles turns to the little girl. “And when did auntie Lydia buy you this, princess?”

The little girl giggles, squirming happily in Stiles’ arms. “Is a secret papa, cuz you tol’ her not to buy me stuff no more.”

Johanna can feel her jaw drop in surprise. Sure, she knew Stiles was married (the ring on his finger gave it away) but she didn’t know he had a daughter.

“Right well, I’m going to have a talk with auntie Lydia about lack of storage and unnecessary waste of money on a thousand dresses of the same color.” Stiles pauses. “But you look absolutely gorgeous, baby girl.”

“Stiles.”

Stiles looks at the man before turning and catching Johanna’s eyes, making her blush at being caught eavesdropping.

“Hey, Jo.”

She smiles, clearing her throat as she approaches the family. “Stiles, hi. Just wanted to thank your um- daughter? for tonight’s donation.”

Stiles grins, a hand going up to brush away a stray curl from his daughter’s forehead. “Got lucky here, prettiest date in the hall, isn’t that right Liz?”

“Yes, papa.”

Stiles barks out a laugh. “Modest too, gets that from her dad.”

Johanna’s eyes go towards the other man inadvertently, and blushes again when Stiles smiles knowingly.

“Jo, this is my husband, Derek, and my daughter, Liz.” He sounds ecstatic about it (and the fond smile on Derek's face clearly says the feeling's very much mutual).

It’s unnerving when Johanna finally makes eye contact with the other man, but she extends her hand nonetheless because manners always seem to be the better option. “Nice to meet you.”

“Likewise.” Derek says, his grip firm but short when he shakes her hand before placing it on Stiles' hip.

"Right well, thank you again, this will really help the department."

Stiles shrugs, "it was nothing really, not everyday we get to dress fancy." He turns back to his daughter, "so my beautiful date, what would you like to have for dinner?"

"Pizza!"

Johanna grins at the little girl's enthusiasm, and at Stiles for matching it. "Pizza and fancy clothes? My favorite type of dinner." He lowers his daughter so she's standing but quickly takes her gloved hand and twirls her around just to make her laugh. "Should get going, we still have to give the donation, but I'll see you in class on Thursday?"

She nods, "yeah definitely, can't wait for Talbot's demonstration."

Stiles snorts at that before waving at her as Derek takes Liz's other hand and between the two make her jump, her dress fluttering around her.

Johanna continues staring at the family, catching bits of their conversation as they walk away.

"Thought you weren't gonna make it."

"Your dad dropped by."

Stiles seems to almost trip at that but keeps himself upright and only turns to his husband with a look of apprehension. "Oh no, what happened?"

"Just wanted to make sure Liz won the bid so that I quote won't turn green unquote." Derek grumbles something she doesn't manage to catch but it makes Stiles laugh, gaining the attention of a couple of people. He waves a hand in apology.

"Daddy can't be green papa!" Liz exclaims, sounding almost appalled at the thought. "He already has pretty green eyes like mine but tha's it."

Johanna isn't able to hear more of the conversation as they reach the table where the donations are paid and Derek is the one to sign of the cheque, handing it to his daughter so that she can give it to the student manning the table.

And it's only after the family has left the hall that she realizes who Stiles' husband was, Professor Derek Hale, and half reason why the kissing booth had been a terrible idea for a fundraiser (the other half being a rather large dog that destroyed the booth).

She'll have to ask Stiles what that was about, it was, after all, his husband and his dog that led to careful deliberations about fundraising ideas.