*sign of the cross * god help us all

Summary:  When Lydia drags Stiles to a speed dating event with her, he unfortunately finds himself more interested in the man sitting beside him than any of his actual dates.

***

It took six text messages for Stiles to cave, and another four for Lydia to convince him to wear a suit. He should’ve been embarrassed about that, but whatever twinge of shame he felt at being so easily swayed was quickly dwarfed by the humiliation of meeting Lydia at her door with a corsage while her neighbors gawked from the safety of their porch. Not even the sight of Lydia in a draped silk top was enough to make up for the experience, and he almost wished it was high school all over again, if only so he could feel that rush of butterflies again.

As it was, he was mostly just annoyed, and maybe a little hungry for the pizza rolls in his freezer.

“I can’t believe you talked me into this.”

Lydia rolled her eyes and tucked her arm through the elbow that Stiles automatically offered when she came down the steps. Under duress, he should note; if it had been up to him, he’d still be in his pajamas, not dressed in a suit that wasn’t his style, on the way to what was sure to be one of the most awkward dating experiences of his life.

“You act like I’m throwing you to the sharks. It’s speed dating, Stiles, not Jaws.”

“It might as well be. I can hear the music already!” Stiles paused. “You know, actually, I think Jaws is on Netflix. And I can’t stress enough that I could totally be watching it right now.”

“You didn’t have to come.”

Which…no, not technically. She’d asked him repeatedly even while he’d hedged around refusing outright, but Lydia had seemed determined to go no matter what he said, and that was exactly the sort of thing that led to trouble.

Stiles sighed and folded his hand over hers.

“I didn’t want you going alone. Who knows what kind of creeps are at this thing? If I need to be the muscle, I’m up for it.”

Lydia kissed his cheek, then immediately wiped at the lipstick mark she’d left.

“Thanks, Stiles, but it’s through the police department. I think there will be fewer creeps than usual.”

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PRAYER FOR THE PERSECUTED 

Almighty, everlasting God, look with compassion on all those who suffer persecution for justice’ sake.
Grant them grace to carry their cross with patience in the name of Your beloved Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Let the chalice pass from them is such by Your holy Will: yet, in all things, may Your Will be done.
Grant to those who persecute, light to see the truth and the grace of mercy and forgiveness, for they know not what they do.
Mary, Mother of Jesus, Mother of Peace, Comfort of the Afflicted, help your children in their time of bitter trial.
O Lord our God, by the sign of Your holy cross deliver us from our enemies.

Lord come to the aid of Fr Tom, of the injured, the dying and the bereaved in Pakistan, in Belgium and throughout the world. Amen