SUBWAY SLEEPER, pt. 21
Lydia’s a study in disinterest. Gaze stretching out across campus, lips pursed in judgment of the impromptu Frisbee match forming on the quad, position oriented to scarcely acknowledge that she’s standing with Stiles.
Stiles is tempted to tell her to drop the act because once obsession with someone has been coded into his DNA, there’s not so much as a micro-expression that he’s likely to miss. He’s definitely already caught on to and catalogued the shrewdness that has been attacking her face all day. She knows something but she doesn’t know what she knows and she’s been hawk-eyed and predatory ever since she figured out that much.
Stiles is not going to encourage any of that, thanks much. Side note: why is everyone around him comparable to some type of bird? Not that he’s thinking about hummingbirds, because he isn’t. He could be, but he’s not, because he’s in control of his brain and he’s decided: no. Crap. Firstly, he’s totally thinking about hummingbirds. Second-of-ly, what kind of bird would that make him? Oh man, probably some kind of friggin’ goose.
He hates geese.
Now he knows it’s likely because he’s subconsciously recognized a kinship to them.
“If you had to pick a feathered representation for me, it wouldn’t be a goose, right?”
Years of following his bullet-speed trains of thought has led to Lydia taking that completely in stride. She doesn’t even bother to look up at him, hand fishing in her purse for her phone to check the time. “A seabird probably,” she offers, lighting up the screen, “they’re clumsy on land.”
“Well that’s a self-esteem boost I didn’t know I needed,” Stiles says dryly. “You’re a true humanitarian, Lyds. Also, the correct answer was secret option C) some kind of dinosaur. I would’ve preferred stegosaurus, for the record.”
She brushes the hair out of her face, glances at him. “I could have said a hoatzin.”
Stiles has legitimately no idea what that is. “Th… anks?” He thinks. Probably.
“More commonly known as stinkbirds. You’re welcome,” she confirms. Her gaze is less glancing, more stripping and Stiles pretends not to notice. “Expert deflection, Stiles, truly.” She golf claps mockingly and Stiles glares back at her. “Now what are you deflecting?”
“If I tell you, they’ll revoke my ‘expert’ status,” Stiles points out smartly, “And rip up my ribbon. I can’t have that, I’ve already put it in the family newsletter.”