Title: The Weak Link
Pairing/characters: Allison/Stiles, background Allison/Lydia/Scott/Stiles; Allison, Stiles, Chris Argent.
Word count: 2,749 words.
Summary: Stiles can't quite believe it, but somehow Scott, Lydia, Allison and he ended up in a poly relationship. It's not easy, trying to keep up with all the different sides of that arrangement, especially when he's not sure Allison isn't only with him by default.
A/N This takes place in a nebulous season 3 AU where Allison obviously didn't die. I couldn't tell you anything else about it, there's no rhyme nor reason to this AU. I just ship all the permutations between those four, so it finally appeared to me that an OT4 was what I really wanted - and given how reduced their interactions were in season 3, it's funny how much I like the idea of Allison/Stiles, so here they are. This is unbeta'd; no one to blame for it but me.
For most people in the school, Scott and Allison got back together for one more round of true love drama, and, by some miracle that defies every high school law, Stiles finally managed to wear Lydia down. This gets him pats on the back and congratulations for days, from random schoolmates whose names he can’t muster, while Lydia gets mocking smiles and a few snide comments about how low she has stooped. Lydia lets it slide over her, regal as ever—this is nothing compared to being the town’s nutjob, and she got through that period without a crack on her veneer. She takes Stiles’ hand in hers like a sword to go to battle, kisses him in the hallways like a challenge to the busybodies. Stiles prefers when they’re alone with each other and she has nothing to prove.
The truth probably doesn’t occur to anyone. Honestly, sometimes Stiles can’t comprehend it himself, how he went from being forever single to having not one, but two girlfriends, and one…. No, calling Scott his boyfriend, even in his own mind, is still too weird. Scott is his best friend, always will be, his—well, he can’t call him his brother either, can he, because, hello pseudo-incest vibes, but ‘boyfriend’ conveys things that Stiles can’t associate with Scott: dating, romance, flowers…It’s just awkward. They don’t even behave that differently, even when they’re not at school, they do the same things together, they touch the same way they always did, except maybe a bit more, and anything, well, sexual, between them rarely happens without one of the girls being present. Maybe it’ll change, maybe it won’t. Stiles tries not to fret too much over it.
It’s hard to juggle the different layers of their relationship (singular, plural), and it can’t really be equal in every way because they all have different histories with each other. It’s what Stiles’s thinking about as he knocks on the door to the Argents’ apartment—because if there’s a hierarchy in these things, then Allison and him are probably at the bottom of it. They're the weak link, so to speak.
“Hey! It’s me. Stiles. Good evening, Mr. Argent.”
Mr. Argent doesn’t look like he got the memo that Allison and Stiles are the weak link.
“I know,” he says, and the look he directs at Stiles is… polar, to say the least. Straight from the coldest winter Stiles can imagine, which, as a California boy is probably not really that cold, but. Definitely unwelcoming.
“Can I come in?” Stiles says after a few seconds of awkward silence. “Uh, Allison did tell you that I—”
“She did. Allison!” Argent calls, his eyes not leaving Stiles for an instant—what the hell does he think Stiles’s going to do, sex up Allison against the front door? “Stiles’s here.”
And then he turns around, leaving the door open behind him but without another word or gesture to signal Stiles he can enter. Stiles decides to take it as an invite anyway.
“I’m in my room!” Allison’s answering call floats over to him and he follows her voice like an Ariadne’s thread. On his way he gets a glimpse of what Argent’s doing in the living room: cleaning his guns, with psychopathic thoroughness. Because of course, he is.
“Your dad scares me,” Stiles says when Allison takes him by the wrist and pulls him inside her room. “I feel no shame in admitting it. Who cleans up their guns when their daughter’s boyfriend is visiting? I’m asking you, who?”
Allison makes that face, the one that says, you’re an idiot, but I find it more amusing than annoying—she rolls her eyes but the corner of her mouth quirks, forming a gentle dimple—and it does things to him, man.
“My dad isn’t going to hurt you, Stiles. He's just doing his protective dad routine.”
“How sure are you of that? Because I remember him being pretty handsy with Scott, back when. And Scott's a werewolf, not a squishy human being.”
By a strange turn of events Argent doesn’t seem to mind Scott that much anymore, and he doesn’t object to Lydia—whether because, by some mix of sexism and homophobia, he doesn’t see her as a threat like he does the boys, or because he was already used to her as Allison’s best friend, Stiles can’t tell—but Stiles seems to bear the brunt of his fatherly disapprobation. Is it because he thinks that Stiles is responsible for the depravity his daughter is taking part to? Stiles had asked Allison if she really had to give her father all the details on their arrangement, but she’d replied that there had been too many lies and half-truths in their family, and—okay, yeah, Stiles can see her point.
“I think Scott being a werewolf was kind of the problem, no? It’s different with you. He wouldn't try to hurt a human.”
He starts thinking about that look Argent gave him, and how maybe the man doesn't hurt humans as a rule but he might make an exception for Stiles, but he fumbles to find a way to word it that won't offend Allison. She must be tired of that conversation, anyway, because she kisses him then, and he swallows back the words he was about to say. He doesn’t even remember what they were. Okay, point for you, Allison.
She smells and tastes something fruity, and her hair tickles the side of his face. His hand flutters a bit before settling on her waist, his palm resting on the curve of her hip. Any time he touches her he still has that moment of uncontrolled panic, that feeling like he’s leaning against a door that yields under his weight, sending him tumbling down, thinking wait, no, that’s Allison and I can’t. He honestly can’t tell if he was attracted to her before, back when she was only with Scott, because he’s always thought of her as off-limits, and sometimes it feels like his brain hasn’t fully rewired yet.
“The door stays open!”
Allison rolls her eyes. “Yes, dad!”
They get to homework after that, because it’s supposed to be a study date, so some studying has to be involved at some point. There's a pattern to these things: with Lydia, it’s 80% studying and only 20% making out, to Stiles' infinite woe; Scott and him don't do study dates, they just treat each other's house as an extension to their own, as they've always done. Stiles doesn't have as much practice going to Allison's, and there's the added complication of her dad to deal with. A surly, lethal, armed to the teeth complication. Lying on Allison’s bed they grill each other in preparation for their approaching history test, and Stiles interjects their studying with bits of odd or funny history trivia. Her laughter, even if it causes her father to grumble from the living room, makes his stomach flip and his mouth go dry.
After an hour or so, Stiles catches Argent skulking in the hallway. “Everything’s fine, Mr. Argent!” he says, with a smile, a wink, and a thumb-up. Argent’s blue eyes look like two shards of ice about to stab him.
“Was it the wink?” he asks Allison. “That was too much, right?”
She stifles a giggle behind her hand. She’s lying down on her stomach, propped on her elbows with her textbook open in front of her, and from his higher vantage point Stiles has a magnificent view of her cleavage. Lydia would say, my eyes are up here, Stiles, even though he knows that she appreciates his appreciation, but Allison only smiles a bit, knowingly. “Yes, I think the wink was a little overboard.” She leans closer, and he lowers to her level. “Relax, Stiles,” she whispers. “If it comes down to it, I’ll protect you.”
“You're my hero.”
She has this wry, amused glint in her eyes when she looks at him. It isn’t the way she looked at Scott, all starry-eyed—the way the two of them still look at each other, only a little bit more subdued now. It’s not the soft, intimate way she’s with Lydia either, when they’re whispering to each other, laughing quietly, curled into each other’s personal space with their hands brushing—Stiles has to stop that trail of thought right now, because he wants to avoid an awkward boner situation with Argent in the other room. Save that one foursome they’ve all had, the girls have refused so far to make out for Stiles’ and Scott’s benefit, even after Stiles had said—and Scott had concurred—that they wouldn’t mind making out for the girls’ benefit.
Allison’s little smirk deepens, like she can tell what he’s thinking about.
Point is, Scott and Allison’s love has always been a movie-like, fireworks-in-the-sky, romantic-music-playing-in-the-background kind of love. Lydia is Allison’s best friend, and their relationship has the novel flavor of experimentation—okay, that’s unfair, because it’s like saying Scott and him are only an experiment, when they’re so much more than that.
“What?” Allison says softly, interrupting his thoughts. “You have that look on your face. Like you’re thinking too hard about something. What is it?”
Stiles thinks about Scott and Allison, and Allison and Lydia, and he feels this pang of… is it jealousy? But the thought of Scott and Lydia, who are together at the movies right now, doesn’t make Stiles feel jealous, of either of them. Maybe it's insecurity, rather. Because, when he thinks of the tangle of knots the four of them represent, he can see clearly the ties that bind Allison to both Scott and Lydia, but feels like himself is just… a loose thread.
“Am I a loose thread?” No, that didn’t make sense outside of his head. He tries to reformulate: “Are you okay with…” He waves a hand between them. “…all this.”
Her smile has faded. “You mean the two of us?”
“Yeah, I mean, it’s just—” His hands have a life of their own, and he narrowly misses stabbing Allison in the eye with his pencil. “Sorry. I don’t—I just don’t want you to feel like you have to date me because it ties everything neatly, and it’s more convenient and less complicated. I guess I just—wonder if you really want to be with me.” There, he said it.
Now not only is she not smiling anymore, but she’s frowning, and her mouth looks too small and tight, her undimpled cheeks too smooth. Good job, Stilinski. Now you’ve gone and made her mad.
“Do you want to be with me?”
“What? Yes, of course, yes.” He almost laughs then, but she looks so serious that it dies in his throat. His heart starts pounding uncomfortably and his palms are sweating. “Allison, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean—”
“Why do you want to be with me?” She pushes herself up and sits cross-legged, facing him, with her hands in her lap. “Because Scott and you have been friends for years, you’re one package deal, and I’m sure you’ll always be friends, even if you break up. Am I right?” Stiles nods, incapable of speaking—the mere thought of not having Scott in his life makes his lungs feel tight and aching. “And you’ve been crushing on Lydia forever. She’s your dream girl. So what about me, then?”
He opens his mouth to speak, then closes it immediately. It never occurred to him that she could be afraid of being the loose thread, too. He forces himself to keep still, sticking his hands under his legs so they stop moving without his input. He knows he tends to run his mouth and that it always gets him into trouble, but this is too important to fuck up. You’re beautiful, he thinks, and she is, with her dark hair curling over her shoulders, her strong chin tipped up because she’s unhappy. It can’t be the first thing he tells her, though, because he can’t let her think that he’s with her only because she’s hot and there, and makes a nice addition to Scott and Lydia.
“You’re brave,” he finally says. “And strong, and determined. You’re like—like the blade of a sword. A hidden core of steel—kind of the reverse from Lydia, now that I think about it. You try to do the right thing.” She snorts and looks away, so he repeats: “You try to do the right thing, you want to do it, but you fuck up, because it’s not always easy to even know what’s right—and Scott, God knows I love the guy to death, but he doesn’t always get that. You do. Life has a way to smack you in the face, but you—you don’t stay down.” She’s looking at him again, her head a little bowed, her hair shadowing her eyes. He allows himself to smirk and say, “And it doesn’t hurt that you’re really hot.” He has timed it right, and now it makes her chuckle. “Like, super hot. I can’t even tell you how—”
Her mouth is on his, and he closes his eyes reflexively. He feels the tip of her tongue against his lips, but she pulls away before he can do anything about it. He can still feel her breath on his face and he opens his eyes: she’s so close to him that he would barely have to move to kiss her again.
“You made your point,” she says very quietly. “My turn to answer your question: when we first met, I thought you were…” She cocks her head, seemingly looking for some tactful way to put it.
“A total weirdo? Annoying as hell?”
She laughs. “I wouldn’t have worded it that way, but yeah, a bit.”
“Don’t worry, I get that all the time.”
“But you were Scott’s best friend, and I could see how much he cared about you, so I knew there had to be more to you. Then we started to work together, and—”
“We made a good team, didn’t we?”
The dimples reappear. “Yes, we did. So, I got to know you, and eventually I saw what Scott could always see in you.”
“And what is it?” he asks, his voice coming out weirdly croaky.
She lifts her hand to his face and her thumb comes to stroke his cheek. Stiles swallows hard. They’ve kissed, made out, and even had sex with each other before—sure, Lydia and Scott were there too, but it still counts—but she’s never done anything so tender and intimate, not with him.
“You’re incredibly loyal to the people you love, you’re smart, you’re brave too—sometimes to the point of madness.”
“Some of it is probably the ADHD, you know, impulsive behavior, it’s like, one of the symptoms—”
She presses a finger over his lips. “You never know when to shut up,” she says sternly. “But you’re funny.”
“Really?” He smiles against her finger and resists the urge to bite it, because he’s worried it's inappropriate for the moment they’re having and might ruin it. “You think I’m funny?”
“On occasion,” she says firmly, like she doesn’t want him to get ahead of himself.
“I can work with that.”
“Feeling better, then?”
“I think you’re awesome, you think I’m awesome,” he says, and watches her push herself to her knees and tower over him, his heart thumping in his chest. “Our combined awesomeness can only be handled by Scott and Lydia.”
“That sounds about right.”
She shoves him down and he doesn’t resist, lets himself drop on his back. He feels a smile form on his lips.
“What do you think Scott and Lydia are doing right now?” he muses. "The movie must be finished by now." He glances to the open door. “At least Lydia’s mother is pretty cool about staying away while—”
“Please." She straddles him and puts her hands on his chest, one of them right under his fast beating heart. "Stop—” She whispers the last word: “—talking.”
Stiles doesn’t have a thought to spare Scott or Lydia then, because his world is narrowed down to Allison’s mouth, and Allison’s hands, and Allison’s breasts pressed snug against his ribs. Her weight keeping him down, her thighs clamping his hips. The bite of her fingernails on his scalp.
It’s nice—at least until Allison’s father barges in, and then the moment is definitely ruined.