Allison/Scott/Isaac, every combination of the three.words:
Scott meets Isaac in a game of silent eye contact, circling him like a pencil around the point of a compass. Judging people without speaking to them is not a habit of his, but something about Isaac keeps him just that far away. Scott has seen the way Isaac bares his teeth in glee when he throws out a threat. He has seen the spark of imminent detonation in Isaac's eyes. But he has also seen those eyes dart, manic and overpowered, in every direction when Isaac forgets his claws and the she-wolf at his side. He has seen Isaac's hands shake, and that, if he's being honest (he tries to be honest) draws him forward, little by little, and then a leap every day.
Before Isaac can blink, it seems, he's noticing how every day Allison's curls get a little more reckless, and how she stands closer to him than she ever has and how her voice is losing the metal-on-metal quality it used to take around members of the pack. The noticing itself is more significant than any of the qualities he is taking note of, because it means that something's changing. Isaac is painfully used to being stagnant, used to confinement and restraint, and with all the time he's spent wishing that something would shift (in his favor), he has developed a sense for change that has nothing to do with his species. So when, all of a sudden, Allison's pomegranate lips are curled up at him instead of fastened together straight as her spine, Isaac notices the change and Isaac feels the change.
The shift (for lack of a better word) within him is more subtle, or maybe he's less in tune with his own feelings than he'd like to think, but it takes weeks for Isaac to measure the shrinking distance between his body and Allison's.
Once he feels it, though, the new proximity, he can't stop.
Allison misses Scott until she realizes she doesn't have to. She misses him silently and stubbornly and forcefully, and after a stretch of time (long nights and longer walks through the woods, crossbow in hand) she realizes she's forgotten who she's missing. Scott has never closed his arms to her. He has never turned away, never been prone to finality.
The first night she spends in his bed with their legs tangled together and a mist of sweat on her skin is the first night she doesn't dream of slipping back into an icy-hot pocket of vengeance and grief.
Scott has never been one for words. He speaks with his eyes and his smile, has to force SAT vocabulary into everyday conversation, but Isaac makes him want to speak. In the way that Allison makes him want to touch, Isaac makes him want to speak.
When Isaac sleeps (on the couch, the edge of Scott's bed, the floor of his mom's room), Scott craves verbal description of the scene. Sometimes he'll speak aloud to himself, as softly as he can, in an attempt to unwind the things he feels skittering around under his skin. He grabbed a pen and scrap of paper once and tried to write, but the words got lost on the way from his mind to the page, and what he wrote was choppy and embarrassingly tender.
As far as Scott can tell, his need to compose and articulate Isaac is a strategy. He wants to put together Isaac's puzzle and he can't do it in the tactile way he's accustomed to. With eyes closed, Scott could dance his hands across Allison's body and face and know her. The depth of the dimples around her mouth. Her thoughts. Her temperature. Her mood. Things would be easier, maybe, if he could reach his fingers around the back of Isaac's neck, or press them against the hollow of his cheek; if he could feel the texture (chafed? vellure?) of his lips. But for now he can only brush his arm against Isaac's (warm, even wet from rain) and let his eyes focus and stay when Isaac sleeps. For now he can watch, he can catalog, he can describe. The faded, blackberry shadows around Isaac's eyes. The driftwood light in his hair. Scott bends down. The strands alternate, fascinatingly, sand and taupe and dirt-road tan, and they move (barely) when Scott whispers, "Who are you?"
The moment Allison feels as if she knows Isaac is the tenth time he touches his fingers to the back of her hand and says, "Be careful." It isn't a placation or a fatherly worry, or even the concern of a lover. The sentiment makes her wonder: if Isaac had crept in her window when she sat on her bed, cocooned around her mother's suicide note, and told her to be careful, if she would have listened to him instead of Gerard. He's afraid for her, when he whispers words of caution, and he speaks with regret. He has lived a life defined by fear, and she can read in the divets between his eyebrows how he hates reminding her that she should be afraid too. But instead of shielding her with his body (the way Scott would), he touches her hand and his fingerprints on her skin are as cold as a blade.
He's a statue in marble even when he laughs and breathes, and there may be a crack running across his shoulder blades but from where she stands, Allison can't see it.
Isaac thinks maybe he uses the word "beauty" too often in Scott's presence.
Once, when he looks up (his eyes flare) at the unraveling of clouds over the full moon, he hides a whisper of "beautiful" under his breath. Scott looks at him, wrinkling his nose, with a kind of wonder in his eyes.
Inexplicably, it seems, Isaac remarks on the beauty of the forest, the fog, Allison (when her name slips out of Scott's lips for the fifth time). After the last he bites his tongue and his face pours heat, but Scott just grins at him and heartily agrees. Isaac doesn't say "beautiful" again when Scott smiles, but it's a close thing. He stores it in the inside of his cheek, along with a vague, stray bit of hope.
Scott used to say "it's okay" to Isaac once a day, and just as frequently looked at Allison and asked, "are you okay?". Two ticks on a wheel of favorite phrases, just millimeters apart, a spindle for Allison and one for Isaac, stuck firmly in place between pegs. But now he hears the phrases mixing, wheel nodding back and forth, back and forth, and wonders when his feelings became so fluidly indecisive.
The first time he touches Isaac the way he touches Allison (has touched, thousands of times), with a finger to the jaw, the lips, the collarbone, the right hip and then the left, Scott realizes that his feelings have doubled and dispersed, and he removes the peg between Allison and Isaac's spokes on his wheel.
His chest is filled with something separate from the tossing, fearful beginning of his relationship with Allison (and his wolf), and branching off of the creeping, coiled shape of his intrigue with Isaac. He's not afraid of this sensation in the slightest, and he smiles as he hooks his index finger around the button of Isaac's jeans; and if sometimes in the night he feels the ghost of Allison's fingers on his waist, or if he spends rainy afternoons curled around Allison's languid, dozing form, he makes no room inside him for fear. Instead, Scott lets the thing in his chest stretch out its limbs gently, and stay.
A day comes when Isaac (hunched in her doorway) finally reaches out to Allison and touches more than her hands. One hand on her neck, another slipping down from her shoulder, he leans his face to hers, and their lips touch, a soft spark of a moment, before he presses them to to the top of her cheekbone and breathes out a close sigh.
Allison brushes her thumb across Isaac's eyebrow and says, "I still love him." Isaac rolls his head down, swinging freely until her hand cradles his forehead, supporting the weight of his curved spine.
"So do I."