Lydia was in a meeting when it happened. She was tapping her heel against the tile, her eyes fixed on the folio in front of her. She wasn’t surprised when her secretary came in, whispering words of urgency about an emergency call.
Lydia quickly pardoned herself from the meeting, leaving to take the call in her office. She read the words flashing across her phone’s caller id as that of Beacon Hills Memorial Hospital. She held back her fear as she picked up the phone.
“Hello, this is Lydia Martin speaking,” Lydia stated.
“Lyds, it’s Stiles,” Stiles replied, his voice heavy with worry.
“Stiles? What is it? Is Claudia okay?” Lydia hurriedly questioned.
“She’s fine, Lyds,” Stiles stated in reassurance. “It’s not me or Derek, or the kids.”
“Then what is it, Stiles?” Lydia stated, her worry starting to dissipate.
“It’s Allison,” Stiles stated. “She’s been in a car accident. It’s ... it’s pretty bad.”
Lydia’s hand began to tremble as she nodded to herself, a small inner voice telling her to keep calm. “I’ll be there soon,” she managed to utter, hanging up without another word. She instructed her secretary to cancel all her appointments for the week before telling her to call her driver.
Lydia didn’t focus on anything as she took quick steps through the hallway, ignoring people passing her by.
“Auntie Lydia!” Claudia yelled, jumping up from sitting beside Stiles in order to run to Lydia.
Lydia silently moved to pick Claudia up, wrapping her arms around her as she pressed her face into Claudia’s hair. She looked up at Stiles as he moved towards her.
“Derek said he’s almost here. I had Claudia with me when I got the phone call, I had to bring her with me,” Stiles explained as he wrapped his arms around them both, pressing a soft kiss against Lydia’s temple.
“What happened?” Lydia questioned as she set Claudia down.
Stiles turned towards Claudia, gesturing back to where they were sitting, where her books were still lying around. “Sweetheart, how about you go look at your books while I talk with Auntie Lydia.”
“Okay,” Claudia dejectedly sighed as she moved to go sit down, a distance away from them.
“She was leaving home,” Stiles started, holding onto Lydia’s hand as he steered her towards sitting down in the chairs. “She and Josh had gotten into a fight over the phone. She was headed out from the house. No one knows where she was headed though.”
“Is she going to die?” Lydia finally asked, looking away from Stiles.
“She’s in surgery as we speak,” Stiles answered.
Lydia remained silent for the rest of the night. She listened when the doctors informed them of updates, explaining that Allison was finally out of the operating room but was being maintained in the ICU. She opted to stay the night once Derek arrived, telling them that they should head home when Claudia began to protest leaving, sleepily yawning as Derek carried her away from the waiting room. She gave them proper goodbyes before settling in the chair.
Hours passed before a nurse finally came to see Lydia. The nurse informed her that Allison was awake and asking for her. She was surprised by those words, uncertain with what was going through Allison’s mind.
Lydia drew in a deep breath as she stood in front of closed door to Allison’s room. She shook her head, easing her nerves before opening the door. Her steps were small, almost unsure of herself as she approached the hospital bed. She kept her features firmly unmoved as her eyes landed on Allison.
Allison was sitting upright in the bed, staring down at her blanket as she subconsciously picked at the hospital bracelet wrapped around her wrist. Her hair was longer, sharp angles running through the layers of waves. There was a bruise on her forehead from the airbag. There was a small split in her lip as well. The blankets of the bed hid the major damage to her leg. She had luckily not broken anything, but suffered from severe blood loss.
It seemed as if she was completely unaware of Lydia’s presence as she kept staring at her hands.
“Allison,” Lydia softly called her name.
Allison looked up, a warm and welcoming smile covering her features. It had been more than five years since Allison looked at Lydia like that, and it still took her breath away. She still had her dimples, her cheeks lighting up with a perfect shine of happiness. She shifted slightly in the bed, patting her hand at the open space she intended to be Lydia’s seat.
Lydia couldn’t stop herself from leaping at the opportunity. She quickly moved, taking a few quick strides before she was sitting on the edge of Allison’s hospital bed.
“How are you feeling?” Lydia asked, depositing her bag onto the floor with little care what happened to it as all her attention remained on Allison.
Allison was still smiling as she reached a hand out to clasp Lydia’s. “Better now, silly,” she breathily answered, closing the small gap between them as she placed a kiss to Lydia’s lips.
Lydia was completely frozen. She remained motionless as her brain registered that the lips against hers were indeed Allison’s, and that Allison had put them there of her own conviction. She cursed her traitorous heart for telling her to accept it. She missed it—the soft, plump nature of Allison’s lips making Lydia unable to think of anything but this; but them. She forced herself to pull them apart. No matter how much she wanted the kisses to continue, she knew it was the wrong thing to do—to Allison, and to Josh. Lydia refused to be the other woman, no matter how badly she wanted Allison back.
“What’s wrong?” Allison asked in concern, her hand still clutching Lydia’s. “I don’t look that bad, do I?” She jokingly added as she ran a hand through her hair.
“No,” Lydia quietly croaked. “You never could look bad.”
Allison released a tiny huff of laughter. “Where is everyone?”
Lydia paused, looking down at the way Allison’s hand fit perfectly into hers—the way their fingers easily slotted together, the curves of their palms meant to rest together. “Allison … what do you remember?” She finally forced herself to ask the one question she didn’t want to know the answer to.
“Not much,” Allison shyly offered. “The nurses said that was normal, but I can’t really remember even the tiniest shred of the accident.”
Lydia nodded, moving her free hand to trace the curve of the soft skin on the inside of Allison’s wrist with her fingertips. It was an action she used to subconsciously do, both of them enjoying it. “What do you remember about us?”
Allison furrowed her eyebrows in question, stressing to remember what exactly happened. “Um, I think … we just celebrated our anniversary.”
Lydia’s stomach dropped, a sudden feeling of dread overwhelming her. “What year do you think it is?”
Allison looked at Lydia as if she was insane. “It’s 2015.”
Lydia bit her bottom lip, unsure how to respond. “It’s not,” she weakly corrected her. She shook her head. “It’s 2020.”
Lydia paced outside of Allison’s room, watching as the doctors and nurses examined her. She could tell the doctor was explaining her amnesia to her just by the way Allison looked utterly bewildered and pissed off that the doctor was telling her what she would remember.
Lydia had never been so thankful for Stiles’ insomnia as she was tonight. She continued her pacing even when Stiles approached her—he was still clad in his pajamas, a heavy coat wrapped around him as he carefully watched Lydia.
“What did the doctors say?” Stiles finally asked.
“That they weren’t anticipating amnesia,” Lydia explained, running a set of finely manicured fingers through her hair.
“Josh should be here soon,” Stiles offered.
“She doesn’t remember him,” Lydia suddenly stated. She finally turned to look at Stiles, knowing her vulnerability was showing by the look of concern plastered on Stiles’ face. “She thinks it’s 2015.”
Realization suddenly crossed Stiles’ features. “That means … she still thinks that—”
“That we’re still married,” Lydia finished before Stiles could.
“You have to tell her,” Stiles quickly stated.
“Lydia, you can’t have her thinking that you’re still together,” Stiles explained in earnest.
Lydia remained silent as she looked through the glass to watch Allison talking with the doctors. Even after the years of not seeing her, Allison still looked the same to Lydia. She’d always look the same to Lydia, no matter how many fights or years passed between them.
They had married young, but they both knew they loved each other more than anything, and in their young age, they foolishly believed that that was enough. They thought that they had it all figured out. Life seemed simpler back then. It was harder to look back on those times with the future staring them so blatantly in the face.
“I can’t,” Lydia finally admitted.
“Lyds,” Stiles started, moving closer to place a comforting hand on her shoulder.
“I can’t go in there and tell her,” Lydia expanded.
“You have to,” Stiles stated in a soft tone.
Lydia knew Stiles was right, but that didn’t mean that she was going to accept it. She shook her head. “Could you do it?” She finally asked.
Stiles remained silent as he evaluated her question.
“If it was Derek,” Lydia paused, evaluating how to proceed. “If that was Derek in there, and I told you to go in and tell him that you’re divorced, could you do it?”
“Lydia, that’s not the same,” Stiles gently stated.
“That’s bullshit and you know it,” Lydia softly answered. “Just because you’re still married to Derek doesn’t make my failed marriage to Allison any less valid.”
“That’s not what I meant,” Stiles answered. “You know that this isn’t the same. Because it’s not your job to be in there with her and help her recover. It’s her husband’s job,” he paused. “If it was Derek—if we were divorced, and he had moved on—” He took a deep breath before continuing. “It would break my heart, but I couldn’t lie to him. Just like I know you couldn’t lie to Allie.”
“I can’t go in there, Stiles,” Lydia finally stated. “I let her go once … I don’t … I can’t do it again.”
Stiles placed a reassuring hand on Lydia’s shoulder. “I’ll do it,” he stated, knowing that Lydia would do the same for him. He let Lydia push into his arms, hiding her face in his shoulder as she cried for the first time since her divorce was finalized.
Lydia felt blindsided when she saw Allison standing in her office’s doorway. It took her a moment to react, quickly getting up from her desk as she excused herself from her conference call.
“Sorry,” Allison started with a soft smile, ducking her chin as she thought about what to say.
“No, it’s okay,” Lydia replied in earnest. Her hands fiddled with her skirt, quickly flattening out the material in attempts to avoid any creases. She inwardly cursed at how nervous Allison could still make her feel. “Is everything okay?” She asked out of concern.
“I needed a break,” Allison answered, shuffling her jacket into her other arm. She ran nervous fingers through her curls, tucking a stray piece behind her ear as she focused on looking about the room.
“I guess coming here would be a break from everything,” Lydia commented.
Allison smiled in response. “This is really nice,” she stated as she took in her surroundings. “It’s a lot nicer than the last one,” she forced a happy smile as she looked at Lydia. “Or maybe the one I think was the last one actually isn’t … the last one.”
“The tiny hole in the wall on Crap Street?” Lydia smiled when Allison laughed at the memory.
“The one that you had to hip check the lock just to get the door to open,” Allison added.
“Yeah, that was the last one,” Lydia stated. “And I don’t think anyone misses that office—my hips definitely don’t miss that office.”
Allison smiled despite the silence that grew between them.
It only took Lydia a moment to decide what she was about to do was rash, and most likely not the best thing. She should call Stiles and have him tell her no, that it was a bad idea. But she wanted more time with Allison. And that meant everything.
“Do you want to get out of here?” Lydia asked. A weight lifted from her chest when she saw the smile pulling at Allison’s lips as she nodded in response.
Lydia informed her secretary that she was leaving for the day, not caring about work for the first time in over five years. She enjoyed walking beside Allison down the sidewalk—like old times—even as her hand itched to hold Allison’s.
“I was hoping this place was still here,” Allison said with a smile as they entered the old coffee shop.
Allison and Lydia spent their first date at The Siren, sharing a coffee and shy smiles back and forth as they both hoped it all worked out. It was a small coffee shop on the corner of the strip of shops running along Main Street. It was cozy and welcoming, everything they both needed.
A small silence fell between them once they ordered their coffee, sitting in the corner booth. Lydia wondered if Allison recalled it as their booth—the booth they always sat at. She tried to pretend that she didn’t notice it.
“So,” Allison started, spinning the coffee in her hands. “A lot has changed,” she added.
“That’s what happens,” Lydia gently answered.
“What happened to us?” Allison weakly asked, words sounding uncertain.
“Allison,” Lydia started, looking up at her, not knowing if they should talk about it now.
“God, you must have a thousand different opinions about me,” Allison stated as she stared down at her coffee. “They’re all pretty horrid, too, huh?”
“No,” Lydia softly answered, reaching a hand out to hold Allison’s as she watched her face. “No, they never were.”
Allison smiled as she looked at Lydia’s hand, her eyes focusing on her rings. Lydia wasn’t sure, but she thought that maybe she recognized the engagement ring—their engagement ring gracing her hand.
“I’ve run through every scenario in my head,” Allison answered. “I’ve gone through all of them, Lydia, but I can’t find the right one.”
Lydia frowned, pulling her hand back to gently place in her lap as she looked away. She spun the ring on her right ring finger. She knew it was foolish to still be wearing her engagement ring—she hid her wedding ring away, hoping there would be a time she could look at it without feeling the hole in her chest Allison had left. Part of her wanted to get rid of it, but she couldn’t.
“You wanted a baby,” Lydia finally confessed as she looked up at Allison.
Allison’s features softened, almost as if she couldn’t think how that would have driven them apart.
“I didn’t,” Lydia stated, sadness scratching at the back of her throat. “I was too focused on work to even think about starting a family.”
“So I left you?” Allison asked in disbelief. “I just … Just like that?”
“We fought,” Lydia explained, looking down at her coffee.
“Stiles said—” Allison’s eyebrows furrowed, thinking about what to say. “He said you surrogated for him and Derek,” she finally stated. “That Claudia’s yours and Derek’s.”
“Biologically,” Lydia answered. “Derek and Stiles are her parents,” she firmly stated. “When Stiles asked me … It was a few months before our divorce. He didn’t know about it—we didn’t even know it was going to happen. You found the papers before I got to talk to you about it. You were mad that I could possibly think about helping someone else have a child, but was unwilling to have one together.
“I think part of me wanted to hurt you by saying yes,” Lydia answered, feeling shameful for letting that thought cross her mind. “That part of me just … it just wanted someone else to hurt as much as I did. We ended up fighting more than anything, and everything just … ended as quickly as it started.”
“I think,” Allison started, releasing a deep sigh. “I think I understand that—I don’t like it, but I understand it.”
“I think you’re in the same place as me,” Lydia softly replied.
Allison moved to pinch the bridge of her nose as her features soured.
“Another headache?” Lydia asked.
“They said that focusing on the past could cause some stress,” Allison answered.
Lydia nodded. She wasn’t surprised when Allison’s phone went off, showing a picture of Allison and Josh hugging flash across the screen.
Allison hesitated before she hit ignore. She set her phone down on the table.
Lydia reached for Allison’s phone, picking it up. “You should really lock it,” she commented as she accessed Allison’s Contacts.
Allison sat there, completely content in allowing Lydia to do whatever she wanted with her phone. She looked down at the phone when Lydia placed it back in front of her. Lydia had entered her contact information—home, cell phone, work phone.
“If you need to talk—or just want someone to listen—don’t feel like you can’t call me,” Lydia explained. “Even if you just want to talk to my machine.”
They both released a small laugh. Allison sometimes would talk for nearly 10 minutes whenever Lydia was in a meeting, leaving her a message for her drive home.
“Thank you,” Allison softly answered, reaching a hand out to take Lydia’s in hers.
I almost peed myself from laughing.
T his should be interesting.
Derek and Stiles are letting me go through their photo albums. There are pictures from his Bachelor Party. His face when you gave him the lap dance.
I couldn’t tell who was going to kill who: Derek kill me, or you kill Stiles.
I was sure Stiles was going to have a heart attack from embarrassment.
I never let him forget it ;)
See 1 Attachment[It was a photo of Stiles looking angry as he gestured towards the upcoming events on the Sheriff Station bulletin board; his finger was underneath the phrase ‘Ribbon Awarded Events at Family Picnic’]
Stiles just sent me this.
Ha! He’s still sore about losing the three-legged race . I thrive under duress
Everyone knows you’re the best deputy
I aim to please
Remember that time you shoved the Easter Bunny for coping a feel?
I think you mean Mr. Floopsy had it coming.
How are you doing?
Okay. I just miss her a lot … Thank you.
Are you going to go?
Stiles said he’d go with me after our shifts were over. He wants to visit his mom.
Would it be too forward to say that I want you there?
I don’t think Josh would like that.
I think I still love you.
To Allison: [Not Sent]
I know I still love you.
“I was divorcing him,” Allison’s voice was shaky as she confessed those words.
Lydia brushed Allison’s wet hair from her face, gently rubbing her hand up and down her back.
Allison had showed up almost an hour ago, soaked to the bone from the rain. She was crying, apologizing as she explained that she didn’t know where to go or who to talk to.
Lydia pulled her into her apartment, bringing her into the bathroom to dry her off with a towel. She turned the shower head on, heating the bathroom up with the steam before she turned to Allison. She helped her unbutton her blouse, Allison’s fingers trembling from everything. She bit her lip, pushing down her anger when she took a closer look at Allison’s face, spotting the beginning of a black shadowing around Allison’s eye.
Lydia cupped Allison’s face in her hands, forcing her to look up at her. “Take a shower and warm up. I’ll get you some clothes and leave them on the bed.” She waited for Allison to nod before she started to slip out the door. She was surprised when Allison grabbed her hand, pulling her back. She expected Allison to mutter a soft ‘Thank you’ or to even apologize again. She wasn’t expecting Allison to place a gentle, chaste kiss against her lips before breathing an even gentler, “I’m sorry.”
“It’s going to be okay,” Lydia offered, lingering before pulling away.
Lydia pulled out a pair of fleece pajamas bottoms and the baggy sweater she knew Allison loved. She placed them on the bed before slipping into the kitchen. She picked up her phone, immediately dialing Stiles and Derek’s house.
“Hale-Stilinski home!” Claudia’s cheerful voice greeted Lydia.
“Hey, sweetie, it’s Auntie Lydia,” Lydia calmly greeted her back.
“I’ll get Papa!” Claudia stated.
Lydia heard a rustling and then Derek’s voice before he asked who it was. She tried to explain what happened as best as possible, keeping an ear on the running water.
“Do you know where he is?” Derek asked, the sound of Claudia’s voice becoming distant in the background.
“She could barely talk, Derek,” Lydia answered. “She was trembling.”
“I’ll call Stiles,” Derek answered. “He should still be at the station.”
“Derek, what if he’s been treating her like this the whole time?” Lydia finally asked. “What if … My God, what if she’s been—”
“Don’t jump to conclusions,” Derek quickly stated.
“What do I do?” Lydia asked, not knowing how to react. She didn’t want make anything worse.
“Tell her you are here for her,” Derek answered. “That’s all you can do.”
“But what if she—”
“Lydia,” Derek firmly stated her name. “All you can do is let her know that she isn’t alone. That’s all we want to know,” he softly added.
Lydia remembered the way Derek had been distant from everyone—even Stiles when they first started dated. He was always off to the side, constantly seeming unwilling to be alone with anyone. Stiles, for all his rambling, had been there for Derek and helped him to get through his hardships—get through having two abusive exes. If anyone knew how to treat this situation, it was Derek.
“If she will let you, ask her about photographing it,” Derek’s voice commented. “It’s better to have evidence than not.”
“Thanks,” Lydia softly answered. “I have to go,” she stated when she heard the shower turn off.
Lydia was bringing two mugs of tea into the living room when Allison came into the room. She held back her smile of fondness at seeing Allison in her clothes again.
Allison folded the sleeves over her hands, the cuffs of the pajama bottoms covering her feet as she shuffled towards the couch. She hugged her arms over her stomach as she folded her legs under her in order to sit down on the cushion.
Lydia set the mugs on the coffee table, sitting next to Allison. She turned towards her, reaching a hand out to cup Allison’s chin between her fingers. She tried to get Allison to face her as she tried to pull away.
“Should put ice on it,” Lydia stated.
Allison reached a hand up, pulling Lydia’s away from her face. She offered a sad smile, just holding Lydia’s hand. “It doesn’t hurt anymore.”
“It shouldn’t have happened in the first place,” Lydia corrected her.
“He doesn’t like you,” Allison suddenly stated, looking away from her.
“If I see him again, I’m going to kill him. So I’d say the feeling is mutual,” Lydia replied, trying to keep her anger from her voice—she knew she failed.
“I was divorcing him.” Allison leaned into Lydia’s touch as she brushed some of her hair behind her ear. “That’s why he wasn’t around when the accident happened. I found … I found the papers. My lawyer confirmed it,” she softly scoffed. “She wondered why she hadn’t heard from me since before the accident.”
Lydia rubbed small, reassuring circles into Allison’s back—an action Allison enjoyed whenever she was stressed about something.
Allison stood up some, reaching across the coffee table to get her bag. She picked it up, rummaging through it until she found an envelope. She unceremoniously dropped her bag to the floor as she sat back down. She offered the envelope to Lydia. “Just read it,” she quickly stated when Lydia started to open her mouth. “Please.”
I’m not sure how to start this letter. I’ve written it a thousand times, a thousand different ways. And all of them seem wrong. Everything that happened seems wrong. Weren’t we supposed to stay together? Weren’t we supposed to be ‘until death do us part’?
I look at everyone around me, and I’ve finally realized that I threw something away that I was meant to hold onto. I stare at the phone sometimes and wonder if I just got the courage to call and tell you, would you agree? Could you still love me? After everything that happened?
I blamed you for not caring enough. I always blamed you for everything. You’re my best friend—the love of my life. We should have talked. We should have stopped for a second and realized that just because we didn’t have a child didn’t mean we loved each other any less.
Because I still love you.
Without you, I’m missing a part of myself. Without us, I’m not home.
I just want to come home. I’m ready to come home.
Lydia’s hands trembled as she carefully folded the letter. She swiped a hand at her eyes, brushing away the tears that started to spill. “Allison,” she gently shook her head, unable to look at her. “You only feel that way because—”
“I wrote that before the accident,” Allison corrected her, pulling Lydia back onto the couch when she attempted to get up.
Lydia finally looked at Allison. She could see the honesty in her eyes—the hope that Lydia would accept it.
“From the moment I woke up in the hospital, I just wanted to come home with you,” Allison stated with tears in her eyes. She gently shook her head. “I’ve wanted to come home longer than that.”
A small silence built between them as Lydia thought about everything. The timing was awful—to be honest, the timing was exactly what their life was. It was inconvenient, but perfect. It gave Lydia hope. It made her want to keep the world from turning. It made her remember why loving Allison was so terrifying. Because she was in love with Allison, and she didn’t get to just take her love back. Because she was in love with her best friend. Because she had found her other half in Allison, and could never let it go.
Allison looked up at Lydia, her eyes pleading. “Please, say something.”
Lydia pushed forward, pressing a kiss to Allison’s lips—a mirror image of what Allison had done in the bathroom. Only this time, when Lydia pulled away, Allison pushed forward, recapturing Lydia’s lips.
Allison reached her hands up to cup Lydia’s face in her open palms. She opened her mouth, both of them letting their urgency take over. She pushed in closer, more than willing to climb onto Lydia if it meant that they would be closer—she needed to feel her there; she needed to know that it was definitely Lydia that held her close.
Lydia grasped Allison’s arms, steadying herself as they broke their kiss in favor of taking in shallow, slow breaths. She pressed her forehead against Allison’s, keeping her eyes closed as she held onto the moment.
“Stay,” Lydia softly pleaded. “Don’t leave me again.”
“Never again,” Allison answered, her hand moving to press just over Lydia’s heart.
Allison never remembered those years before the accident. Instead, she focused on making new ones—happier ones.
Their wedding was a small, private event held in Derek and Stiles’ backyard. They stayed in Lydia’s apartment until they agreed to buy a house. Lydia was pleased that it had a small room on the second floor.
Allison transferred to desk duty while Lydia arranged to take a step back in handling her office’s affairs. They rarely fought, always making sure to talk about any disagreement they had.
They were both nervous when they decided to start a bigger family.
Stiles and Derek both agreed to help—Stiles won the coin toss as Derek shook his head over how ridiculous his husband was for leaving the DNA of a child up to a coin toss.
Lydia would shush Allison whenever she negatively commented about her own weight. She enjoyed sneaking up behind her wife to wrap her arms around her, placing a soft kiss against the shell of her ear as her hands caressed the evidential bump of their baby.
They were both home.