keeping it vaguely imaginary (_afterism) wrote,
keeping it vaguely imaginary

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operator please

Title: like clouds across oceans
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Allison/Lydia
Rating: PG-13
Summary: In all the possible universes, three lives that Allison and Lydia are living. (Spy AU, Bakery AU, and Roller Derby AU!)
Summary: written for quintenttsy in the femslash12 exchange :D

"Everdeen," Lydia says, her voice sharp and clear over the comm line.

"Yeah?" Allison says, sitting cross-legged on a roof in the middle of Budapest. She's got both hands on her crossbow but it's resting in her lap as she watches the city move beneath her, their target a good twenty minutes away, and the sun is high and bright behind her. It's bitterly cold, though - her breath hangs in fading mists, her scarf drawn tight around her, and there's a promise of snow on the horizon.

"I'm thinking lunch when this is done," Lydia says, a careful measure of boredom in her voice. Allison can hear the traffic rumbling past, the café Lydia's waiting in on the corner of a junction. "We could visit the Citadel."

"I'll go anywhere as long as it's warm," Allison says, peeling her left hand away from the crossbow so she can flex it a few times, working some feeling back into her fingers. It's not a problem - she's done missions in Moscow in worse weather than this, and they went as smoothly as they ever do (which is to say, not as smooth as she would like).

Lydia laughs, quiet and muffled like she's pressing a hand against her mouth, and Allison narrows her eyes.

"Are you eating?" she asks, and Lydia's laugh gets a little louder.

"They do a really good Dobosh Torte here," Lydia says, not sounding the least bit sorry. There's a quiet sound over the comm line, and something that might be the scrape of metal on china, and then Lydia's moaning, soft and low and obscene. "Really good," she sighs, and then laughs wickedly when Allison is silent.

"I'll bring you some after," Lydia promises, and Allison hums softly in acquiescence. "Just don't give me a reason to come over there."

"Heads up," Allison says, eyes tracking a sleek black car turning the corner. "Target's early," she says, and frowns. The car pulls up outside the hotel halfway down the road - the figure that gets out is all long blonde hair and a tight dress, and she glances up at the skyline, smirking, before disappearing into the hotel.

"The Wolf's here," Allison says, voice flat, and Lydia swears.

"I'm coming over," Lydia says, and Allison's just starting to protest when she hears the sound of someone trying to creep up silently behind her.

"Yeah," she agrees, and leaps to her feet, finger already half-pressed on the trigger.

Lydia's hands are steady and she stitches with quick, precise moves, but her shoulders are high and tense and her mouth is tight with worry, her eyes just wide enough that Allison can recognise the fear behind her frown and her pout, and that scares Allison more than the sight of the gaping wound in her thigh. "Hey," she says, reaching for her, and her fingers smear blood against Lydia's pale cheek as she leans into it for a second, closing her eyes and taking a slow, deep breath. "I'm going to be okay. I've had worse. You've given me worse."

"I was having an off-day," Lydia says, pulling back and opening her eyes with the barest hesitation, and her hands are steady when she finishes stitching up the cut.

"I wouldn't be here if you weren't," Allison says, light so it doesn't sound too soft, too much like a confession, and Lydia concentrates on cutting the end of the thread. Allison's smiling at her when she glances up, the painkillers kicking in, and Lydia presses her lips together and grabs a cloth to start dabbing away at her blood-slick skin. She's glowing ruby-red in the evening light that spills into the bare apartment - the only furniture the cot that Allison's stripped down and sprawled out on, Lydia kneeling on the exposed floorboards beside her.

"Go to sleep," Lydia says, as Allison hums and tries to help, reaching for her hand without attempting to sit up - Lydia swats her fingers away, frowning, and so Allison reaches for her face instead, catching two fingers under her chin and brushing her thumb against the corner of Lydia's mouth.

"Hey," she says, and Lydia looks up at her. "Come here. Please," she adds, when Lydia looks mutinous, and after a beat Lydia does, crawling forward enough to press their lips together, enough for Allison to sigh and sink into the mattress, enough to feel boneless and relaxed for the first time in a month. She tries to protest when Lydia moves back, a low sound in the back of her throat, but Lydia just kisses her again quickly and then goes back to fixing a bandage across the wound, pressing it down firmly.

Allison whines, arching away from the mattress, and Lydia clucks her tongue and apologises with a kiss to the top of her thigh. She presses another to her opposite hip, and trails another up to the curve of her stomach, and then pulls away and starts to gather up their medical supplies, her hands still slick with Allison's blood.

Allison makes an unhappy little sound, and tries to roll onto her side, towards her - she falls back, hissing, as her thigh pulls taut.

"Yeah," Lydia says, looking entirely unsympathetic while holding a blood-soaked towel. "That's what you get for not doing exactly what I say," she says, and walks out the room with her bundles of supplies.

"Tease," Allison calls, drowsy and without heat.

"I'll bring you torte if you go the fuck to sleep," Lydia calls back from the bathroom, and Allison pulls the blankets up over her face, hiding her grin.

They open in January - it's a week into the new semester, and Allison chose this college town because she knows that no one, especially students, can resist a bakery that does home deliveries. She's arranged her shop just how she's always imagined it; two long glass cabinets in an L-shape, with the gluten-free and vegan specialities down one end, and just one table with two chairs by the window which hopefully looks picturesque without actually encouraging anyone to sit there. Pop-culture-referencing baked goods are kind of her thing - she finishes arranging a display of The Hunger Games-themed cupcakes, placing the one with the bow and arrow embedded in the icing at the front before, finally, going around to the door and flipping the sign to 'Open'. After a pause, she opens the door as well.

There's a girl striding down the opposite side of the road, and she glances over as the door chimes - she sees the 'Argent's Bakeries' sign above the door, black handpainted script on pale yellow, stares at it for a moment, and then hurries over.

Allison watches her, bemused.

"What's the most sugar-coated thing you have?" the girl asks when she's two feet away and Allison has to hurriedly step back to let her into the shop, as she sweeps in with a flick of flame-red hair.

"The raspberry turnovers," Allison says quickly, because she's used to both sudden enthusiasm for baked goods and odd requests, and the girl scans the counter with narrowed eyes until she spots them.

"Yeah, they'll do," she says, and suddenly she's grinning at Allison, and Allison feels her breath catch. Oh, fuck. "I'll take three- no, um, make that four," she amends, glancing at the clock behind the counter, and Allison hurries around to start piling them into a paper bag.

The girl pulls her credit card out of her purse and taps it against the glass until Allison asks for it, a light beat that sparks something at the back of Allison's mind and is quickly ignored. Lydia Martin, Allison notices as she takes the card, and tells herself she has absolutely no reason to remember it as Lydia continues tapping her nails against the glass, staring blindly at the cupcakes.

Allison doesn't want to ask. She does this because she loves baking - if she could leave all the rest of it to someone else, she would, but her dad has had words with her about customer service, and so she takes a breath and fixes her expression into a polite smile and asks, "Busy morning?"

Lydia snaps out of it, and rolls her eyes. "Don't," she says, and before Allison can apologise she's talking again. "It's not even worth talking about it, I will not be one of those girls who gets stupidly emotional because the neanderthals in her class won't admit that she's fully capable of completing a basic molecular biology assignment without their supervision. Like, I know how to obtain the nucleotide sequence, I don't need them breathing over me while I do it."

"Right," Allison says, blinking, and hands over her card and the bag full of pastries.

"Thanks!" Lydia calls, and sweeps out the door.

She sweeps back in two days later, looking pristine despite the slushy snow that's already starting to melt outside, and fixes Allison with a look as soon as the guy collecting a large portion of cherry cheesecake gets out of her way.

"You're not allowed to be nice to me," Lydia demands, staring straight at her with terrifyingly intense eyes, and Allison doesn't take a step back, but it's only because she's got nowhere to go. "Because I've had a terrible day, and if anyone's nice to me then I'm going to crack."

"I wasn't going to?" Allison says, and then thinks about it. "Wait, no, of course I will be nice, it's my job." Lydia twists her lips to side. "... but I will be the minimum required amount of nice? I won't even say 'have a nice day' as you leave, I promise," Allison continues, holding her hands up in surrender. There are a lot of people who get kind of intense when desperate for sugar. She can handle it.

Lydia just watches her for a long moment, eyes narrowed, and then the corner of her mouth quirks up and she huffs a breath that sounds almost like a laugh. "Thank you," she says, clipped and so polite it sounds mocking, and steps closer to the glass case. "I'll take one of those," she says, pointing at a cupcake piled with raspberry swirl icing, "and something I can rip apart with my bare hands."

"Definitely a chocolate croissant, then," Allison says, and adds one to the box, and then, "Oh, and an éclair. They're the best when you want to destroy something, you'll get cream and chocolate everywhere but it's like a gooey stress ball."

"A gooey stress ball," Lydia echoes flatly, but hands her credit card over anyway. Allison bites her lip to stop herself smiling,

"Have a nice day!" Allison calls, just as the door is swinging shut behind her, and Lydia strides off in the opposite direction so Allison can't see her laugh.

"Why 'bakeries'?" Lydia asks when they're sitting on the fire escape out the back, picking at the last of the cupcakes that have been left over from the day. The nights are still cold as spring creeps in, so they huddle together under one thick blanket, knees pressed together.

"Hmm?" Allison says, sucking icing off her fingers, and Lydia watches for a moment before turning her face up to the stars.

"'Argent's Bakeries' - are you a chain? You seem all... homely," Lydia says, pulling a face as she shrugs sharply.

"Oh! Kind of," Allison says, wiping crumbs off her hands. "Most of my family are bakers, or confectioners, or pastry chefs, it's kind of our thing. My ancestors worked in the kitchens of French royalty so it's this huge tradition that we're meant to continue, but - I love it, I guess. The name's important, so we all use it - except my aunt Kate, actually," Allison says, and frowns a little.

Lydia shivers suddenly, and Allison sucks in a breath and throws an arm around her shoulders before she can think about it. Lydia turns to smile at her.

"Oh, you've got icing-" Allison says, gesturing towards her own mouth in the universal sign for there's something on your face.

"Hmm?" Lydia says, as she licks at the side of her lips, missing it completely. Allison grins, and then bites her lip, and reaches over to brush her thumb against the corner of Lydia's mouth, catching two fingers under her chin to hold her still.

"Got it," she says, and doesn't pull her hand away.

"Just kiss me already," Lydia says, and grins against her mouth.

"And - oh, Katniss Everdead takes a hit! Leaving Amelia Blackheart to sail through and take the points!"

Allison clings to the barricade, gasping for breath. The crowd sounds a little distant, a kind of muffled roar that slowly grows by eons until she can open her eyes and focus on the crowd just below her; a guy waves a flyer with Amelia Blackheart's face on it, red hair flaming out from underneath her helmet. Allison frowns.

"I'm okay," she says, gulping down air as her teammate slings an arm around her waist and pulls her up, giving her a moment to get her skates back under her shaking legs.

"Sure," Erica laughs, guiding them down the bank and patting her bruised hip, and Allison pulls away to punch her in the arm, skating away before she can retaliate. Erica just laughs at her. "See? Better already."

Allison glances at her out of the corner of her eye, eyebrows raised, and Erica smirks back before looking up at the scoreboard. "They've got a fourteen point lead," she says, pushing her tongue up against the back of her teeth, and clucking with a thought. "We definitely can't win, so - revenge?"

"Revenge," Allison agrees, and laughs when Erica throws her arms in the air and spins away.

"Everdead!" Lydia calls out across the locker room, and Allison winces, caught in the middle of pulling on her hoodie. She twists, muscles taut and aching horribly as she tugs it down over her colouring ribs and pushes the hood back, turning to find Lydia standing a foot away and glaring. "You know what you are?"

"Dead?" she ventures, fixing her sleeves.

Lydia stares at her for a short moment, and bursts out laughing. "I was going to say my new best friend, but sure," she says, and reaches forward to tug free a loop of hair caught in Allison's sweater; she curls it around her finger, and lets it fall with a bounce back onto Allison's shoulder. She's already changed and fixed her helmet-flattened hair in the time it's taken for Allison to struggle into her loosest jeans - Lydia's dress is short and tight and purple to match the bruise blossoming on her right arm.

"Um," Allison says, and Lydia glances back up at her, the corners of her mouth quirked tight and devilish.

"Thanks for clearing the way for me," she explains, reaching forward again to smooth down the line of her sleeve, and Allison lets her. "I never would have got past if you hadn't taken such a spectacular fall."

Allison ducks her head, and laughs softly. "Amelia Blackheart, right?" she says, for lack of anything better, and Lydia flashes her a sharp grin and turns to the mirror. "I like it."

"Yeah? I haven't registered it yet. I was thinking about changing it to Rawberry Blonde," Lydia says, pouting in the mirror as she fixes a curl that's tumbling down into the dip of her cleavage.

"Hmm" Allison says, low and without really meaning to, and Lydia glances at Allison's reflection, catching her eye. "No, I mean, I like Amelia," she amends, and holds her gaze.

"Me too," Lydia grins, and spins around, hair bouncing, to grab Allison by the wrist and slide her other hand around the top of Allison's arm, tugging her close with bruisingly strong fingers. "Is that what you're wearing to the party?" she says, flicking her eyes down briefly and back up, eyebrow raised.

"Um," Allison says, because she's both buzzing and exhausted, aching down to her bones and she desperately wants to go home and soak in a warm bath until it feels like she can move again without wincing. Lydia stares at her, lips dangerously close, and Allison swallows. "I wasn't planning on going to the party? I'm just really tired, and-"

"Hmm. No, you're coming, no excuses" Lydia says, and grins up at her. "I want to get to know the new girl. And, um," she breathes, close and warm and her hand slides up to her shoulder, her fingers tapping the lightest beat against Allison's collarbone, "I thought I should make it up to you."

"You don't have to apologise-" Allison starts, but Lydia rolls her eyes and steps away, the hand around her wrist slipping down to link their fingers together as she starts towards the door.

"I didn't say anything about apologising, Katniss," Lydia says, and stops short, changing her mind with a sharp turn so Allison is off-balance and just starting to move when Lydia cups her jaw and kisses her, sharp and quick. "Let me teach you the difference between apology and reciprocity," she purrs against her lips, and palms Allison's bruised hip as she backs her up against the lockers.

Allison tries not to hiss, and bites her lip instead. It tingles.

"Oh!" Lydia says, wide-eyed and mock-innocent, and presses her lips together as Allison shifts, a lock digging into her ribs and Lydia pressing close and her hands move to Lydia's waist. "Maybe I do need to- oh!"

Because Allison is buzzing and exhausted and her mind has been narrowed down to a single track, because she's not the kind of girl who waits around for the things she wants, and Lydia is something she's wanted since she first discovered Roller Derby and saw a war machine with flame-red hair fly between two blockers before they even realised she was there, she grabs her by the hips and spins them so Lydia is pinned against the lockers, and kisses her properly.

Lydia growls against her mouth, but it sounds happy, and loops her arms around Allison's neck.

"Get it, new girl!" Erica calls as she strolls past the door, and Allison remembers something, and squeezes Lydia's arm in revenge. Lydia squeaks, and kisses her harder.
Tags: fic, teen wolf

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