Isaac Andrew Lahey.
That was the name written on Scott's hand since the day he was born. He didn't really understand what it meant until he reached freshman year and started hanging out with Isaac more. He'd known the boy on his hand for years, since they were eight, but they'd never shared the names. No one shared the names. Because even if someone's name was on your hand, that didn't mean your name was on theirs.
No one was quite sure why the names appeared, or when it started. Doctors couldn't figure it out. Some people attributed it to God, some to the Devil, some to magic, some to fate. Scott wasn't sure what he believed. He wasn't even sure if he believed that it was the name of his soulmate, like everyone else said, because he was crazy about his classmate, Allison. Her name wasn't on his hand, but he loved her anyway.
It wasn't until Allison asked him on a date that the name became a problem. But the social convention of keeping the names secret was too strong, so he didn't have to tell her that her name wasn't on his hand.
But then junior year started and Scott felt himself undeniably attracted to Isaac. So when he found out they were in almost all of the same classes together, his heart did a funny little jump. And they had chemistry together, which meant they'd be doing labs together. Which meant alone time.
"Hey, Scott!" Isaac said as they left for lunch. Scott had tried to leave as quickly as possible so that Isaac wouldn't catch up. "Do you want to eat together?"
"Well, I was going to meet Allison…"
"Oh. Okay." He sounded disappointed, but Scott didn't stay long enough to see his face.
At lunch, all he could think about was Isaac. Allison tried to engage him in conversation but nothing worked. He'd been friends with Isaac for eight years, why was everything different now? Why did he have to start thinking about it?
As they were walking to their next class, Allison pulled Scott away from the group.
"What's going on?" she asked.
"Nothing." He couldn't look in her eyes.
"Scott. Look at me." He looked up into those beautiful brown eyes he loved so much. "You can talk to me. I love you. What's wrong?"
He sighed. "Nothing, okay? Just personal stuff."
Allison frowned but nodded and went into the classroom. Scott followed her inside, where he avoided eye contact with Isaac as he sat next to Lydia.
"Okay class," Mr. Harris said at the front of the room, "today we're dealing with chemical reactions. Please have one person at your table line up to get the materials."
Scott jumped up, knowing Isaac hated getting the materials and hence wouldn't be in line. He was almost at the teacher's table when he heard Isaac's voice behind him.
"Will you stop avoiding me all the time?" Isaac asked.
"Bullshit, Scott. You haven't spoken to me in weeks. You aren't even looking at me right now."
Scott sighed and looked at him. That was a mistake; he had the sudden urge to reach up and kiss Isaac, run his fingers through his curly hair.
"Look, Scott…you're my friend. And it kinda hurts that you just…don't want to talk to me."
"It's not that I don't want to, Isaac. I just—"
"McCall," Mr. Harris said, "please get the materials, you're holding up the line."
Scott kept eye contact with Isaac for a second before turning, grabbing the materials, and going back to his table. Great. Just great. Now it was going to be even more awkward.
"You okay, Scott?" Lydia asked a few minutes later.
"Hm?" He hadn't been paying attention.
"Are you okay?"
"Oh, yeah, of course. Golden. Why?"
Lydia smirked slightly. "Isaac's your name, isn't he?"
Scott dropped the (thankfully closed) vial of water on the desk. How had she known? She couldn't have seen his hand; everyone was so used to not looking and hiding it.
"You haven't taken your eyes off him for ten minutes," she explained. "Don't worry, he hasn't noticed. Allison hasn't noticed, either."
Scott looked at his girlfriend; she was writing something down. She was so beautiful and amazing and the most wonderful person Scott had ever met. But she wasn't on his hand. Isaac was.
"Lydia, what do I do?" he asked, turning back to his table partner. "I can't dump Allison—"
"You don't have to. You don't have to tell anyone who's on your name. Hell, my parents didn't show each other their hands until years after they were married."
Scott sighed. His parents hadn't shown hands either, not until his father cheated on his mother with the woman who was on his hand.
"Just relax, Scott. It'll all be okay."
He rolled his eyes, but didn't have anything to say, so he went back to the experiment.
"It's not Allison."
Scott was changing back to regular clothes after gym class when Isaac approached him.
"What?" Scott said, pulling on his shirt and reaching for his shoes.
"Your name. It's not Allison, is it?"
He paused while tying his shoe. Why did names have to be on their hands anyway? What the hell was the purpose?
"I can't, okay? I can't talk about this."
Isaac looked like a kicked puppy and it broke Scott's heart. Before he did something he regretted, he grabbed his backpack and left the locker room quickly.
Lydia was hosting a party that Friday, and basically everyone in the school was invited. Lydia's parties were the most anticipated events in Beacon Hills, at least for the teenagers. Scott picked up Allison and drove her there, a little disappointed that Isaac wasn't in sight. What was wrong with him? He was with his beautiful girlfriend thinking about another guy.
"Let me get you some punch," he said when Allison found Lydia. She nodded and continued chatting with her friend. What did girls have to talk about all the time? Was Lydia telling her about Isaac? No, she'd promised not to tell and she was loyal. Scott poured some punch into two cups and turned back to Allison, almost running straight into Isaac.
"Jesus, dude!" Scott said, trying to control the cups. "I almost spilled these!"
"Sorry, Scott," Isaac said, wiping off his shirt; some of the punch spilled out onto him. Now he was in a wet t-shirt. Fuck. Scott looked away, trying not to think about it.
"I should go to Allison," he said awkwardly. "See you."
"Yeah, see you."
Scott walked away, hands shaking. He gave Allison her cup of punch and drank his in one gulp. He tasted alcohol. Great, just what he needed: to be drunk around Isaac. But fuck it, he was at a party and it was his tradition to get hammered.
Twenty minutes later, that's what he was. But Allison was worse. She seemed to not be able to taste the alcohol, or she didn't care. Either way, she'd had about four cups more than Scott.
"Fuck, I love you so much," she said, hanging off him with her arms around his shoulders. "You know that? I just love you."
"I know." Scott was trying to avoid stares, but it wasn't working. Allison tended to let her clothes "slip" when she was drunk; he was pretty sure most of her breast was showing.
"You know how much I love you?" she said, slopping the punch down his front.
"Allison, Jesus Christ!" Scott shouted, jumping back and wiping off his shirt. "Watch what you're doing, okay?"
"You didn't answer me." She looked sad, like a kicked puppy. Thinking about that simile made Scott think about Isaac. Who was watching them from a few feet away. Wonderful.
"Okay, how much?" He wasn't getting the punch out any time soon.
"Enough to show you this." She held out her hand, palm outward. Scott Alexander McCall.
"Oh, God." He couldn't look her in the face, even if she wouldn't remember this. "Allison…"
"You're on my hand, Scotty. This means we're soulmates."
Scott closed his eyes, trying to block out the noise of the party around him. Great, just fucking great; this was exactly what he needed right now. She wasn't on his hand and he wasn't about to reveal that in front of all these people, but he didn't see a choice.
"Scotty, show me yours," Allison said, grabbing his wrist and trying to pry his hand open.
"No!" Scott shouted, yanking his hand away. "Allison, stop, okay? Just stop."
"Am I on your hand?" She looked sober, even though she wasn't.
"Am I on your hand?" she repeated, eyes growing angry.
Scott looked away. "I don't think we should be together anymore."
"You're dumping me?" Allison said loudly. People started staring; the whole party went quiet.
"Don't make this harder than it has to be."
"I'm not on your hand, then? You've just been leading me on all this time?"
"I do love you, Allison, and the hand means fucking nothing. But I can't…I can't do this." He turned to leave.
"Scott!" Allison cried. She seemed cemented in place.
"I'm done, okay? We're over." He almost ran back to his car; Isaac stopped him on the way.
"Dude, you okay?"
"Just stop, Isaac. I can't, okay? I can't deal with this right now." He tore his arm from Isaac's grip and climbed in his car, driving off.
Scott woke up to a text on Saturday. It was from Allison: "What the hell happened last night? Why does my head hurt?"
Scott sighed, calling her. "Hey," he said when she picked up.
"What's going on?" she said. She sounded hung over.
He closed his eyes, not wanting to do this over the phone. "You showed me your hand last night."
Allison gasped. "Scott, I didn't…oh, God. I'm sorry."
"You're not my name, Allison. It's someone else."
"No, it's not." He sighed again. "Allison, we're done."
She was silent for a minute. "What?"
"I broke up with you last night."
"Scott, the name doesn't mean—"
"It isn't just the name, Allison. It's…so much. I still love you, but I feel…I feel like we're just grabbing at straws now."
"Scotty—" she choked out, starting to cry.
"Please don't make this harder than it needs to be. I'm sorry." He hung up, not wanting to listen to her crying. She tried calling him back four times before giving up. His thumb hovered over Isaac's icon but he couldn't do it, he just couldn't call Isaac right after dumping his girlfriend.
"Scott?" his mom asked, knocking lightly on the door.
"Yeah, hi, what's up?" he said, tossing his phone on his bed.
"I heard about Allison."
"I was passing by when you were talking." Scott rolled his eyes as she sat on the end of his bed. "You okay?"
He shrugged. "I guess."
"It wasn't just the name thing, was it? You know the names don't really mean anything."
"They're kind of self-fulfilling prophecies, aren't they? Like…you see the name and kind of…fall in love with them. Despite everything else."
Mom took one of his hands in hers. "I know who's on your hand, Scott. I've known since you were born. Your father…he hated that it was a boy's name. I hope you didn't dump Allison just for Isaac."
"I didn't," Scott said. "It just…wasn't working out. I couldn't see myself with her for a long time."
His phone buzzed in his hand; it was Isaac.
"Shit," he mumbled. "Mom, don't listen in, okay?" She nodded and left, closing his door. After making sure she actually went downstairs, he answered. "What's up?"
"Just checking to see if you're okay," Isaac said. "After everything last night."
"So are you?"
Scott frowned. "Am I what?"
Isaac chuckled slightly. "Are you okay?"
He thought for a second. "No. Not really." He wasn't sure why he was being more honest with Isaac than with his mother. Isaac was his friend, yeah, but he'd always been honest with his mom. He told her everything.
"Is there anything I can do?"
Scott sighed, laying on his back. "I don't know. Maybe."
"Then what is it?"
"It's nothing, it's not…I don't know, Isaac, I just don't know. Fuck. I just dumped the only girl I've ever been with because she's not my name and I can't really ask the person who is my name to be together because I don't want to ruin the great friendship I have with him and—"
"Him?" Isaac said, slightly incredulous. "It's a guy?"
"Isaac, I don't need—"
"No, no, I'm not judging! Not at all! My name is a guy too."
Scott's stomach clenched and he inhaled sharply. Isaac's name was a guy. Could it possibly be his name? No, of course not, there's no way in hell. People's names rarely matched, it was just a fact of life. If the names meant soulmates, then some soulmates were one-sided.
"Look, I've got to go. Lots of homework." That was a lie and Isaac probably saw right through it.
"Oh, okay. See you on Monday."
"See you." Scott hung up, tossing his phone on his nightstand. Why the hell did they have names on their hands? What purpose did it serve? He'd told Isaac he was worried about losing a good friendship, but because Isaac's name was on his hand, the friendship was falling apart. It'd be easier to just tell him, to get it over with and tell Isaac that he was in love with him. But he couldn't, especially not right after dumping Allison. In short, he was fucked.
"Dude, hold up," Isaac said after lacrosse practice when they were all changing into regular clothes. Scott had changed as fast as he could and was about to leave when Isaac grabbed his arm. Luckily, the blond was also fully dressed, so Scott didn't have a wandering mind.
"What?" he asked, leaning against a locker. The crowd was thinning, until it was just the two of them.
"You're not okay, Scott," Isaac said, looking him up and down. "I can tell. You're not yourself in class or on the field. I think you should tell your person."
"What? Are you crazy? No way." He turned to go but was stopped again.
"Dude, listen. Whoever it is, I'm sure they won't mind. And it'd make your life easier."
Scott rolled his eyes. "That sounds way too fruity for me. It's not that simple. He'll probably be freaked out."
"Shut up, Isaac, you can't know who's on my hand. Only on yours."
Isaac bit his lip and swallowed. "It's your name."
Scott dropped his backpack and just stared at Isaac. It was his name? Scott was on Isaac's hand? All this time, he'd been worried about the names not matching, and now they matched, and what could he do now? He did the only thing he thought reasonable; striding forward, he pinned Isaac to the lockers behind him and kissed him, hard. One hand on the locker, his other hand was stroking Isaac's neck and shoulder. The blond was kissing him back, Isaac freaking Lahey was kissing him back, and his hands were tugging at Scott's hair and shirt.
"Fuck," Scott mumbled when he pulled back from the kiss. Isaac's mouth looked so inviting but he needed to say this. "You're it, Isaac, you're my name, you've always been—"
Isaac kissed him again, likely to shut him up, which worked. He trailed one hand lightly down Isaac's torso, which made the blond shiver and rut into him, and then his fingers were working at Isaac's belt and jeans, and then slipping in his boxers, and—
"Son of a bitch," Isaac groaned, thrusting into Scott's hand. "Fuck, that's so good. Don't stop."
"Why would I stop?" Scott laughed, kissing Isaac's neck. "This is just as much fun for me as it is for you."
Isaac chuckled, leaning his head back as Scott tightened his grip. "Not yet," he mumbled, hands fumbling with Scott's belt and jeans and jerking him.
"Fuck," he groaned, moving his hips to allow Isaac a better angle. "Fuck, there's a better way to do this."
Isaac looked at him, frowning, but stopped when Scott wrapped his hand around both of them and started stroking.
"Fuck!" Isaac groaned loudly, almost too loudly. "Fuck, I'm not gonna last long if you keep that up, Scott."
Scott chuckled and leaned in to Isaac's ear. "That's the point," he whispered, twisting his wrist slightly.
"Fuck, fuck, where's it gonna—fuck—where's it gonna go?"
"We can't come on our shirts, Scott."
Scott paused for a second, thinking. Couldn't they? What was stopping them? But Isaac didn't want to, so he pulled back and yanked off his shirt, motioning for Isaac to do the same. Grinning and panting, Isaac did. He had stolen glances at Isaac's chest in the locker room, but it was so much better in person. He couldn't stop himself; he pushed Isaac against the locker and started kissing his way down his torso, running his teeth over his nipples, sucking on the skin.
"Fuck," Isaac groaned as Scott got closer and closer to his dick. "Fuck, Scott, if you do what I think you're about to do, I'm gonna shoot faster than…I don't fucking know, just really fast."
Scott laughed at how flustered he was, but then smirked and took Isaac in his mouth. He'd gotten curious before and tasted his own pre-come and it wasn't bad, but something about Isaac's was delicious, like he'd been parched for years and this was his first drink. Then, as promised, Isaac shouted out Scott's name, thrust forward, and started spilling in his mouth. It was a weird taste, something he'd have to get used to (it excited him to know there would be time to get used to it), but he swallowed it all, stroking Isaac's hip with one hand while jerking himself off with the other.
"Jesus Christ," Isaac moaned when he stopped coming. "Scott…I just…wow." He pulled Scott to his feet, got on his knees, and took Scott in his mouth.
"Oh, fuck," Scott moaned, running his fingers through Isaac's curls. Allison had never given him a blow job, so he had nothing to compare it to, but it felt amazing. Isaac's warm mouth, his wet tongue, his soft hand on the part he couldn't fit in his mouth. In no time, he was there, he was yelling Isaac's name and shooting down his throat, and he watched as Isaac swallowed it, grinning up at him.
Scott lowered himself to the ground, as he was losing strength in his knees. Now face-to-face with Isaac, they kissed again. It felt so good to kiss Isaac, so much more natural than kissing Allison had been. They sat for a second before standing and getting dressed. They left the locker room together, holding hands.
Lydia was standing outside, arms folded, a bemused expression on her face.
"Shit," Isaac said, stepping away from Scott and dropping his hand.
"No point hiding it, Isaac, I heard you," she said, grinning widely. "I won't tell, if you don't want me to."
"That'd be great," Isaac said.
"No, Isaac, I want people to know." Scott frowned at Isaac, not sure why he was worried about people knowing.
"Are you…sure? Even after Allison?"
Scott laughed. "Yeah, dude, I want people to know about us."
Isaac squinted at him. "Why? I thought you were worried about Allison and what it would look like—"
"Fuck that, dude. I love you."
Well, that wasn't supposed to happen. Scott had only been thinking about it, thinking about how he was in love with Isaac and how inconvenient that made things. Isaac's eyes widened and Lydia's smile got bigger (somehow).
"Isaac, I'm…I didn't mean to say that," Scott stuttered, feeling heat rise in his face.
"Shut up," Isaac said, moving closer and kissing him. It was a different kiss than before, not horny or exhausted, more…passionate? And then Isaac pulled back and he was smiling and he said, "I love you, too," and everything was okay.