Part VI: Falling in Polyamory
“Sorry I—” they began. I knew it was wrong what we had just done, but I just couldn’t sum any guilt. I placed a finger on their chin, silencing them with another kiss. I wrapped my arms around them and pulled them closer, more than ready to kiss them all night.
“Welp, guess I’m sleeping with Ahti tonight,” Rowan announced, making me jump a little. I blinked at them as they stood up and grabbed their pillow and blanket, leaving us alone swiftly.
“Well that was something that happened…” Allison murmured, their cheeks flushed. “I like you Sage…” I tried and failed to fight the wide smile hearing those words caused.
“I like you too,” I whispered, resting my forehead against theirs.
“You know… There’s enough space for two here. You don’t have to sleep on the floor,” they said, looking away again. I could sense the shame and understood why.
“What about Sheila?” I asked.
“Can we just talk about it tomorrow? I don’t have the spoons tonight…” they appealed, sounding exhausted.
“Of course,” I replied, pulling them into a hug. Even though I knew we did a bad, I was still feeling stupid happy. Even if in the morning they regretted it and wanted us to go back to being friends, it would be okay with me. I just wanted them in my life – and I got my re-do. I much preferred them as my first kiss than Allen any day. We snuggled under the covers, my arms wrapped around them.
“Goodnight Allison,” I murmured, breathing in the scent of their hair and skin. I didn’t know what the morning would bring and it was entirely possible it would involve heartache so I choose to enjoy this, the here and now. In case it was the only time I ever got to be this close to them again.
When I woke up Allison was still snoring softly beside me, their face relaxed. It took me a moment to fully wake up and realise yesterday evening hadn’t been a dream. I was really in bed next to Allison. We had really kissed yesterday. And Allison really told me they liked me. I shifted carefully, checking the time on their bedside table clock. It was still pretty early. I decided to stay where I was, holding them. After about forty-five minutes Allison moved, their eyes opening slowly.
“Hey, been awake long?” they asked, stretching next to me.
“A few minutes, I didn’t want to move,” I admitted. “I was afraid if I did, I’d wake up and it’d all have been a dream.”
“It wasn’t,” Allison murmured, turning so they were facing me. They kissed my forehead and briefly buried their face against my shoulder.
“How about some breakfast?” they asked. I stretched and sat up.
“Yes, bacon right about now sounds great-” I cut myself off, covering my mouth. “Sorry, it’s too early, I wasn’t thinking…” Recalling there was a strict Jewish rule about not eating pig. In response Allison sat up and flicked my forehead.
“Sage, I don’t keep kosher. I told you like twenty times,” they said, smiling.
“Right…I did say it was early?” I was surprised I slept so well, considering I’d forgotten to take my medicine last night. I probably wouldn’t manage it a second night in a row though. Allison sat up, stretching their arms.
“I’m going to take a shower and get my makeup done first. I can feel it in me, today’s going to be a girly day.” They innocently kissed me on the cheek, while my brain raced with less than innocent thoughts. The I’m-probably-having-a-guyish-day kind funnily enough.
“What?” Allison asked standing up. Apparently I had been biting my lips, giving myself away.
“I just…we could save water…” I left it there, feeling far too embarrassed. Had I really just said that to them? Allison’s cheeks turned beet red and they looked away from me.
“I’m kidding!” I cried. “I know we only just kissed for the first time yesterday. And we probably should talk to Sheila before going any further?”
“Right!” Allison nodded. I left the bed and grabbed my backpack and we both went to the bathroom, separate shower stalls though. I let the water run cold first to shut down those thoughts. Once we were dressed I decided to put on some make-up, only a little though.
“Ugh, eyeliner and me will never get on,” Allison muttered beside me.
“Let me help,” I offered. I used a wipe to clean where it had gone wrong and then redid the eyeliner. I tried not to feel self-conscious of how their eyes were watching me as I worked. After that we went downstairs for breakfast, where Allison made a point of eating enough bacon that I started to worry about their arterial health. We then went outside to broach the difficult topic. I mentally prepared myself for the worst as we sat on a tucked away stone bench.
“I love Sheila,” Allison started. “She was the first person I fell in love with, we dated for a while and for a time i was happy…Then she broke up with me…”
“What happened?” I asked.
“My stupid brain got in the way…” Allison pulled up her knees, making herself small. “I got a crush on someone else and started feeling super guilty. She saw it and decided to formally break off…If you really love someone, you’re supposed not to feel that way for anyone else…Like I feel about you…” I bit my lip, just about stopping myself from going on a long rant about heteronormative society.
“That’s just crap society likes to pummel into us. Liking more than one person is just how you are. It’s not wrong by itself, if you’re open about it and everyone’s on the same page and agrees, then no harm’s done,” I said, cutting down the speech considerably.
“I guess…” they murmured, not sounding particularly confident. I pulled them to me and held them.
“I like you too Allison.” So much. “And if you want us to be a thing, you just have to talk to Sheila and explain it to her.”
“You’re right. I’ll do it today when she comes over,” they decided, some assertiveness returning to their voice. “Will you be at my side?” they added in a quiet voice, looking at me.
“Of course,” I replied, fighting the urge to kiss them again, hugging them instead. When our parents and Mr. Martin arrived we were taken to the academy’s auditorium where the yet-to-be-seen headmaster appeared. She talked about the history of Ravenhold, the classes and staff, generic stuff parents liked to know. I was listening intently when suddenly the world spun. I blinked and gasped as it stopped just as abruptly. I covered my mouth, my stomach feeling far from stable.
“Oh my god,” I muttered. Allison’s arms grabbed my shoulders, keeping me steady.
“I swear you get used to it,” they said, before speaking over their shoulder. “Maybe a little advance warning next time Sheila?” I recovered enough to look away from the ground and realised we were on the roof with Sheila.
“Sorry,” she apologised. “What did you want to talk about?” My brain was starting to work again and I realised Sheila must have had a power that involved teleportation. I’d never realised she was a parahuman. I glanced at Allison who met my gaze briefly, before turning back to Sheila.
“I kissed Sage.”
“Damn,” she replied but I could tell from her tone she wasn’t upset or angry. “I thought it’d take you forever to work out the courage to do it.”
“You’re not mad?” Allison asked.
“Al, I just want you to be happy,” she replied, pulling them into a hug. “I don’t care if that’s by being with me or by being with Sage, whoever you chose is fine with me.” I couldn’t help smiling. Up until now I hadn’t seen this softer caring side of Sheila. She was a really sweet person.
“But you don’t have to choose,” I stepped in, taking Allison’s free hand, her other being held by Sheila. “I told you about my parents. I’m open-minded, if you want to be with both of us I’m happy to share.”
“Does that mean I get to join the fun?” Sheila asked. “And get a second cute little enby to play with?” I knew it was intended as a harmless flirty comment but the images that formed in my mind made me blush.
“I-if you want…” I trailed off uncertainly. I didn’t really know Sheila yet and would need to spend more time with her, but I trusted Allison’s judgement.
“Oh, I was just teasing, but I guess I’ll keep you under consideration then,” she replied. It was nice to be the one taking her by surprise for once.
“I guess that settle it,” Allison said. “Should we set some rules?” they asked, looking at me. I guess that made sense, I was the only one who had any experience of polyamory relationships.
“Are we going to be open or closed?” I asked.
“Don’t mind either way. I might be an unrepentant flirt but I don’t really have my eyes set on anyone right now,” Sheila replied with a noncommittal shrug.
“Personally I don’t really want anyone else,” I said.
“I guess it can just be the three of us. And who knows, if something happens, we can just talk about it?” Allison suggested. I nodded, aware my smile was turning into a goofy grin. Part of me couldn’t believe this was really happening, but it was.
“Suits me,” Sheila said. Allison kissed Sheila and then turned to kiss me as well. I glanced at Sheila, unsure if we were going to do the same thing.
“So…eh…” I murmured.
“Cutie or not, you ain’t getting anything without a date first,” Sheila said, touching a finger to their lips. “Allison knows what I like, they’ll give you tips.”
“I’ll be in touch then, unless there’s some rule you want me to follow on how many days before I call?” I replied, enjoying the easy going, jokey way I could talk with her.
“You call me anytime when you get to New York. Can’t have real fun in a small town now, can we? I heard there’s a bus every weekend, shouldn’t be too long until then,” she suggested. I decided to keep my opinions on big city versus small town to myself. Iceland was mostly small towns and I’d argue there was plenty to do. Then again, I’d never been anywhere like New York before.
“It’s a date,” I smiled.
“And now that everything’s settled; back we go to the lecture hall, I don’t want to miss anymore of it,” Sheila declared.
“Since when do you care about superheroes?” Allison asked, nudging her with an elbow.
“Since you became one, duh.” She replied. “Alright, let’s go.” She held out a hand and I shook my head, backing away.
“I’m going to find the stairs,” I said. I did not want a repeat of the teleportation thing anytime soon.
“I guess that works too,” Sheila laughed.
“I’m going to be escorting them,” Allison said, grabbing my hand and leading the way.
“Suit yourself,” Sheila said, waving at us before teleporting; bits of loose concrete and dirt on the roof whipping into the air briefly as she did. The roof access led to a janitor’s closet. I reached for the handle, contemplating how big a maze this building probably was, when Allison placed their hand over mine to stop me. I turned and they pushed me against a nearby shelf, meshing out lips together. I was definitely not going to argue, fighting back a moan as the kiss deepened. I was going to need another cold shower when we got home…