So it’s another one of those Soulmate AUs, but instead of a line or a symbol or their first or last words tattooed on your body, it’s the words they said that meant the most to you. It’s the thing that made you realize you’d opened up and let them inside. Sometimes they change, as relationships grow and expand and form and shatter. Sometimes the person who said them changes. It’s never crystal clear. It’s as much of an interference as it is an asset in sorting out the complicated cog-and-wheel contraption that is the human heart.
Scott’s words change often, but they’re always from the same source. Stiles catches on to this when they’re eleven and for a while, it becomes a game. He tries to sneak a peek of the next place his words have glimmered into life on his friend’s skin, and then he tries to sneak them into casual conversation. Scott smiles, indulges him, lets him try to find the moments because by thirteen he’s figured out the moments will come on their own without Stiles trying to architect them. By the time they get to You still got me, Stiles has stopped trying to cement his place in Scott’s life. You’re still human makes him think maybe he shouldn’t have even tried.
Stiles never shows his words, not even to Scott. He doesn’t talk about them, won’t reveal them, keeps them hidden every time they might have come up. Scott doesn’t understand why, but he learns a few years into their relationship not to question it. He accepts the idea, after a little bit of bitter swallowing, that maybe they aren’t his. Maybe soulmates are one-sided. Maybe he’ll spend the whole of his life holding Stiles up on his shoulders just so his friend can reach the heights he deserves to reach.
He’s almost okay with that.
He doesn’t understand until they’re seventeen, almost eighteen, and Stiles is in his own driveway, curled up into the lee of his Jeep, hands clasped around his middle, lungs struggling to breathe. He’s repeating himself, over and over, muttering quietly, “I’m not strong enough, I’m not good enough, I’m not fast enough, Scott, I’m not enough, I’m not enough.”
Scott reaches out, he cups Stiles’ face in both of his hands so that he can tilt his forehead down and plant a kiss in the middle of it. “Shhh, Stiles. Shhh. You are. You are enough, you’ve always been enough, you’re my enough. You’re enough.”
Stiles starts to laugh, and it’s emotional whiplash that has Scott pulling back and frowning in confusion, concern. Stiles reaches down and hikes his shirt up, peeling back the gauze bandaging he’s worn on his side for as long as Scott can remember.
You are enough, they say, in Scott’s awkward print, along the lines of Stiles’ ribcage, you’ve always been enough, you’re my enough.
They’re both almost thirty by the time their words match.