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Once a Month

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Allison felt awful and knew she looked it, but she was too groggy to care. She hadn't curled her hair that morning, she'd forgotten her makeup and barely remembered her textbooks. Now she was sitting in class, trying to pay attention and feeling like her brain was bleeding out of her. She wished she was home. That she could curl up in bed with her stuffed bunny, a hot water bottle and an unlimited supply of chocolate. She sighed, two Advil had definitely not been enough and she still had another hour before the recommended dose would let her take another. First days sucked.

It was Friday too. Her period couldn't have waited one day for the weekend. Oh no it had to strike now. At least she wasn't standing. She hated waiting in the lunch line on her first day, while her thighs and lips ached. Sometimes keeping her hips at angle helped, but standing was just evil. Maybe she could make Lydia get her lunch.

She was considering a plan to pay off Lydia and drumming her pencil on the table when she glanced over and saw Scott staring at her with a glazed look. Her heart fluttered in a friendly hello, and she smiled back. Feeling a little better for it.

Scott always made her feel special. It was different then being adored by her family. A family she was no longer sure she could love back. It was somehow so much more, when the person who loved her was someone she had picked, even pursued. Someone who was just right for her, and fit in all the best ways. To know that her desire for him was returned tenfold made her feel like she was on top of the world, and her life was somehow perfect. Or it would be, if she hadn't been cursed with the cramps from hell.

“Hey,” she whispered.

“Hey,” he whispered back. Then he looked around the room and leaned over while the teacher turned to write on the board.

“Are you... “ then he seemed to lose his nerve and hunched back in his seat.

“What?” She asked

“Nothing just ... I mean you smell...”

“I smell?”

“Good, I mean, really strong but good ... sort of. Umm,” he made a helpless, awkward face, then shrugged hopefully. “New perfume?”

Allison choked on a laugh, then tried to school her smile into something more affectionate, so Scott wouldn't think he was being mocked.

“No,” she smiled, half of it for him and half for herself at the secret joke. She wasn't wearing any perfume at all and had barely gotten out of bed that morning.

“What's it smell like?”

“Huh?'

“What does it smell like? Sweet, vanilla, lemon?”

“Oh, umm,” he blushed, which was cute and left Allison happily thinking about his mouth instead of counting the minutes to her next Advil.

“It's sweet? but kind of old, maybe metallic and umm, intense.”

Huh. That didn't sound like any perfume Allison knew. Or one she'd like to buy. She shrugged and went back to her notes. Stealing sidelong glances at Scott's red face.

She didn’t think about it again until fourth period. Blood loss had always made her a little slow. She was in the library staring at the same page in her French book she had been trying to read for the past five minutes, and daydreaming. Scott featured heavily in her daydreams these days.

She loved that he was cute and awkward, that he stumbled sometimes and was a horrible liar. She loved his loyalty and his smile. A lot of the time she loved being in charge, and she loved how Scott loved that too. Somehow it made them both feel safe and confidant. She loved the sweetness that went hand in hand with his clumsy nature. She loved how far he would go for something important, and privately called him 'my little truant'.

In the end, she loved how imperfect he was.

She even loved all the werewolf problems he brought up for them. Her thoughts slowly wound around from there to thinking about what he’d said in class and wondering what he could be smelling. What was different about her today? sweet, old and metallic. What did that mean? God she needed a painkiller. Allison stopped dead. Her tapping pen fell from her fingers and rolled off the table as the thought hit her like an arrow.

Was it? No. It couldn't be that. Could it? Well why not? His senses would be attuned to it, he could smell what kind of chap-stick she was wearing any day of the week and she probably reeked of blood right now.

Allison felt her face heat up and she curled a hand over her mouth, not sure if she was going to laugh or gag but certain that either one would get her kicked out of the library. She glanced around the tables, full of students bent over their homework and i-phones. No-one seemed to have noticed her personal revelation.

It was such an odd thought. There was a lot about dating a werewolf Allison had never considered, and each new thing left her feeling like it was so obvious she should have thought of it, but they never had the time. As soon as they dealt with one issue another one cropped up.

She quickly grabbed her books, stuffed them in her bag and hurried out of the library.

She ran into Scott in the halls.

“Scott,” She called. He stop and spun away from Stiles, a smile breaking out on his face when he saw her. Allison didn’t think she’d ever get tired of seeing that. “Hey Stiles,” she greeted the other boy absently, and Stiles saluted from behind Scott. She gave him a significant look and after a moment Stiles gave a full body twitch and said,

“Oh, yeah, I have to be, uh… somewhere else.”

He and Scott blinked at each other and then Stiles spun around and disappeared down the hall. Allison bit her lip in amusement, having a strong suspicion he was going to wait just around the corner with his ear pressed to the wall for his friend.

Scott turned back to her and before he'd opened his mouth she asked.

“So, do you still smell it?” Blunt and curious now that Stiles was gone and she wasn’t going to feel embarrassed.

“Smell? Oh,” Scott blushed and looked away, rubbing his nose. “Uh, yeah, I can still smell you. It. I mean it.”

“Uh, huh. Have you smelled it before?” She asked, testing her theory before blurting it out. It could be mortifying if she was wrong, and she didn't want anyone to laugh at her.

“Yeah it’s usually floating around here somewhere, but never on someone I knew. I just figured it a was school thing.” Scott said and shrugged under the straps of his backpack. Allison was suddenly reminded of a bloodhound puppy her father had raised back in Oregon. When he was training it he'd told her, “he's just picking up smells now. He's too young to know what they mean yet, but once he does he'll make a fine tracker.”

Did Scott really have no idea what this was? Allison glanced around the hallway suddenly wondering about the number of girls at school. All of them suffering periods at one point or another.

“Oh boy,” Allison sighed and took Scott’s hand, pulling him around to sit on the hallway steps with her. “This is going to be awkward,” she said, and tucked her hair behind her ear. Scott looked confused, and Allison pursed her lips, then blurted out, “I’m on my period.”

Scott jumped in his seat, his eyes bugging out and looking nervously around the hall. Allison rolled her eyes. Typical boy reaction.

“Your what?” He asked.

“Period. You know once a month girls...”

“Whoa, yeah, I know, about that.” Scott interrupted awkwardly.

“That’s what you’ve got to be smelling,” she said. “My blood.”

“Are you sure?” he asked, and Allison raised an eyebrow. Scott made a face and finished himself, “stupid question.”

“Pretty stupid, yeah.”

The two of them sat in silence on the steps while students tread up and down the stairs beside them, Allison clutching her books and Scott resting both elbows on his knees.

“So,” Scott started, then faltered.

“So,” Allison repeated, then she grew thoughtful and added “You thought it smelled nice?”

Scott rubbed one hand on his arm and shrugged, timid and completely red in the face.

“I guess. I mean you always smell good but today it was more. Stronger?”

“Oh.” Allison blinked, feeling self conscious. Periods were nothing big to her, it was just part of being a girl, but knowing her boyfriend could smell it on her? That was a little weird. Then Scott suddenly leaned in and kissed her lightly. She returned it for moment before pulling away with a face,

“Mm, no, I'm gross and sticky.”

“I don't care,” Scott replied. Allison laughed and slapped him on the arm.

“Aren't you supposed to say something like, 'no you're not'?”

“Well,” he shrugged, “You kind of are. I still want to kiss you.”

It was one of those moments that defined love for Allison. That it wasn't all sunshine and flowers and romance. Sometimes it was being tired and foul and cramping on the cold high school steps, yet still in love and being loved in return.

“Just be glad I haven’t made you pick up tampons yet,” she finished, teasing and serious at once. Scott blushed again and Allison returned his kiss.