cosipotente: (will graham)
cosipotente ([personal profile] cosipotente) wrote2013-12-01 04:50 am

untitled and incomplete

PG-13 ; Derek/Isaac
summary: what was supposed to be a big derek/isaac fic that sort of fell through the cracks.
word count: 2,971

The fight with the Argents and the Kanima changes everything for Derek. The focus and drive he had lost in his rush to make a pack, to be strong, to survive, comes back to him in crystal clear definition when he is forced to cut Peter down—in half, to be precise.

Derek blames no one but himself for the situation. He had been stupid to trust his uncle when everything inside of Derek screamed to do the opposite. And, for what felt like the first time in a long time, Derek took the responsibility head on, took control.

When Peter charged forward, fangs and claws bared, Derek expected him to go for Gerard, to finish the old man off. Peter went through Erica, who stood closest to Jackson and was unaware of Peter coming toward her. He sliced up her back and then tossed her side to face Boyd, who was on him in instant. Peter was quick and ruthless with him, pushing his clawed hand through his chest and out his back. Boyd went down in agony.

Scott rushed forward and was tossed aside just as easily as Erica. Isaac had his torso flayed open for his trouble.

Though it happened in seconds, it slowed to an eternity in Derek’s mind; he was so blind-sided by the turn of events he could barely believe what was happening. But Isaac’s screaming brought the world back into focus fast and sharp. Derek had to protect his pack.

He picked up Gerard’s sword that had been dropped in the melee and rushed forward before Peter could make his pact with the still Kanima’d Jackson. Derek swung and the sword cut through skin, muscle, and bone until Peter dropped to the ground in two pieces.

Peter died looking stunned and Derek killed him feeling nothing but failure and anger. He was numb by the time he put his claws through Jackson’s stomach, reversing his Kanima state and turning him into the werewolf he should have been.

The fight changed everything, though in some ways, it changed nothing.

Erica and Boyd leave a few days after the showdown. Derek doesn’t hold it against them, doesn’t get angry about it—he even tries not to think about what their departure says about him as an alpha, but just because he doesn’t think it, doesn’t mean it’s not clearly written in the atmosphere. He failed them on every level and now he is paying the price of that failure.

Derek doesn’t blame them for wanting to leave. They’ve proven themselves capable as betas and Derek respects them, and their decision. No matter how much it hurts to let them go.

Erica hugs him tightly, pouring her strength into the embrace. There’s a steady wave of sadness—the kind that’s full of goodbye—that rolls off of her, but Derek can also feel gratitude. He feels it in the kiss she presses against his lips—there’s nothing in it but thanks and best wishes. Erica gives him a shaking smile when she pulls away.

Derek has no doubts that she will survive anything and everything that comes her away.

"I release you, Erica Reyes." Derek breathes in her ear. He pulls back to lay a last kiss on her forehead and to catch the single tear that rolls down her cheek. She inhales shakily and steps back. Boyd steps forward in her place.

They stare at one another, Derek and Boyd, before simultaneously extending their hands. Derek’s lips twitch upward and clasps Boyd’s hand with a strong grip. He’s come a long way and a gut feeling—the kind that are rarely wrong—tells Derek that Boyd will go far and nothing will stop him.

Boyd catches Derek by surprise, pulling him forward for a quick, hard hug. He releases Derek just as quickly.

"Take care of yourself," Boyd says. His eyes cut to Erica and Isaac, then back to Derek. "Take care of him."

Derek nods, because that’s all he can do. He isn’t sure if Isaac will be staying, but he makes a silent promise anyway.

"I release you, Vernon Boyd."

Boyd’s jaw works and he swallows several times before he gives Derek smirk.

There are a few more rounds of goodbyes, and Derek gives Erica and Boyd their own envelope of cash; he had been putting away money for all three of them in the event of an emergency. Mostly in the event of his death, but he doesn’t mention that to them. Derek keeps Isaac’s tucked in his back pocket, just incase.

And like that, Erica and Boyd are gone. A trail of dust and the fading tail lights of Boyd’s car are the only indication they were even there.

Derek watches Isaac follow the car with his eyes until it disappears completely. He can’t bring himself to ask Isaac if he wants to leave, doesn’t think he could handle another goodbye tonight, and the question weighs heavy in the silence between them.

Isaac turns toward him and the closed off look on his face makes Derek brace himself for the worst. It’s only then he realizes that he is expecting Isaac to leave. The expectation must read in his face because Isaac’s relaxes.

He looks at the house when he speaks. “We need a new place to live.” What Derek hears is, “I’m staying.”

It isn’t like he has never looked at his own house since it burnt down to nothing but its bare bones, but when Derek looks at it as Isaac sees it, it sinks in that the Hale house is no longer a home. It’s wreckage, and there’s barely anything left. Derek feels the hot burn of shame flare up in his chest; he had been stupidly naive to think that fixing the house would have fixed any of his problems.

He can’t live here. No one can live here.

"You’re right," Derek says. The ache he expected to come with the admission, doesn’t. "We can’t live here. Or in the station, either."

Isaac smiles for the first time that night, and a tightness around Derek he hadn’t known he’d been keeping in check loosens.

A week and a half of looking through ads and attending open houses, Derek and Isaac find a small house in town closer to the school that’s rent-to-own. It’s two bedrooms with a single bath, a decent yard, and a good size basement for a monthly price that doesn’t make Derek wince too much. Contrary to popular belief, he isn’t made of money. Not entirely, anyway.

Isaac, in a thinly veiled attempt at pragmatism, doesn’t get overly excited about the house. It’s a residual defense mechanism from his father’s abuse, but Derek feels what he doesn’t show. There is excitement and happiness pulsing beneath Isaac’s facade of disinterest.

They go back to the Hale house to pack what little undamaged momentos there are. There isn’t much Derek can take, or even wants to, but Isaac is strangely insistent about the pictures Laura had been packing away before she died. Isaac finishes what she started, sometimes getting distracted with the photos; distracting Derek with softly asked questions—“Who is this? When was this taken?”—and even softer smiles.

Derek finds himself sitting beside Isaac among the dust and splintered wood, going through the photos as well. He never pictured himself being able to do this, to calmly examine his past, but he’s doing it and it doesn’t hurt as much as Derek thought it would. Of course, the memories still tug at him and there’s a definite burn behind his eyelids, but it doesn’t crush Derek.

Isaac shoots him a smile, like he gets the steps Derek is overcoming, and though Derek doesn’t return it, he is sure Isaac knows he appreciates it.

And what should have taken them an hour or two, takes them a day. They fall asleep on cool, charred wood for the last time.

The Lahey house, though neither burnt or broken, isn’t much of a home either. Derek hadn’t exactly known what went on the house when he pulled Isaac out of that grave, but it hadn’t been hard to figure out given the bruising and the reek of terror that wafted off of the younger male.

Terror that hadn’t been directed toward Derek. The promise—one Derek knows now that he hadn’t kept very well—of never having to be afraid of anything again made it easy to convince Isaac to take the bite.

The house, with its empty facade still puts Derek’s nerves on end though, still makes his skin crawl. He tries not to think of the basement as he carries in boxes behind Isaac.

If being back in the house bothers him in anyway, Isaac does a decent job of hiding it. Except he moves more quietly, shoulders hunched like he expects his father to come out of the shadows. When he picks things up he does so in shaking movements. There’s also the deliberate and systematic way he avoids any picture that features his father’s face.

Derek looks at them, though there aren’t many as Mr. Lahey seemed to be the one behind the camera. Derek stares at the images and wonders, not for the first time, what sort of parent could willingly lock their child in a freezer. Derek’s father had never purposefully struck him in any way.

"You can put those boxes on the couch." Isaac says softly, derailing Derek’s line of thought. He motions, without looking, to the sofa behind him. Derek drops the boxes quietly and watches Isaac for a moment, the way he moves around like a ghost. It dawns on Derek that Isaac isn’t aware of how is acting.

Isaac doesn’t touch a single photograph with his father in it, and the few pieces of bric-à-brac he picks up Derek would bet his life on had no association with Mr. Lahey. Isaac chooses, instead, pictures of himself with his mother and brother with an almost holy reverence, carefully packing them in the boxes he had carried in.

He packs in a silence that is almost oppressive and Derek, who had been standing still and quiet, can’t take it anymore.

"Your father isn’t here to hurt you anymore, Isaac." Derek says slowly but deliberately. He tries to keep his voice down, but it still startles Isaac and the picture frame he had in his hand drops to the carpeted floor.

Derek crosses over to him in quick strides, placing a hand on the back of his kneck and squeezing gently. Isaac is tense and he doesn’t unwind at the touch.

This is what Derek had been doing wrong. He took care of his pack, but he hadn’t cared for them, not in the ways he should of have. He knew, at surface level, what made them easy prey and how to manipulate them into taking the bite. But after they’d been bitten, Derek had done nothing to help any of his betas. Erica, Boyd, and Isaac had formed a facade, not just for their sake, but for Derek’s as well; their new confidence and devil-may-care attitudes only worked in the presence of each other and Derek.

Fundamentally, Derek knows nothing about his pack.

He steps out of his own comfort zone, and pulls Isaac forward into a hug. Derek keeps the embrace loose, he doesn’t want the younger male feeling trapped anymore than he already does.

"Even if your father were here," Derek says gruffly against Isaac’s temple, "I’d rip his hands off before they could even touch you."

It’s an unnecessary threat, Isaac is perfectly capable of ripping peoples hands off on his own, but Derek wants him to know that if it came down to it, he would have severely maimed Mr. Lahey. A pang of regret settles heavy and hollow in the pit of Derek’s stomach; he should have done something about the man after he’d given Isaac the bite.

Isaac’s shoulders relax muscle by muscle, and it takes a minute or two before he leans into Derek like the weight of the world is baring down on him. His arms wrap around Derek, desperate and tight, and everything Isaac had been holding in comes out in wrecked sobs in the crook of Derek’s neck.

It’s a good ten-minutes before Isaac slowly uncurls his arms from around Derek. He pushes away to scrub the residual wetness from his face, leaving his skin raw. Isaac looks better, though. The tightness, that he was much too young to have, that had been around eyes, pulling at his mouth, is mostly gone. Mostly.

There are things Derek should be saying—things that will wipe away the cloud of doubt slowly crawling back onto Isaac’s face. Derek’s jaw works, clenching and unclenching, in an effort to get the words out no matter how much he wants to keep them inside. They are words that will force Derek to remember.

But he owes Isaac these words.

"This doesn’t make you weak, Isaac." Derek says through gritted teeth. He takes a deep breath through his nose, and closes his eyes. In the darkness behind his lids, images of his mother holding tightly to members of their pack play out. He lets the breath out slowly, opening his eyes.

Isaac watches him, brows drawn slightly. Derek brushes a finger over them until the wrinkle smoothes out.

"We are a pack." He says again, even toned. " We share everything, or it will rip us apart. If we can’t trust each other in a fight, if we can’t trust each other in a breakdown, that’s when we are weak." Derek pauses. How he wishes he had the finesse his mother had during pack meetings when she would console a pack member when they were troubled, or one of his sisters. Even him. He can still hear her voice, warm and steady, in his ear.

She isn’t around anymore though, and Derek must make his own way as an alpha.

"We are individual pieces of a whole. When we trust each other, when we share, we are stronger for it."

He looks at Isaac, the teenager, the high schooler, the gentle kid who was beaten and rejected. The survivor. Derek looks at the werewolf, the beta, the first Derek made, the one who anchored himself on a full moon night and reversed his transformation when Erica and Boyd didn’t. He looks at Isaac Lahey, who tries the hardest even if it might kill him.

"I trust you." Derek says, all truth and conviction.

Although he tries to, biting down on his bottom lip, Isaac can’t fight the smile that breaks over his face. Derek can’t remember if he’s ever seen Isaac smile like that, shy and open all at once. It makes something in his chest clinch.

"I trust you." Isaac replies, voice thick with honesty.

Derek smiles, he can feel it reach his eyes, and in lieu of any more sappiness for the time being, suggests they continue packing.

Isaac leads the way through the rest of the house, picking up a few mementos as they move. At the top of the hall closet is his brother’s folded flag. Upstairs, in his father’s room, is a necklace with his mother’s wedding ring on it. Mr. Lahey kept a gun case in his closet, but they leave it behind.

Derek trails behind Isaac from room to room, never interrupting, but there just in case.

They stop in front of a door that Isaac doesn’t open, just brushes a hand against it like it’s something sacred.

"Camden, my brother, this was his room." Isaac says softly. "After he died, my dad stormed in here, and ripped everything apart." He lets out a shaky laugh. "I was a kid, then, but I was so angry at him I just ran after him. I wanted to make him stop."

Isaac gives the door a hard look. “I hit him. It wasn’t very hard, it actually hurt me more, but I hit him. He hit me back. It was the first time he ever hit me, and then, he just kept hitting me.”

Anger threads through Derek’s veins, sharp and white hot. He adds not snapping Mr. Lahey’s neck himself to his list of regrets.

"You didn’t deserve that." Derek says through his teeth.

Isaac nods slowly. “I know,” he shoots Derek a small smile, “I know that now.”

Derek relaxes, pushing the anger down. His claws had extended, and he retracts them. He looks between Isaac and the door.

"Anything you want in there?"

Isaac shakes his head. “Dad threw everything out.” He taps the door gently with the back of his knuckle, and then walks away.

Derek stands alone before Camden’s door, the weight of Isaac’s words settling in his chest like a ton of bricks and broken glass. If he makes it out of this house emotionally, intact, it really will be some sort of miracle. He reaches out to the door, pressing a silent promise into the wood. Derek’s never put much stock into thoughts of the afterlife, but in this instance, he hopes the message reaches Isaac’s brother in someway.

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