With moving day only one more night away, Isaac was starting to get anxious. Not about moving in with Derek, because the older man already felt like a brother-slash-father figure to the teen. It was something different that made the curly haired boy lay awake early in the morning.
He still had most of his possessions at his old house. After his father had been killed, and Isaac had been accused of the murder, the teenager hadn’t dared to enter his childhood home again. He had left with the things he had had on him, not looking back on his old life. He wanted to forget everything about it. And thankfully no one had pushed him to go back there and figure everything out. The house was still the same way he had left it. He just couldn’t bring himself to sort everything out, getting it cleared out and selling it. He was only seventeen years old, and most of his life he had been tormented in that place. It was only reasonable for him to not want anything to do with it anymore.
Isaac was forever thankful for Derek taking him in just like that. Yes, he was his alpha, but Isaac had never felt anything close to family ever since his mom had died. It was new to him to be cared for like that. Derek had hired a lawyer to deal with all the legal matters with the house and Isaac’s father’s other possessions, so Isaac wouldn’t have to think about it anymore.
And he hadn’t thought about it, not until that morning at least.
The boy had woken up earlier than necessary, with only one thought on his mind: He still had all his things in the house. And he kind of wanted to have them back. For his new room. He wanted to have the picture of his mother to have it sit on his bedside table. He wanted to have the band posters that used to be his brother Camden’s to hang on his walls. He wanted to have his 2nd grade spelling bee trophy to set it on his new dresser.
He wanted at least a few remembrances of his mother and brother in his new life.
These thoughts still swirled around in Isaac’s head when he walked down the staircase and into the kitchen, where Melissa McCall was flipping blueberry pancakes for the guests sitting around the kitchen table, Stiles, Sheriff Stilinski and Derek.
“Good morning Isaac! Do you want blueberry pancakes as well or just plain ones?” Scott’s mother asked the boy, and a warm feeling spread in Isaac’s chest. He hadn’t felt this cared for in a long time. Even when he had ‘lived’ with Derek in the old train depot it hadn’t been like this. Yes he had felt safe close to his alpha, but it hadn’t been like a family back then. It was starting to feel like a family now, with the prospect of having a real home again, and enough time for pack bonding over the summer break. This feeling of family healed wounds, not just in him, but in Derek as well, he could feel it. He could feel his alpha getting stronger and more content every day. Isaac was only a little proud to be able to say that he was part of the reason for this as well.
“Blueberries would be great” Isaac replied, sitting down between Stiles and Derek and pulling a glass towards him from the middle of the table, filling it to the brim with orange juice.
The feeling of content at being close to his pack was slowly being drowned by the feeling of anxiousness again. He didn’t want to think about it, but he couldn’t stop his brain.
Isaac felt Stiles turn towards him and frown.
“Is everything alright, Isaac?” the teenager asked and Isaac stiffened. Stiles was a human, how did he notice his anxiousness?
“Fine” Isaac answered, trying to believe his own words. He wasn’t successful and tried to distract himself by taking a large sip of his orange juice. He didn’t need everyone to know about how he felt. He didn’t want to be a burden for the others.
“Isaac?” Derek asked from his other side and the tone in his alpha’s voice let a whimper escape the boy’s lips. Immediately he tried to cover up his slip, but to no avail. Derek placed his palm on the back of Isaac’s neck and pulled him closer to his side. Derek didn’t show his caring side often, but he still did care.
“What is it?” the alpha asked quieter this time, and after another whimper escaped Isaac’s throat, the teenager looked up to face his guardian.
“My things are still at the house… I… I would like to… But…” he stuttered out, and immediately everyone knew what the boy meant. Isaac felt another hand rest on his lower back, sending comfort his way.
“It’s okay, Isaac. We can figure something out. You don’t have to go if you don’t want to” Derek calmed the boy, and Isaac had never been more thankful that his guardian knew what it felt like to have a rocky past. He was certain that Derek would never push Isaac to do anything that would potentially harm him mentally.
“Derek is right, son, if you don’t want to, we can send up someone from the sheriff’s office to collect what you want to have with you in your new home” Sheriff Stilinski concurred, but Isaac shook his head.
“No… I have to go myself… to… to put it behind myself… But I don’t want to go alone” Isaac admitted, and what he said held truth. He would have to go and face his past one last time to finish with that chapter of his life. He just didn’t want to face it on his own.
“No one is making you go alone, sweetheart. I’m sure anyone would happily go with you and pack up your things” Melissa calmed the boy, ruffling Isaac’s curls and setting a plate in front of him.
“Yeah, I can come with you, if you want. Or Scott, or Scott and I” Stiles offered and Isaac turned to look at his class and pack mate next to him.
“You would come with me?”
“Of course, puppy! You just have to tell me when you want to go and I’ll be ready” Stiles repeated with a smile, petting Isaac’s lower back softly.
“Thank you.” Isaac had never been more thankful for his pack… his family.
Stiles met with Isaac again a few hours later. The two had decided not to take anyone else with them. Stiles figured Isaac wanted to get this over with as quick as possible and without carrying any damage from it, so while it would make it easier and faster to pack up the things with another person to help, another person would also mean another set of questions.
Isaac hopped into Stiles’ Jeep with a timid smile, and Stiles noticed that the werewolf had never been in his car with him before. Well, now that the pack was getting together that would probably change!
“You ready?” He asked the boy in the passenger seat and Isaac nodded tensely.
“Hey” Stiles said again, and Isaac looked up at him, “everything’s going to be fine. We’re just going to get the things you want to have and we’ll be out again in no time. And after that you won’t have to ever go back anymore.” The reassuring words seemed to do the trick and a small smile grazed Isaac’s face.
“Thanks, Stiles. You’re a great friend” Isaac said and Stiles could feel that the other boy meant what he said.
“Of course I am. I’m amazing!” he replied, diffusing the tense mood in the car and Isaac let out a small chuckle, probably the first one that day.
The pair arrived at the Lahey house quick enough, and Stiles had to acknowledge Isaac’s strength when he just walked up to the house and opened the front door with the key on his chain.
“So, what do you want to take with you?” Stiles asked when they stood in the hallway. Isaac looked around towards the kitchen, but quickly away again. There were still broken shards of china and glass on the floor around the kitchen table. He opened a closet and pulled out a discarded box, then walked into the living room and right to a cabinet on the other side of the wall. It was strewn with picture frames. Stiles followed the other boy silently, not wanting to disturb his resolution and he saw Isaac picking out a few choice frames. One of a woman with similar blond hair, one of a young man in a military uniform, and one of his whole family, all smiling, Isaac not older than six or seven. The boy then moved out of the living room and up the stairs, sparing the remains of the door leading to the basement not even the slightest glance. Again Stiles had to applaud Isaac for his strength and resolution to get this over with.
The two made their way up the stairs and into the bedroom that obviously belonged to Isaac. When they entered the room the boy turned to Stiles for the first time.
“Uhmm, in the closet are a few bags… I don’t want to take a lot of things, just…” the boy stopped, looking around his room and heaved a sigh.
“Hey, Isaac, it’s alright” Stiles reassured the boy, walking over to his side and taking the box out of his arms. Stiles could see the fear beneath the façade of strength in Isaac’s eyes. “You don’t have to be strong all the time. That’s why I’m here with you. Just tell me what I should pack up for you.” Isaac nodded tersely and moved to sit down on his old bed. Stiles moved to the closet and pulled out the bags Isaac had talked about.
One by one Isaac told Stiles what to put into the bags, taking down the posters from his walls and rolling them up to transport them better.
Stiles walked around the room mostly in silence, letting Isaac lead him to the things he wanted to have in his new life, not questioning any of the other boy’s choices. Not even when Isaac told him to pack up the spelling bee trophy or the paper maché dinosaur. He had to admit, the dinosaur was pretty cool. He just wanted to help his friend, and he didn’t want to make it harder on the boy than it already was.
When three bags were filled with various items Isaac grew silent. Stiles moved over to sit next to Isaac on the bed. The curly haired boy held another picture frame in his hands, looking at the picture of a woman and a little boy, of Isaac and his mother. Stiles could immediately see the resemblance.
The pair was silent for a few moments, just sitting next to each other on the bed, until Isaac looked up and at Stiles.
“Do you miss her sometimes? Your mom, I mean” he asked quietly, and Stiles was taken aback by the question.
“Wha- Yes, yes I do. Every day” he admitted, looking down at the picture frame in Isaac’s hand. Unconsciously the boy was stroking his thumb over the picture of his mother, something Stiles did as well sometimes.
“I used to tell her everything... and after she died, I would sometimes visit her grave and just talk about what happened… every night before going to sleep I would look at the picture of her in the living room, telling her good night… When I left to live with Derek, I was scared I would never be able to do that anymore. I was scared I would forget what she looked like” Isaac kept talking, and Stiles wondered if this was the first time he had ever talked about his mother. But maybe Isaac was only now opening up because he knew that Stiles would be able to relate.
“I do that as well. Visit my mom on the cemetery. I talk to her about stuff in school, and how annoying Scott still is, and how everything changed after Scott was bitten. How I found a second family with the pack” Stiles admitted, and he knew why Isaac had chosen him to talk to about his mom. Stiles knew exactly how Isaac felt. “But I’m still scared I will forget what she looks like. Or sound like. Every year on my birthday, I watch a home video my dad took when I turned five. Just to remember what my mom sounds like.”
Isaac looked up from the picture frame, and the look on his face made Stiles want to cry and hug the boy at the same time. But there was a small glint in Isaac’s eyes that showed the boy would be okay.
Isaac placed the frame in the box with the other frames, then moved over to his desk and opened one of the drawers. He rummaged through the contents until he came up with what he had been looking for - an audio cassette.
“My mom had to go out of town for work sometimes. She would always read a bedtime story to me, every night, and for the nights she wasn’t home she recorded herself, so I could still hear her voice while falling asleep” he explained and the smile on the boy’s face was reaching from ear to ear. Stiles was certain he had never seen anyone beam this brightly.
“Thank you, Stiles.”
“Not for that, puppy. Not for that.”
Stiles and Isaac loaded up the bags and boxes not long after and Isaac released a large sigh once he sat in the car.
“Everything okay?” Stiles asked and the other boy nodded.
“Yes, I’m fine. I’m glad I came here today. And thanks for coming with me” he replied and Stiles smiled slightly.
“I told you it’s not a problem. We’re pack, we’re family. You won’t get rid of me this easily” he said and made Isaac chuckle.
“I’m glad you’re pack, Stiles. You make everyone happy and feel better” Isaac replied and Stiles shrugged.
“Well, what can you do?! I’m just pretty awesome” he said jokingly and Isaac shook his head with a smile.
“No, I mean it. You’re there for all of us, and you kick ass. And you make everyone happy, even Derek. It’s good you’re part of the pack” Isaac repeated and Stiles felt his cheeks heat up slightly. He wasn’t the best with being complimented like this.
“Well, someone has to do that, right?” he replied, trying to play it down how much Isaac’s word meant to him. He had never thought he was all that important to the pack, but what Isaac had said made him reevaluate things.
“Yeah, someone has to do it” Isaac agreed. “Where are you going? The preserve is in the other direction” the boy asked once he noticed they weren’t driving in the direction of the new Hale house.
“I know. I thought it would be nice to say hey to our moms before we head back to the house. What do you think? Did your mom have a favorite kind of flower?” Stiles wasn’t sure if the look on Isaac’s face meant he was going to cry or laugh. It turned out to be a smile.
“Daisies. My mom loved Daisies.”