A Second Chance

The Pain of a Cub

Tempers had not yet calmed down.

Since the sheriff seemed on the verge of an outburst and Stiles feared for his health, they decided to call Melissa, Scott’s mother, to act as a mediator and explain the situation in a more subtle way, since apparently turning into a werewolf and saying “Yes, werewolves exist”, as Scott had done minutes before, was a bad idea.

The youngsters went upstairs and were currently camped out in Stiles’ room in an attempt to get Derek away from all the yelling. Which was useless, since even the humans present could clearly hear what was going on downstairs.

-All those deaths were your fault because apparently you snapped after spending six years in a catatonic state,” there was a pause, to which they thought Peter consented, “And now you think I’m going to let you walk out of here with that child,” shouted the sheriff, clearly upset.

-And you seem to think you can stop me,” Peter replied.

-Come on, calm down,” Mellissa urged them both.

Isaac and the others had tried everything. Talking, drawing, making origami. But apparently nothing caught Derek’s attention, and he kept a closed expression, very reminiscent of his adult version. The most he had managed was to put a Stiles t-shirt on the child, which looked more like a huge sweater to him.

He looked toward the door, his eyes unfocused, clearly paying attention to the conversation going on in the other room. He was so entertained that he only realized that Allison had approached when the girl touched his shoulder.

Derek gave such a jump that it would have been extremely funny if he didn’t bear such a terrified expression. He seemed petrified as he looked at Allison, and when she made mention of touching him again, he ducked and raised his arm in a clear attempt to protect himself. Lydia thought it was strange and tried to approach him as well. He flinched so much, he almost fell off the bed. The teenagers watched him with some morbid curiosity.

Not being able to take it anymore, Jackson picked Derek up, taking him away from the girls.

-What’s the matter with you guys? Can’t you see he’s scared?- scolded Jackson, holding him against his chest in a protective attitude.

Derek seemed comfortable on his lap but looked at him curiously. Jackson, blushing in front of his clear eyes, huffed and put Derek sitting on the micro chair, far away from the girls.

-I just explained that I’m a werewolf and you point a gun at me!

-For God’s sake, John! Put the gun down,” Mellissa ordered.

-No. No way. We have been here for a long time and the only thing is that my son has been lying for the last few months and that this man has been terrorizing the whole world by killing left and right. Who knows if even the girl Argent wasn’t guilty in his place?

Such words had an immediate effect on Peter, and before the sheriff could dodge them Peter attacked him.

From the room, the only thing they heard was Melissa’s stumble and scream.

-What have you done!” cried Mellissa.

-He was asking for it,” Peter defended himself, also shouting.

The youngsters’ eyes widened and they froze. Stiles turned pale and ran out of the room.

Derek left right behind him before anyone could hold him back. He jumped up and turned into a wolf in midair, falling to the ground shortly after, as he wrapped himself around Stiles’ shirt. But he quickly scrambled up and managed to get out through the collar.

When Stiles reached the bottom of the stairs, he ran toward his father but stopped halfway with a horrified expression when he saw blood on his collar and his half-weak expression.

She felt a heaviness in her chest and an absurd difficulty in breathing.

-Calm down, breathe Stiles. He’s not dead, he’ll be fine,” Mellissa said, calming him down.

In moments, Stiles could finally breathe again. Without a second thought, he narrowed the distance between him and Peter and gave him a strong push.

-I’ll put atonic in your coffee, pull your hair out to make a new doormat, understand?

-I’m just tired of flapping my lips and passing on my memories to him. In about ten minutes he’ll be as good as new,” he said without even looking at the boy, trying to calm the transformed teenager, “I swear! - he added, raising his hands with his bloody claws to face Stiles when he noticed that the boy didn’t back down.

Stiles seemed to accept the justification and calmed down a little. But then he noticed the weight on the end of his all-star. He, without thinking, shook his foot vigorously. His movements are followed by a yelp.

When he looked down, he saw the wolf cub shaking its head, a little dizzy. The pup took a few half-false steps, but soon recovered and ran up to snatch the bay of Stiles’ pants now, growling. Stiles jerked his leg again, causing Derek to stagger and fall back into his seat.

-What is he doing!“- he asks looking at the puppy, who is now in front of Peter, in attack position, with his front crouched and his rear raised, growling and showing his teeth.

-Same thing you were doing just now, Stiles. He’s just cuter,” says Peter, taking the puppy on his lap. With contact with his uncle, Derek relaxed enough to turn around and wasted no time snuggling into his chest, wrapping his arms around his neck possessively while continuing to glare at Stiles.

The young man rolls his eyes and goes to check on his father, who looks a little better and less pale. Scott went to the kitchen and rummaged through the cupboards until he found a first aid kit for his mother to help the sheriff.

Isaac ungraciously approaches the T-shirt Derek was wearing, offering it to Peter, who stares at him with narrowed eyes for a few seconds, apparently analyzing something, but then accepts the shirt with a small smile, making Isaac blush.

An awkward silence ensues until the sheriff is back to normal.

Everyone watches him wipe away a few tears that escape him with a tired look.

-That was ... intense,” he comments, running his hands through his hair. Peter answers with a sad smile. -How do you intend to make this work?- he asked, indicating the child on his lap.

-You can’t be serious! He’s crazy,” Scott complained. That should count as the assault on a minor, right? - he tried to urge the other teenagers, who remained silent. Derek could stay with us, couldn’t he?

-We wouldn’t know how to raise a werewolf, Scott. It must have many differences in behavior from an ordinary child. And we couldn’t afford to have another resident in the house,” he said, not laughing.

-He can afford it,” Stiles said, pointing to Peter, “He’s filthy rich.

-You know, I really don’t feel comfortable rubbing it in everyone’s face. I think it’s kind of unnecessary,” Stiles said, making circular motions on the back of his nephew, who was fighting a battle to stay awake.

-He has a Camaro,” Scott retorted, pointing at Derek, who had lost the battle and was now napping with his head on his uncle’s shoulder with his mouth open.

-I said that I thought it was unnecessary, not that he did too,” Peter explained, bored, “I should have bitten Stiles,” he muttered in a low voice, only for the werewolves to giggle.

Scott looked offended.

-Why don’t you ask him instead,” Isaac suggested, in a timid, unconscious voice, approaching the two of them.

-What kind of world do you live in, huh? Am I the only one who doesn’t know how this happened? Don’t you think it’s a little strange that an adult goes to sleep at twenty years old and wakes up at four? We should focus on how to get him back to normal.

Peter gently woke the sleeping boy on his shoulder, who grumbled, hiding his face in his neck, before sitting him down on the table, facing him and the other adults.

Derek gave a huge yawn and then rubbed his eyes and looked at his uncle with a frown.

-Don’t make faces. If a wind blows your face could stay like this forever,” Peter commented in a nonchalant voice, making Derek’s eyes widen, “I’m just kidding,” he confessed, making the younger man smile, “Well, I want you to pay attention now, okay? I want you to meet someone. This is my good friend John and he is the sheriff. - You must have heard him upstairs because he obviously loves the sound of his own voice,” he muttered in a low tone only audible to the werewolves. So be nice and don’t bite,” he added, stepping away.

-I’m Sheriff Stilinski and you’re safe here,” he stressed to the child, who was staring at him with his big clear eyes and a curious expression, “Do you know your name?

-Yes,” Derek replied immediately, swinging his legs back and forth.

Everyone instinctively stepped forward in an attempt to hear the rest of the answer that never came.

-Derek, be a good boy and answer right,” Peter said, hiding a smile.

-But I answered. He asked if I knew my name and I said yes. He didn’t ask anything else,” explained the boy to his uncle, with a confused expression, causing the sheriff to run his hands over his tired face.

-What is your name? - asked Stiles, taking the lead.

-My name is Derek Peter Hale,” he promptly replied with a smile.

-Your name is Peter too? Did anyone know that?” asked Stiles to the others.

-Focus, Stiles,” said Scott, pointing in the boy’s direction.

-Oh, yeah. Well, do you know where you are now?-the boy nods no. -Do you know anyone here in the room?-Derek nods yes and points to Peter and Isaac

-You remember Isaac, then?- asked Scott. Derek nods no - Can you please help? I can’t make out what he means- he asks Peter, who rolls his eyes

-He smells like Laura,” Derek tries to explain, “that’s why I followed the trail.

-He means that Isaac smells like a very close member of the pack, just like Laura. He smells like family, get it? Even though he didn’t know his name, he could see the connection between them,” Peter explained before anyone could ask

-And you got to him how? Did you smell some clothes or something?- Jackson asked playfully.

However, the smile died when the boy nodded.

Then Derek told how he woke up in a dirty shed and got scared. How when he looked for some family member and found the smell of the family and found Isaac’s smell on some clothes stored inside a train, which was in this shed. How he followed his trail to the school where there were mean people who kept pulling his feet and insisted on squeezing him. How he finally found the trail, but when he jumped on his lap he realized that it wasn’t Laura because Laura didn’t have curly blond hair and didn’t speak thick. Then he also explained how the boy who talked too much took him in his lap and ran away, and how it was fun to jump in his arms, and that when they arrived an old lady who smelled and was called Mr. Hoffman, and that when they arrived Mr. Sheriff thought he was a dog that the boy had stolen from someone.

-You don’t remember how you got to be this size then,” said Allison, “How did you get to be four again?

-I’m five, not four,” Derek recalled, turning away from the curious girl approaching the table.

-What she means dear, is if you remember anything before you woke up in that strange place,- said Melissa, with a hand on Peter’s arm- What were you doing before?

Derek looks at her and his uncle confused, and lowers his head, embarrassed.

-Mom grounded me in my room for biting the guy who brings the letters, again. I said I was only joking, but she didn’t listen and told me to stay there alone and think about what I had done,” he confessed sadly. I swear,” he said, raising his right hand, “can we go home now?

All the people present were speechless. Derek noticed something strange already when no one was looking directly at him.

-Would you give me a minute with him?- asked Peter, in a tired voice.

-Do you think it’s a good idea to tell him now? He’s not too little?” asked the sheriff, uncertain.

-Tell him how you killed his sister,” Scott muttered, in a low tone, just so the werewolves could hear.

As soon as he heard what Scott said, Derek turned toward him with an expression of obvious pain, and Scott felt bad that he had said something like that in the presence of the child.

-I think you’d better get out of here, McCall. If you don’t have something useful to say, then shut up,” Jackson said, dragging the other werewolf into the other room without any politeness, followed by Lydia and Allison.

-I want to see my sister,” sobbed the boy.

-I want to see my sister,” the boy sobbed, “calm down, I’ll explain everything,” Peter asked, with an anguished expression, trying to get closer to the boy, who turned away.

-He was fine until now,” Stiles asked Isaac, who was watching Derek make sure he didn’t fall off the table.

-He told him about Laura,” he replied in a low voice, with a closed expression.

Stiles was horrified by his friend’s attitude and didn’t think twice about going after him.

-I know you’re not the smartest person on the planet, but didn’t it occur to you that dropping something like that on a child this size without any tact could be traumatic, to say the least? he added, holding him against the wall.

He then turned away and went back to the kitchen, running his hand through his hair.

Apparently, nothing that Peter or the others said entered Derek’s ears, and he rebelled more and more, even getting his animal-like appearance and not hesitating to scratch Pete with his small claws.

Not knowing what else to do, Peter stepped forward and buried his nails in Derek’s neck, who returned to his normal appearance with a whimper.

Everyone witnessed the change in the last two members of the Hale family. The two now had their parties pulled over and Derek no longer seemed to want to attack his uncle and was just crying a lot, even sobbing. Peter was trying to calm him down, making circular motions on the little one’s temples. He didn’t notice when his nephew put his little claws into the back of his neck.

Stiles’ father unconsciously put his hand on the gun when he saw that Peter took his hands away from his nephew’s face and had his hands, beside his body, closed into fists.

Peter seemed upset by what his nephew was showing him but tried to hide it from the boy, who realized his annoyance and began to cry even more.

He pulled away from a little, not knowing how to react, running his hands through his hair, wiping his eyes, and taking a deep breath.

-What happened? What did he show you?

-Apparently, he still has all his memories, and when I showed him mine, he managed to cease some related ones. I already knew about them, but seeing them in detail made me a little ... nervous,” he explained, looking again at Derek, who started to cry even more

-I think that’s enough! This is turning into a torture session,” Melissa grumbled, going to get a glass of sugar water for the child.

Isaac, unable to take it anymore, went to try to calm Derek down, but in vain. Melissa offered him the glass, but Derek couldn’t drink it, getting more and more nervous, and ended up throwing up on the kitchen floor, drawing the attention of those in the other room.

-It wasn’t your fault, Derek,” Peter said, as he approached his nephew, who was grabbing Isaac, “I’m not going to lie and say that I’m not a little angry,” he continued, taking the glass from Melissa’s and offering it to the little boy, who drank it all, “but it’ll pass,” he promised, “and we’ll make it all work out, okay? I will fix everything and make it work. But for that, we need to let go of some things and start over, you understand me, son,” Derek nodded, his head still hiccuping, “so suck it up with Isaac and try to get some rest, okay,” he suggested, giving Derek’s neck a sniff, which he sniffed back, and then, voting into Isaac’s arms, hugging his neck between sobs.

Stiles motioned for Isaac to follow him back to his room, and all the teenagers followed. Isaac tried to put Derek to bed, but that made the little one fuss even more.

Lydia suggested that they try giving him a warm bath, since that usually calms small children, causing the other teens to look at her in surprise.

-I read somewhere,” she defended herself, “you should try it once in a while,” she grumbled, looking at her fingernails.

Allison nudged Scott, pointing to the side where Stiles was standing. When Scott looks in his friend’s direction, he realizes that his eyes are filled with tears looking in the direction of Isaac and Derek. Not knowing what to do, he nudges his friend.

-Are you okay?” he asks, drawing the attention of Stiles, who quickly wipes his eyes when a tear stubbornly runs down his face.

-Of course,” he answered automatically, “I think I better go prepare the bath for them,” he said, running towards the bathroom.

It didn’t take long before he called Isaac and handed him a terry towel.

-I’ll go find him a clean shirt, but everything is already inside, okay?

The curly-haired boy thanked him, taking Derek with him as he headed for the shower.

Stiles wasted no time in digging through his closet for a smaller shirt that would look a little better on the boy.

-I really feel terrible about what I said. I had no right to say something like that around a child that size. I was just mad at Peter and whatever he might do to Derek,” Scott explained, without looking at his friend.

-I know,” replied Stiles, “I’m sorry I called you an idiot,” he said in a low voice, “at least in front of you.

-But you were right. I was an idiot,” Scott admitted, staring at everyone now, “I didn’t care just now, and you know what? Not even before. I never even bothered to offer my condolences for him finding his sister dead, nor did I care how he felt having to kill the last member of his family, I only cared about me and how I couldn’t be human again.- he blurted out, sitting down in the micro chair. Alison hesitated to hug her boyfriend.

At that moment, Isaac came out of the bathroom with Derek wrapped in his towel, looking at Scott. Apparently, he had heard everything from the bathroom, which meant that the little boy had also heard.

-I found this other one here. It’s the smallest one I have,” Stiles handed a Batman t-shirt to Isaac, who quickly put it on Derek and sat down on the bed beside him.

Without thinking, Stiles ran his hands through the damp hair of the boy, who still sniffled now and then.

After Isaac handed the towel to Stiles, Derek didn’t hesitate to nestle into his lap, hugging him by the chest and leaning his head against his chest. He seemed calmer as he listened to Isaac’s heartbeat. And soon he closed his eyes, in a heavy sleep.

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