A Second Chance

You are not alone

After Derek fell asleep, the teenagers thought it best to let him finally get some rest.

-I think we should leave. He just fell asleep and we don’t want to disturb him anymore,” Jackson said to the adults who were still at the kitchen table talking, pulling Lydia towards the front door.

She stopped for a moment and disengaged herself from her boyfriend, heading towards Peter. Reaching his side, she grimaced and held out her hand. He looked at her and laughed. Then he reached into his wallet and handed over a credit card.

Everyone was somewhat surprised by their non-verbal interaction and stared at them openly.

-What? It’s not like the kid can just walk around in other people’s giant clothes,” he said, shrugging and pulling Jackson along.

-I don’t know what would happen to me without you, Lydia,” Peter said with a wicked smile, making her stop

-Then she kissed him and left for the exit.

After the two of them left, an awkward silence settled over the room.

-At least now you have something to worry about,” Melissa said, breaking the ice.

-What was decided, anyway? Are we taking Derek with us, Mom?

The sheriff huffed, drawing everyone’s attention.

-Actually, Scott. We’ve decided that Peter will stay with Derek and Isaac for the time being,” said John.

Scott, Stiles, and Allison didn’t even have time to complain.

-He has agreed to stay close by and keep us updated on how they are adjusting and everything else,” explained Melissa.

-He lives in an abandoned train station! Allison didn’t hesitate to put her hand on her boyfriend’s arm, calming him down.

-He’ll find a better and more suitable place for a child and a teenager. He’ll also arrange all the necessary paperwork to adopt them both,” John said to the teenagers.

-So you won’t be able to see up close when I freak out,” he teased in a low voice. Scott growled in response.

-I’m going to say goodbye to Isaac and I’ll be going too,” Allison said, pointing to the stairs, not making much of a fuss about staying any longer in the presence of the psychotic werewolf than necessary.

As no one answers, she hurries up the stairs.

Stiles, who was somewhat dispersed, drumming his fingers on the kitchen counter, comes to his senses as Peter stands up.

-Where are you going? -he asks the werewolf who looks at him strangely.

-To the same place you said you were going a minute ago,” answers Peter.

-I’m going to the same place you said you were going a minute ago,” Peter replied, “could you please stop teasing me and answer once and for all?

-Of course, I could,” Peter agreed, not elaborating.

-“Oh, my God, you’re so insufferable,” complained Stiles, squeezing his eyes shut and taking a deep breath.

-I said, I’ll find a hotel for the night and then come back for you both,” Peter finally said, with a small smile on his face.

Stiles blinked and narrowed his eyes looking at Peter.

-Why? If you’re really going to make this work, then you’re going to need all the help you can get since you’ll have a lot of details to put in order, and you’ll still have to take care of a teenager and a shrinking adult,” Stiles argued, biting his thumb.

-That, surprisingly, is the most logical idea I’ve heard so far,” Melissa commented, impressed.

-I could help with the legal side of things too. You won’t be able to walk around with the boy without any documents.

Peter was surprised but extremely happy to see that they unconsciously grew closer and wanted to make sure of Derek and Isaac’s well-being. If everything continued as it was, soon Derek’s pack would have new members.

The only problem was that he wasn’t sure if Derek would continue his Alpha status now that he was so vulnerable. He had never heard of an Alpha being so young. But he also didn’t have much to do but wait. So he would keep everyone close. Ensuring safety with numbers wasn’t a bad idea, after all.

-Wouldn’t that be abuse?- asked Peter, just for the record.

-Imagine that! Abuse would be tormenting a teenage girl to bring you back from the dead,” Stiles replied sarcastically, earning an elbow from Scott and making Peter laugh.

-Initially, I thought about rebuilding Hale Manor. But I thought that would be like putting up a sign inviting any hunters to visit us. And alone in the middle of the woods, we would have no way to defend ourselves, again. So, I think we’d better look for something in the middle of town, just to be safe,” he answered.

-Hiding right under their noses? Great! Can I improve on that idea?- Stiles cut in, advancing toward Peter, gesturing widely- The house across the street is for sale. It’s not small, it’s very big. And best of all, it’s right between my house and Scott’s house. Like, who’s going to mess with you guys? On one side there’s the sheriff and on the other a werewolf. Cool, isn’t it?” he asked, with a maniacal grin.

-That would be perfect,” Mellissa said, approving the idea and hugging Peter’s arm, who agreed.

John looked very relieved too, to have the possibility of keeping all this supernatural confusion under his watch.

She, without waiting, left dragging Peter and John by the arms towards the house across the street, before it was too late and they couldn’t see the house the same day.

Stiles looked very proud of how he had worked everything out and only stops smiling when Scott slaps him on the back of the head.

-That was for throwing my mom at Peter,” Scott grumbled, glaring at his friend, who raised his hands in an indignant gesture.

Scott, however, was distracted by the sight of Allison coming down the stairs. When she came closer to them, he could clearly see the mischievous smile she was trying to hide by biting her lower lip.

-What have you been up to?- he asked suspiciously.

-Nothing at all,” he tried to throw her off with an innocent expression.

-Oh, my God. What a cute thing - commented Stiles, pulling out the phone and looking at the picture

-I didn’t know you thought pictures of males were cute,” Scott said to his friend, then glared at Allison.

-Don’t be jealous, you fool. I wasn’t taking a picture of Isaac. I took it off the two of them sleeping,” Allison explained, kissing her boyfriend on the cheek, who smiled a little.

Now that he was analyzing the photo, Scott had to admit that they looked very cute sleeping on top of each other.

-How can they be comfortable sleeping all tangled up like that? They look like little puppies sleeping,” Scott finally conceded.

She laughed and punched Scott lightly on the arm.

-I couldn’t resist. But I confess that wasn’t all. Look at Derek’s face on this one! Isn’t he handsome?- he showed the next picture, with a close-up of the boy’s face. But I have no idea who,” he laughed, “I’d better go before my dad hunts me down,” he joked, “I’ll see you tomorrow,” he waved goodbye to Stiles and kissed Scott.

The hours flew by. It was already night and Derek had finally woken up and the teenagers faced the difficult task of feeding the puppy.

Difficult would not be quite the right word. Perhaps impossible would be more appropriate.

Stiles was already almost exhausting the range of gastronomic options that his culinary skills allowed and nothing from the boy even pinched something.

-I’m starting to think this is personal, kid,” Stiles grumbled, “I can hear your tummy rumbling from here! Then pick something to eat,” he exasperated.

Derek simply growled in response, baring his teeth.

The tension was broken when the doorbell rang and Scott rushed to answer it.

And what was his surprise when he was practically run over by Jackson, who was crammed with bags, and Lydia, with her high nose and a cocky smile?

-Where is our favorite psychopath?- asked the girl looking around

-Waiting for his murderous reaction when he finds out how much you took out of his credit card?- said Stiles, seeing the absurd amount of bags that Jackson was still trying to organize on the floor of his house.

She laughed nonchalantly, approaching the kitchen and the banquet table

-Commemorating something?-she said, pointing to the food.

Stiles and Scott snorted disgruntled and ignored the question.

-We were trying to make him something he would like. But he won’t eat anything,” Isaac said, looking at the boy with a worried expression.

-He’s a pest,” Stiles grumbled, returning to the vegetables he was preparing.

Once again his attention is diverted when they hear the entrance lock opening, indicating the adults.

-What a tiring day,” Peter complained, dragging his feet as he entered the house. It was clear from the movement of his nostrils that he was smelling the room.

John laughed at his reaction.

-Usually, people are happy when they buy a house,” Melissa commented.

He went to the sink and washed his hands. And came back to the table, sitting down next to Derek with a smile.

-But I am happy,” he commented with a smile, taking a pancake and putting it on his plate, “I just have a little headache. But it would be weird if I wasn’t, because that lady had a shrill voice,” he laughed, cutting the pancake.

-Not at all. Make yourself at home,” John replied, sitting down at the table and starting to serve himself.

Peter smiled in his direction and started to attack the food. Derek followed his movements.

-So you really bought the house,” Isaac asked in a low voice, trying to make a point.

-Yes,” he replied, his mouth full. Realizing that Derek will get up and was at his side, he cut a few more pieces. Derek looked a little uncertain whether to take it or not, and Peter stuck some with his fork and fed it into his mouth, which he seemed to like a lot- It’s a little small, but I thought I’d break some walls and integrate some things, you know?- he said, gesturing

Derek snuck under his arm and sat on his lap. Peter didn’t notice until he reached for his plate, and saw that a small head blocked his view. He didn’t seem to get upset. He changed his fork and reached for another pancake.

-Of course,” Isaac agreed, smiling, his eyes sparkling.

-How long do you think it will take to finish everything,- asked Jackson, wanting to break the happy mood between Peter and Isaac

Peter looks thoughtful.

-It shouldn’t take long. Most of it just needs painting. We can hire someone to do the heavy lifting,” he replied, grabbing a piece of fruit while Derek attacked a plate of broccoli.

-Scott and I can help with the painting,” Stiles offered, staring at the wolves at the table.

-But I don’t want to help,” said Scott, getting a slap on the back of the head from his friend. The more people the better,” Scott agreed, glaring at Stiles, and then at Peter with shining eyes.

-We don’t need you, McCall. Lydia and I are more than enough,” Jackson said, snarling, his eyes shining.

John was becoming somewhat alarmed by the situation. It was looking more like a fight over territory than an attempt to help a new family get established.

-Actually, everyone’s help is very welcome,” Peter said, trying to calm things down.

But that didn’t do much good. The teenagers began to argue about who would go and who should help or not. Isaac thought they were being too intrusive since they wouldn’t even be living in the house. Jackson was indignant that he thought he was more important because he was part of the new pack. Isaac laughed in his face. Scott stood in the middle trying to keep them apart. Lydia said she didn’t know why they were fighting so much. None of the teenagers dared to challenge her on this point, and they went back to arguing among themselves.

The argument was getting heavier and heavier and only ended when John decided to stop it by standing up and slamming his palm violently against the table. Derek and Peter, who had been ignoring the teenagers until then, looked at him in amazement.

-I don’t know what’s going on here, but I think it’s better to stop now,” he said, in an authoritative lion-like voice, “You’re out of control. You’re almost flying into each other’s necks and your eyes are glowing like crazy. So, either you stop this discussion now, or I’ll take you all to the police station to calm down in a cell,” he threatened, taking a deep breath and sitting down again.

Melissa, trying to save the evening, asked if Derek would like to choose some new clothes to put on. He, who was still on Peter’s lap, looked at her suspiciously. She, seeing that he had no intention of getting up, approached the two of them, putting a hand, unconsciously, on Peter’s shoulder, before smiling and offering her hand to him. Derek hesitated a little, but gave her his hand, following her into the living room.

Everyone looks half shocked and looks at Peter for an explanation, but he replies with an eloquent “What?

Lydia follows them both into the living room and approaches the boy to show him some clothes, and as before, he dodges her. She then sits down on the floor at his height and begins to open the bags. Soon, the others come closer too. She separates two bags and hands them to Peter, who looks surprised.

-I thought you would need a few things since I doubt you bothered to bring anything from that decrepit place you were in before,” she explained, handing him back his credit card.

Peter refused the card saying that Lydia had better keep it since she intended to help him furnish everything. Then he handed, one of the bags, after looking inside, to Isaac who turned red like a tomato. Without thinking, he stroked the teenager’s curls quickly, as if he were five years old. But before he could be modified by his impulsive attitude, he was surprised by the smile Isaac gave him.

Apparently, Isaac was not at all bothered by Peter’s display of affection. The same could not be said for the other teenagers. Jackon was livid, and even Stiles and Scott exchanged glances after witnessing their interaction.

Melissa was quick to open the bags, looking for underwear for the boy and dress him. She then separated a pair of Jenna pants, but before putting them on, she showed Scott.

- Look at the tiny thing! And to think you used to be this size too,” said Melissa, showing the tiny pants to her son, who turned red.

Then she put the pants on Derek.

-If you like the pants, check this out,” Lydia said excitedly, showing him a tiny leather jacket.

Melissa couldn’t stand it and screamed hysterically, saying how cute she was. The men laughed and Peter had to admit that it was the face of his nephew.

Lydia notices that Derek is looking quite interested in the jacket and offers the clothes to him. He looks interested but turns away from the girl.

-That wasn’t polite, Derek,-Melissa catches his eye

-I’m sorry,- murmurs the boy, with his head down, still not approaching the girl

Peter made a look of displeasure as he saw the situation, which for a second John thought the werewolf might have thought it was bad of Melissa to get Derek’s attention, but seeing him crouch down in front of Derek and lead him to Lydia, he realized that wasn’t why.

-This is Lydia and she is a very dear friend of mine. Without her I probably wouldn’t be here,” he said, indicating the girl who faced him with a raised eyebrow, Derek seemed to analyze her. Underneath all that empathy there is a very nice and intelligent girl. You can trust her, I guarantee it,” she added, making the boy relax.

Lydia was surprised when she felt the boy’s fingers playing with the curls of her hair. She smiled. She turned quickly and took a T-shirt from one of the bags and handed it to him, along with the jacket.

-This blouse with this sweater will look great,” she said as she handed him the clothes and gave him a wink. Derek smiled as he took it and returned to Melissa’s side, who squeezed his cheeks.

-I should smile more,” Lydia thought, watching the boy, then started to choose socks and a suitable shoe.

Peter took advantage that Derek seemed relaxed enough and went back to introducing the rest of the people.

He introduced Scott as Melissa’s son, which earns the young man an automatic positive endorsement from Derek. Stiles, as being someone who always helps even when he doesn’t like the people he is helping, is part of Scott’s pack and John’s son. John, as the sheriff who defends the entire town, keeping everyone safe. Hearing this, Derek looks at him with an almost palpable admiration, and John couldn’t help but straighten his posture and give a little puff of his chest. It was very nice to be recognized. Jackon had been introduced as Lydia’s partner and as a werewolf in training since he was the last to be transformed.

-Why doesn’t he smell like Isaac?- asked Derek, curious.

-Maybe one day he’ll change his mind,” he commented, making the boy smile at Jackson, “And well, you already know Isaac. He is,” Peter began.

-Family!” cut Derek, with a huge smile for Isaac, who smiled back.

After the introductions, the mood lightened and Derek seemed more at ease playing with the teenagers and it was clear that he was loving all the attention he was getting. And soon his energy ran out.

Jackson and Lydia said goodbye to everyone and went to their homes, after having helped to organize the guest room for the three new residents.

Isaac, after having some trouble collecting his pajamas, put Derek on and went to sleep, but not before registering on his cell phone the boy sleeping in his Pikachu pajamas, all yellow and with little ears and a tail.

Scott didn’t think twice about rolling over in Stiles’ room, wrapped in countless blankets and sheets.

But Stiles was restless. The day had had too many surprises and changes. His head was racing and he couldn’t turn it off and go to sleep. By some miracle, Stiles didn’t fly with the face on the floor and managed to hold on to the bedside table. He stood for a few moments trying to free his foot from his friend’s bear hug, and when he had enough he kicked it with the other one. Scott finally let go, grimacing, turned the other way, and continued to snore.

He lowered his head laughing, and went down the stairs. As he was on the last few steps, he heard the three adults arguing in the kitchen. His father and Melissa seemed to be trying to convince Peter of something. Curiosity spoke louder and he hid to try to listen.

-I’m just saying that it might be a good idea to take him to a psychologist or a psychiatrist,” said John. You can’t just decide that nothing happens.

-It’s not that simple,” answered Peter tiredly, “and how could he explain anything? The memories he has are from when he was older, and anyone who looks at him won’t believe he’s almost twenty-three. They’ll only see a little boy. They will think he is crazy and will spend his whole life on medication or in a mental institution somewhere.

-But it’s not normal the way he reacts. He looks traumatized or something. You saw how he reacted with everyone, especially with Lydia,” said Melissa.

-When I was in the hospital he and Laura visited me every chance they got,” she began, drawing both of their attention. And he wasn’t the same. I spent six years listening to her despair at not being able to help her brother and him beating himself up for something that wasn’t his fault. I couldn’t do anything before, but now I can.

-What do you mean something wrong?- asked Melissa.

Peter didn’t need to transfer any words, his expression already said it all. Melissa brought a hand to her mouth, she was horrified.

- But this crime is not time-barred yet. We can put this man behind bars and make him pay,” said John, enraged.

Her, John. And not him. And I don’t think we can do that anymore,” Peter commented, sipping some of his already cold tea.

At this moment, Stiles finally decided to enter the room, without even trying to disguise that he was listening to their conversation.

-You can’t do anything else, Dad,” Stiles agreed, fist clenched, “Kate Argent is already dead.

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