(So I should clarify really quickly that in my story, everyone is currently a junior and it’s the summer before senior year. I didn’t skip ahead in the show’s timeline, just pretended this hasn’t been sophomore year.)
A week after Stiles and Derek had their impromptu make-out session, the pack was gathered again for a meeting. They’d actually had the pack meeting two nights ago, tonight was supposed to be training but Lydia and Allison said it was important that the pack discuss two important issues tonight.
Derek was trying to be more supportive of his pack as a whole and let them lead discussions. On the one hand, this made sense to him. His parents had led their family’s pack in much the same way, allowing everyone an equal say. It was always clear however that his mother, as the Alpha, had the final say.
He knew this particular pack of his was different too. It took Stiles pointing it out to him one night (before they’d moved their relationship ahead) that he was drawn to people who were broken. That too made it easier to understand why Allison and Lydia both fit within his pack even better than Scott. The boy wasn’t free from suffering but he hadn’t suffered in the way the others had. And of course Derek had never even considered biting Scott when he first returned to Beacon Hills.
He had felt an odd pull towards Stiles from day one though.
Knowing that his pack didn’t respond well to growls and threats had him doing his best to find other ways to teach them. Deep down, okay way deep down, he craved the comfort his family had. The sense of camaraderie and natural affection between a pack.
But at the same time, things were different. Derek’s parents had also trusted the other pack members to protect the pack. And Derek’s teenage hormones had gotten them killed.
So while he wanted one type of pack, he couldn’t help staying harsh and cold towards his betas and humans. He had to. If he let them do whatever they wanted, someone else was going to end up dead.
“Is this about school starting?” asked Derek. “Because training and pack meetings aren’t stopping.”
“We need to tell Danny,” replied Allison, interjecting quickly. Derek didn’t talk much but when he got started on the need for training and constant vigilance he really could JUST. GO. ON. “He’s been asking questions and if we’re going to keep using his computer skills, he deserves to know the truth.”
“Why? This isn’t an extracurricular,” questioned Derek. He had no problem with bringing Danny into the pack, in any way that Danny wanted to join but his pack needed to understand there had to be reasons. This wasn’t a club with members only jackets as their secret identifier.
“Heh,” laughed Stiles.
“What’s so funny?” asked Scott.
“I was picturing everyone in Members Only Jackets,” answered Stiles, still snickering.
“Bet you’d look good in one,” said Derek to Stiles in a low voice, momentarily distracted.
“Bet you’d look good out of one.”
Okay now Derek was really distracted. Especially by the way Stiles kept flicking his tongue along his lower lip.
Erica waved her hand. “Hi, just a reminder that we can all still hear you.” She wrinkled her nose. “And smell you. Really Derek?”
“Not all of us,” Lydia snipped. “Though it’s not exactly hard to imagine.”
Derek gave half a glare before coming to a realization. “Wait, you all know?”
A chorus of yeses, accompanied by groans from Jackson and Scott immediately followed.
“Dude, your heart literally does a pitter patter when Stiles walks into a room,” said Jackson, rolling his eyes.
“That’s adorable,” squealed Allison as both Derek and Stiles turned varying shades of red.
“It is kinda cute,” agreed Isaac quietly from his seat at Stiles’ feet.
Stiles leaned forward and ruffled the kid’s hair. “Thanks, Isaac.”
“Not that this isn’t fascinating,” said Lydia, “but can we get back to Danny?”
“Yes,” said Derek and a hint of the Alpha’s command was in his voice. He didn’t really mind the teasing, it was just the idea that his feelings might be deeper than he realized that gave him pause. He knew he liked Stiles. A lot. And he definitely wanted Stiles on a physical level. In fact keeping it to just make-out sessions had been difficult but he knew that was what Stiles wanted right now.
But more than that? Derek wasn’t so comfortable with that. The last time he loved someone, he got people killed. He knew Stiles wasn’t Kate, by any means. But he was still the same guy who couldn’t protect the people he loved. He couldn’t risk that as an alpha. Derek shook away his confusing thoughts when he noticed Isaac looking at him with a worried expression. The kid was far too observant.
“Fine,” said Derek, interrupting Lydia’s list of reasons why Danny should be told. “Danny’s in. If he wants it. Lydia, I suppose you and Allison will be telling him since you brought it up?”
“No,” interjected Jackson firmly. “I’ll talk to Danny. He’s my best friend.”
Everyone but Lydia turned to stare at Jackson in surprise. He had been drastically improving on his personality since he lost the kanima aspect but he never volunteered for anything. And the douchebag attitude was still slow to fully go away.
Lydia however knew that while the outward signs were emerging slowly, Jackson was a very different person now. She also remembered very clearly the day she’d walked towards Jackson’s house, just a few days after the kanima part of him had been killed, trying to figure out what to say.
Lydia dragged her feet for the first time in her life. She needed to talk to Jackson. That much was clear. And while she’d practically forced Peter to explain exactly what happened to her, it become quickly evident that Jackson had been just as fucked up as she had been. Maybe the two of them could figure out what was going on with their lives now.
At the same time, something was giving her pause. She didn’t really know who else to talk to but she also didn’t really feel like Jackson needed her. It wasn’t in his usual asshole way either. It just felt like she couldn’t really help him. She just didn’t know who could. So she walked a little slower and tried to figure it out.
Meanwhile Jackson was pacing back and forth on his front porch. He had what he wanted. He was a werewolf, whatever the hell that actually meant.
Except he’d also been a kanima. No one had really been telling him what that meant, and now that he knew he could understand why. He’d finally gone to Scott and forced him to tell him what happened.
And now Jackson sort of felt like flinging himself off a roof. He knew he was an asshole. He knew he could blame a little of it on his parents being dead and the fact that he never really felt like he belonged anywhere. But he also knew most of it was because he just chose to be an ass and got away with it.
But now? Now Jackson was stuck knowing that his issues had turned him into a controllable monster. He’d killed people. Not in self-defense or for justice but because of the sick desire for revenge from a messed up teenager. Matt didn’t even have good reasons! The only death Jackson wasn’t feeling guilty over was Isaac’s dad. And yeah Scott told him that Matt was to blame and it wasn’t Jackson’s fault but it still felt like it was. If he hadn’t gone to Derek with the wrong reasons to become a werewolf, he wouldn’t have been so easily turned into a kanima.
He just didn’t really know where that left him. Derek hadn’t found him yet so he wasn’t really sure if he was supposed to be part of the pack. He wanted to be. More than he thought possible. In fact he was willing to do whatever Derek said if it meant he wouldn’t be left alone. The problem being of course that right now, he was very much alone.
A voice came from the walk up to his house. Jackson turned to see Danny standing there, looking worried.
“Danny? What are you doing here?”
“You haven’t been in school for a while and then yesterday at the store you said thank you to the sales clerk. I’ve never heard you do that,” explained Danny. “I thought maybe you could use a friend.”
Jackson stopped pacing and sank to the floor. “Am I really that horrible of a person? That being polite is what makes people think I’m messed up?”
“Yes,” answered Danny. He wasn’t about to sugarcoat things for Jackson.
Jackson stared at him in disbelief.
“But you know you don’t have to be, right?” continued Danny. “You could be the guy who says please and thank you and holds the door open for people.”
“You really think I could be better?” asked Jackson in a quiet voice. He had folded his arms over his knees and now dropped his head into his arms. “I don’t know if I can.”
“I know you can be better,” asserted Danny, sitting next to Jackson on the stairs. “You just need someone who believes it until you do.”
Danny was the only person in the world that Jackson knew how to be honest with. Or real with. And he was also the only person that he would ever let see him cry. “I’ve been an awful person, Danny,” he choked out. “And a horrible friend.”
“I know,” said Danny. He reached out and wrapped his fingers around Jackson’s hand, not moving it, just sitting quietly. Trying in a small way to comfort his best friend. “We’ll work on that too.”
Lydia’s lips turned up in a soft smile and she brushed away a tear as she stood at the edge of Jackson’s yard. She couldn’t hear what was being said and the boys hadn’t noticed her. But she could see Jackson’s hand curl around Danny’s, clinging to the comfort it offered. Something told her he would be okay.
Stiles seemed to sense that it was better to move on than to dwell on Jackson volunteering. “You said two things?”
“Oh yeah,” answered Allison, turning back from where she and Scott were making googly eyes at each other. “Well, um, the thing is…” she paused, trying to figure out how to word this next request.
Lydia jumped in, having no qualms about decorum. “We need to fix the house.” Of course, she also knew that Allison was kind of the wrong one to actually bring up this issue, seeing as she was still an Argent.
“Excuse me,” said Derek.
“It’s a mess, Derek,” continued Lydia. “And if we’re supposed to keep meeting and training and acting like a pack, we need more than an abandoned train station and skeleton of a house to do it in.”
Erica decided to add her two cents. “We could turn this place into a training area as well. The rail cars and equipment do give us something to work off.”
“That’s not a bad idea,” commented Scott. “We can also…”
“No,” stated Derek firmly.
“No, we can’t train here or no, we can’t fix the house?” asked Scott.
“No, we aren’t doing anything to the house.” Derek wasn’t interested in a discussion on the matter either. His home was not going to become a group project.
“Derek,” said Stiles, putting a hand on his leg, “maybe it isn’t the worst idea. If we do it right.”
“I said no!” Derek snarled and shoved Stiles’ hand aside, standing up as he did so. “End of discussion.” He used the full power of his Alpha to insure they all knew better than to try going behind his back and stormed out of the room.
“Okay then,” said Lydia. “He does realize this is still a problem right?”
“I can try talking to him later,” allowed Stiles, not wanting to comment too much when he was pretty sure Derek was still listening to them.
Peter sighed. “Let me. I have an idea about where his head’s at.”
Several heads turned to Peter in surprise.
“Yes, I can be helpful,” snapped Peter sarcastically. “We’ll talk about it again at next week’s meeting. Until then, training session tomorrow in the woods. Don’t be late.”
Stiles had barely walked into the house when his dad met him in the hallway.
“Stiles, we need to talk.”
“Okay, look Dad I know it’s late and I know I said I’d do better and I swear I will,” began Stiles as an explanation. “It’s just that school is almost starting and Derek wants to be sure everyone is prepared for whatever new disaster is probably lurking around the corner and…”
Stiles stopped. “Sorry.”
“I want to talk about you and Derek,” said John.
“Uh, what about me and Derek?” Please don’t let this be a sex talk, please don’t let this be a sex talk, thought Stiles fervently.
“This isn’t a sex talk,” said his dad quickly. “And no, you didn’t say that out loud. I think I know my own son’s facial expressions pretty well at this point.”
“Thank god,” said Stiles in relief.
His dad hesitated before continuing, clearly uncomfortable. “It’s just that I know you’re 18 and I know I said you two act like you’re made for each other in some inexplicable bond but I also know that some things, like sex, are supposed to be important and I just…”
“Dad I know,” interrupted Stiles.
“Yeah. I mean at the risk of oversharing with my father, I want it. A lot. But I’m also the first person that Derek’s been with, in any form, after Kate. And while I very much want to be the person who allows him to move on, I don’t want to be the guy he uses to forget.” Stiles was actually very clear with himself on that particular topic. He just hadn’t figured out how to explain it to Derek.
“So you’re going to wait?” asked his dad.
Stiles sighed. “I want to know that he loves me first. And I know that may be cheesy and straight out of some crazy ass teen tv show rule book but that’s how I feel.”
His dad just hugged him in response and Stiles chose to sink into the hug, appreciating that no matter what, his dad was always there for him.
“I love you, Stiles,” said John quietly.
“Love you too, Dad.”