Prompt: Stuffed Animals

Word Count: 5618

Pairings: Boyd/Erica

Notes: » means moving forward, « means moving backward. Basically really angsty.


Erica's dad won her a stuffed animal when she was seven years old. It was the first time she thought he saw her as more than a burden.

She named the stuffed tiger Grumbles and carried him everywhere—in her hand when she wandered around the house, and in her backpack when she was at school.

She started leaving Grumbles at home in the sixth grade, after she had a seizure, and instead of helping, some guy dug through her backpack and pulled him out. That was the first time she made it onto Youtube. First for having a seizure and second for being a baby.

But at home, she held Grumbles close and cried. She apologized for not being brave enough to keep him with her.

Grumbles' eyes glittered in the low light of her room (she hated bright lights so much. So much.) and she thought maybe Grumbles didn't mind, so long as she came home and cuddle him right away.

»

Isaac's burst of confidence is exciting and she feels herself feeding on it. They're werewolves. They should be the rulers of the school.

That's not how life happens, she reminds herself viciously as she leads Isaac into her bedroom.

He sprawls out on her bed, because he's apparently driven by this need to make her smell like him and vice versa. Or, she assumes that, anyway, because she feels the same.

So she cuddles up next to him on the bed and they don't talk until Isaac reaches behind his head and pulls out Grumbles. "Who's this?" he asks.

Erica freezes and feels like she might start hyperventilating.

Isaac freezes too and puts the animal back. "Sorry, Erica, sorry. Don't be mad."

Erica pushes her head into his chest. "Don't laugh."

"Wasn't laughing," he muttered, wrapping his arms around her. "He just smells like you. A lot. I just…thought he was important to you."

"Yeah," she answers. She just curls closer to him, though, tangling her legs with his. "Don't…"

"I won't," he promises. "I swear."

"Grumbles," she mutters into his armpit.

"That's his name?" Isaac guessed.

Erica nodded.

"Here," Isaac says, grabbing Grumbles and stuffing him between their bodies. "Now he'll smell like pack, too."

Erica huffed out a laugh and held them both like she was afraid.

«

In eighth grade, her dad found her doing homework with her stuffed tiger on her lap. "Hey, champ," he said as he leaned his head in the door. "Working hard?"
"Too hard," she agreed. Absentmindedly, she stroked Grumbles' head and wrote down an answer. "I hate geography."

Her dad smiled at her, walked into the room, and kissed her head. "You still like Grumbles? Because I could always get you a new stuffed animal. The country fair is next month."

Erica smiled because her dad loved her, and wrapped Grumbles closer to her chest. "He's still perfect."

"So are you," her dad said. Erica wondered how she had ever doubted him.

»

Boyd is the one who suggests leaving. "I just didn't expect this," he says.

Erica leans against him. She thinks she understands. These days she wants to smell like Boyd and no one else. She's been backing out of Isaac's hugs and frowning when Boyd gives them to him.

She knows Isaac is touch-starved and she shouldn't be this way, but she just wants Boyd all to herself all the time.

So she says, "Yeah," and climbs into his lap to push her face in his neck.

"We could leave," he suggests.

So she says, "Okay."

Boyd never met Grumbles because Erica never brought him to her room. Somehow the idea of bringing her boyfriend home where her parents might be seemed like a bad idea. Isaac had been just-a-friend. Boyd is distinctly not.

But the night they decide to leave, he climbs through her window while she's packing her bag. He sits on her bed, and for some reason, she doesn't want him to see Grumbles. Boyd, more than everyone else, needs to know that she is a grown up.

She leaves Grumble on her pillow when she follows Boyd through the window.

She tries not to regret that.

«

Erica was in the fifth grade when her mother came home.

She was in bed when she heard the knock on the door. Her alarm clock said 1:00 a.m. and she wondered who would be so impolite as to come that late.

Her dad walked down the hall to answer the door as the person began knocking again. She could hear him open the door and talking quietly.

She needed to know who it was, why they were there. So she crept out of bed and tip toed down the hallway to peer around the corner.

There was a woman standing in front of her father saying, "Please. I've changed."

He let her in, but he looked upset and scared. It made Erica feel worse, because her dad only looked that way when she had just come out of a seizure. She trembled.

The woman had the same blonde hair that Erica frowned at in the mirror every day, and she was tall and skinny. Not slender, almost…gaunt.

But Erica though she could see herself in the woman, the closer she looked. Her nose was the same and the slight shoulders that kind of slumped in on themselves…yeah.

"What are you doing here?" her father asked, sitting on the couch and rubbing a hand over his face. "You know I can't let you come back into our lives now."

"I'm different," she pleaded. "I got help. I want to see my daughter."

Erica chewed her lip and shivered. The lady looked like her but not. Like she wasn't healthy. Like she was falling apart. Erica wasn't healthy but she'd always eaten well and been pretty active, even when her Dad got scared about letting her run around the yard. When Erica looked in the mirror, she thought maybe she was too fat and that boys would never like her, but then she remembered that she was ten and she didn't care.

Her dad looked up and saw Erica standing there. "Take the couch tonight," he said coolly. "We'll discuss this in the morning." Then he crossed the room, gently took Erica's hand, and led her back to her bedroom. He tucked her into bed even though she was ten and too old for that. Whenever she protested, he reminded her that she was his little princess and deserved only the best.

"Daddy," she whispered as he pressed a kiss to her forehead. "Who was that?"

Her dad brushed his fingers through her hair. "It's your mother," he answered.

"Why is she here?" Erica asked. "Don't need her. Got you."

"I know," he answered, and kissed her forehead again. "Don't worry."

But the woman didn't leave.

»

Erica and Boyd finally escape the Argent basement, only to be captured by the Alphas.

"Little omegas," the creepy twins say together. "What are you doing here?"

"We were looking for a new pack," Erica says, standing up straight. She's exhausted and can still feel the electricity coursing through her. It's imaginary but it might as well not be.

"And you thought we would help you?" the only woman asks, sneering.

Boyd looks at Erica, eyes wide. This is as good as showing fear for him, but it doesn't matter how stoic his face is. She's smelled it since Allison shot her full of arrows. Smelled of it, too.

The other wolf frowns at the pair of them. "What's wrong with you two? You smell funny."

"Just escaped some hunters," Erica answers, reaching out and grabbing Boyd's hand. She's scared, but if he's holding on to her, she can deal with things a little easier.

Now the woman looks significantly more interested. "The Argents?"

Boyd nods, and his trembling eases slightly.

"Huh," she says. "Well sure, we'll let you in our pack."

Then everything is claws and screaming and Erica thinks she's going to die.

«

Laura Hale was Erica's baby sitter from the time she was five until she was ten years old. Before then, Erica had been sent to day care, but when she'd finally been able to start kindergarten, her dad hired Laura to save money and to make sure Erica would get attention.

He'd panicked a lot about Erica's seizures. "Watch out for her," he'd instructed Laura sternly. "She'll pretend she's okay, but she's not, okay?"

Erica had been too young to understand her dad's concern at that point. All she knew is that he was never home and he didn't let her do fun things, like climb the bookshelf.

"It won't be a problem," Laura said. She was thirteen years old but responsible enough that Mr. Reyes had decided to give her a trial run. "I'll call you if anything goes wrong."

Mr. Reyes nodded. "Okay. Bye, Erica," he called quietly.

Erica looked up from her coloring and said, "Bye, daddy."

He smiled at her and left Laura standing in the doorway. "Hey, champ. What do you want to do today?"

Erica looked up at the girl. "Just color," she offered. "My teacher said I had to finish before I came back to school."

Laura sat down next to her and played with her thin blond hair. "That sounds really nice," she said. "When my teachers give me homework I have to write essays and solve math problems."

Erica wrinkled her nose. "What's an essay? It sounds boring."

Laura laughed. "It is. I wish we got to color."

"I wish we didn't have to color foxes," Erica said with a pout.

"What would you rather color?" Laura asked.

"Tigers!" Erica said, bouncing in her seat. "I love tigers."

The next day, Laura brought Erica a coloring book full of tigers and they colored three pages together.

»

The alphas keep Erica and Boyd locked up in the same room, but too far apart to touch each other.

"The electricity thing the hunters did wasn't this bad," Erica tells Boyd, pulling uselessly at the chains and shackles wrapped around her wrists and ankles.

Boyd just sighs and closes his eyes. He tries to shift his body to be closer to hers. If they both stretch their feet out as far as possible, they're only about a foot apart. "What are these chains made of?" Boyd mutters.

Erica sighs. "I don't know." She tugs at her hair. "Do you know how to pick locks?"

Boyd shakes his head. "Do you have a bobby pin?"

"No," she says, shrugging. "Just a necklace."

"Toss it," he says. "I'll try."

The only reason they're even talking is because the alphas have left them alone in the barn they're locked up in. So Erica figures it's worth the risk. The shackles don't let her hands move up behind her head, but she can reach her collarbone and tug the chain of the necklace until she finds the clasp. She undoes it and tosses it to Boyd. "Here," she says.

He catches it and pushes the pendant into the lock.

On the third week of fiddling with the pendant anytime the alphas leave, the first shackle opens.

«

"Who's this?" Laura asked one day, holding up Grumbles.

"Grumbles," Erica said, coming to sit next to her on the bed. "Daddy won it for me yesterday."

"He did?" Laura asked, grinning.

Erica nodded. "I think he…I think he cares about me," she mumbled.

Laura wrapped her arms around Erica and kissed her head. "He does," she said. "He absolutely does."

Erica was nine years old and her seventeen-year-old babysitter was her best friend.

Laura took Erica to the park that day. She held Erica's hand, and Erica held Grumbles' hand as they walked. Grumbles trailed on the ground.

"Have you ever read Calvin and Hobbes?" Laura asked.

Erica shook her head.

"I'll bring you a copy tomorrow," Laura said.

After dinner, Erica had a seizure.

Laura cried the whole time and held Erica close. She called Mr. Reyes right after she called 911, and he stayed on the line with her until the ambulance got to the house.

When Erica came to in the hospital, her dad handed her Grumbles and pressed kisses all over her forehead. "It's okay, princess. You're okay."

Laura visited her, too. "You're so strong," she said, clutching Erica's hand.

Erica trembled. "I'm not," she argued.

"You are," Laura answered. "So much stronger than anyone I know.

»

"So which one of you is willing to murder your pack?"

Erica looks up at Kali, the alpha who's come in to feed them today. "We don't have a pack," she answers, and that's true. She told Derek he wasn't her alpha any more. Boyd had said something similar. They were omegas, but they were together, and somehow that worked out in her mind.

She regrets that now, but back then it had seemed like a good idea.

"Oh?" Kali asks, grinning viciously. "So you just popped into existence out of no where?"

"We cut off the pack bonds," Boyd says, and Kali looks suddenly furious.

"There's no reason for us to keep you, then," she says, and she moves toward them, claws out.

She doesn't get a chance to do any damage. "Stop it, Kali," Deucalion says, sighing. "Their old pack is looking for them. They figured out that we took the two of them in violently and are worried about them. The bond might be gone but they still care." His dark eyes surveyed the two shaking omegas. "They'll do."

Kali's face is frozen in a snarl, but she shrugs. "I can't wait until we take care of Hale," she mutters. She, too, looks them over. "My bet's on you killing Hale." She's looking at Erica.

Erica squeezes her eyes shut. She doesn't want to kill Derek.

«

Laura didn't stop babysitting Erica when Erica's mother first came home.

Mrs. Reyes sat on the edge of the couch and watched her daughter play with her babysitter. Once she tried to talk to Erica, but she'd screamed and screamed until Laura had pulled her out of the room.

"It's your mom," Laura said gently. "You don't need to be afraid."

"I don't want her," Erica muttered rebelliously. "Mom left. That means she's a bad guy."

Laura blinked a lot then, and at the time Erica was confused. Now, thinking back, she thinks Laura was trying not to cry. That doesn't make sense with her memory of Laura, the girl who was so strong all the time. But it's the only thing that makes sense.

"Erica," Laura said, smiling a little and tucking a golden curl behind her ear. "She's trying to be a good person now. Can you give her a chance?"

The thing was, Erica's dad was just as wary of her mother's return as Erica was. He glared at her most of the time, and she still spent every night on the couch. Erica didn't know who to trust more: her babysitter and best friend, or her father, the one person in the world she was sure loved her.

But Laura was there at that moment, earnestly looking into Erica's eyes, so she said, "Okay." She apologized to her mother for screaming, and then went back to playing with Grumbles.

»

"I'm loose," Boyd says one day. He's finally picked all of the locks. Without hesitating, he throws himself across the barn to wrap his arms around her.

She sobs into his shoulders and wishes she could hug him back. "Can you let me out?"

"I don't know," he says. "Maybe if we both pull on the chains? If I try to pick the locks it will take another month."

Erica nods. "Let's try. Together."

So they breathe in, out, and then without counting down, tug as hard as they can.

The chains don't come off of Erica, but they rip out of the walls. That will have to do.

"Let's go," she says breathlessly, standing and curling into him. And they do, Erica's chains dragging behind her.

They run for thirty minutes before the alphas catch up.

«

Laura stopped babysitting her without warning.

One day Erica came home from school, and her mother was the only one in the house. "Where's Laura?" she demanded.

Mrs. Reyes sighed. "She's gone. Her family's house burned down this morning and she's leaving town with her brother."

Erica started screaming and ran to her room. She slammed the door and shouted, "I don't believe you!" and then cried, curled up in a ball on her bed. She hugged Grumbles as tightly as she could and screamed when her mother came into the room. "Get out of my room!" she snarled. "Get out, get out, get out!"

Her mom left, shouting that she's here to stay and that Erica needs to grow up already.

Erica cried for an hour about losing Laura and what Laura had lost.

When her dad came home, she overheard her mom telling him what happened and then suggesting that Erica should probably give up the stuffed animals. From her position on the floor, ear pressed to her bedroom door, Erica gasped in horror and held Grumbles closer.

Her dad swiftly said, "Grumbles was a gift from me while you weren't here. I believe Erica is allowed to keep it as long as I say."

"But Antoine—"

"No, Lucy. You don't get a say in as much as you'd like, understand?"

"I keep telling you I've changed."

"So far all you've done is try to tell me how to raise my daughter after you've upset her. You should have realized that Erica and Laura were very close. You broke the news to her poorly. So you might be clean, but you are not yet her mother. Slow down and back off," he said calmly.

Erica scampered away from her door as she heard her father start down the hallway. By the time he opened her door, she was lying down on her bed, reading Harry Potter. "Hi, Dad," she said, smiling at him.

"Hija," he sighed. He crossed the room and sat down next to her on the bed.

She sat up and crawled into his lap.

"You are getting too big for this," he told her, but he cuddled her close and pressed a kiss to her forehead. "I'm sorry about Laura."

"So she wasn't lying?"

"Who?"

"…My mother," she said with a wrinkled nose.

"Ah," he said, tightening his embrace. "Yes, it is true. Laura and Derek have lost their family and their home. I think they find it very difficult to stay somewhere they have lost so much, you understand?"

Erica thought about it. "I think so. But will she say goodbye?"

"They are scared," he told her, instead of answering. "Someone set their house on fire on purpose." He started combing his fingers through her hair.

She tucked her head under his chin. "Why would someone do that?" she asked against his collarbone. "That's mean."

"It is mean," he agreed. "There are some bad people in the world. Whatever you do, you must not become one of them."

"Okay," Erica said. "Is Laura okay?"

"She's very sad," he said.

Erica understood that. "Is…my mother…a bad person?" she asked quietly.

"Your mother," he said, and then stopped. His hand in her hair stilled for a second, before moving again after a moment. "Your mother made some bad decisions when she was younger. I sent her away because I did not want her to hurt you."

"Why did she come back now?" Erica asked. "I don't want her. Just want you."

He laughed a little. "I know. But you must understand, hija, that she has tried very hard to change her ways. We must learn to forgive, and give second chances."

Erica sighed. "That's what Laura said, too."

"Well, Laura was right," her dad said. "Your mother is going to watch you after school from now on, okay? If she ever does something that scares you, tell me, okay? I do not want you to be unhappy."

"Okay," Erica said. "I will."

»

"Little omegas," one of the twins teases. "What are you doing?"

"Leaving," Erica bites out.

"With those chains?" the other twin asks. "I don't think so."

Erica looks at Boyd nervously. Run, she tries to signal to him.

They both dart at the alphas at the same time. Erica has tackled the second twin—Aiden, she thinks—but he rolls her over until he has her pinned.

She struggles against him and her chains.

His fangs are so close to her throat that she turns her head away to avoid seeing the end, only to catch a glimpse of Boyd, stopped, staring at her in horror.

"Run!" she shrieks. Ethan and Kali are both converging on him, and she sees him make an apologetic face as he turns to run.

But he'll never outrun the alphas, and that, coupled with the adrenaline rushing through her in response to the fangs sinking closer to her, is what gives her the strength, just for a moment, to rear up and snap her jaws over his throat and pull.

It's sickening, the mouthful of flesh tearing out of him. His blood fills her mouth and she gags even as she spits it out. Her stomach churns and she stumbles for a second, vomiting. She killed him. She killed him.

But then she feels this…power settle over her, and, and—oh, no, she's an alpha now.

She hears a growl and turns to see the other twin turning around and racing at her. There's darkness in his eyes and a promise for revenge that terrifies her, but then her body is reacting to the alpha power and she shifts further than she ever has before. Her clothes rip and she slides out of the chains.

She's a wolf now, not just a halfling with extra facial hair. She feels her features contort into a snarl and rushes straight past Ethan. She has to stop Kali. Boyd has to escape.

Ethan has to turn around to follow her, and he shifts to his full form to chase her, too.

They're both driven by something bigger than themselves right now—for her, the need to protect and the rush of new power. For him, grief and rage.

She couldn't care less.

She snarls and Kali glances behind her before her mouth pops open comically. It's enough for Erica to pounce on her and slow the two alphas down enough for Boyd to make it into Hale territory.

She sees him when he crosses into the preserve. He turns around and watches for a second.

She howls at him.

He let's out half of a sob and then turns and runs the rest of the way.

Erica is alone with Kali and Ethan.

Ethan will want to kill her, but she's not going to give him a chance. She runs the opposite way from Boyd, hoping that they'll pick one of them to chase and leave the other alone.

They both chase her, but she runs all night, further than she ever has before, until she doesn't recognize anything around her. She left them behind hours ago, when there'd been a howl calling them back to Beacon Hills.

She is alone.

Erica stumbles to a halt, and cowers against a tree. She shifts back to her human self and pressed a hand to her mouth to stop the sobs.

Eventually she shifts back into a wolf, because it's easier to deal with the cold and with the memories that way. Everything is simpler as a wolf. The world is dealt in absolutes—pack, not pack. Right now, she has no pack.

She starts walking and forgets the girl named Erica Reyes.

«

By the time Erica was fourteen, she trusted her mom but spent most of her time rolling her eyes at her antics.

By now, she knew a few things: her mother had been on drugs when she'd been pregnant, and that's why Erica had seizures. Her father hadn't known about the drugs until after Erica had been born, at which point he'd told her mother to clean up or get out.

She chose the latter.

Now that she was clean, her mother spent most of her time being a helicopter parent. "Did you take your medication?" she would ask, constantly. "Did you finish your homework? Have you done your chores? Are you on drugs? You know that's a bad idea—"

On and on and on until Erica's dad came home and told her mother to calm down.

If Erica had a seizure, her dad worried, but not like her mother. Her mother who would grab Erica by the shoulders and say frantically, "Oh, darling, are you all right? Can I do anything for you? Maybe we could up your dosage." At first the attention had been nice, but after a while, it started grating on Erica's nerves. When she had seizures, she didn't like to think about them after. She'd rather they'd never happened in the first place, but that obviously wasn't possible. She didn't want them to have positive outcomes like being pampered. She just wanted to sleep off the humiliation.

When Derek gave her the bite, she felt stronger than before. She felt like she had a safe place to come to. Her home had been like that before her mother had returned, and was only slowly reapproaching that point.

But being with the pack, and with Derek—for a moment it was like she had a second family. It was just as dysfunctional as her real family, but it was just as loving, too. She and Boyd and Isaac became close almost terrifyingly fast. Even Derek, who tried to keep his distance, let them all in.

Once, she made the mistake of mentioning Laura. Derek had frozen in the driver's seat of the Camaro, and after five solid moments of silence, had said quietly, "I forgot you loved her, too."

Yeah. She had.

»

She spends a year as a wolf, wandering across Oregon before she sees a missing person sign with her face on it, and remembers that she was a human.

It's horrible, changing back. Emotions are so different as a person. So much harsher. She'd almost forgotten that she killed a man not much older than herself. To save myself, she reminds herself viciously, but that's not enough.

She stands nude in the woods for half an hour, crying and hugging herself.

Then she pulls herself together, wipes a dirty hand across her eyes, and walks toward the faint sounds of hikers. Maybe she can find something to wear.

She comes across hikers after walking for an hour, and on instinct hides behind a tree, before she remembers that she's a human now, not a wolf. She steps out from behind the tree. "Help," she croaks. "Please."

The hikers—obviously a couple—turn around and stare at her. The woman chokes out a gasp and immediately pulls a shirt out of her backpack. "Here," she says, hurrying over to her. "Here, are you okay?"

Erica shakes her head and starts to cry again. "Where am I?" she asks as she pulls the shirt over her head.

"The Eagle Creek trail," the man says, walking over. "About an hour from Portland, and about a day from the trail head."

Erica wraps her arms tightly around her waist. "Okay," she says, sniffing and blinking back her tears. "Okay. Thank you."

"We can call someone to come get you," the woman suggests. "Or we could walk you back."

"No," Erica says, stumbling back. "You've helped so much. Thank you."

"Are you sure?" the man asks. "There's no one you could call?"

Erica thinks about Derek and Isaac and her Dad, probably all thinking she's dead. She wants to say yes, but she shakes her head. "I'll just walk. Um. Thank you." She runs, as a human, along the trail for five hours. At sundown, she reaches the trail head. The perks of being a werewolf.

When she's alone, she shifts into a wolf again, holding the shirt between her teeth as she runs alongside the road. She has a destination in mind now, and even as a wolf, she remembers home and territory.

She makes it to Portland and steals a pair of pants before she realizes that the alphas might have wiped out Derek's pack and she needs to find out first.

She spends a day begging on the street, until she has enough to buy an hour at an Internet café. She e-mails Stiles, because he'll let her know.

Stiles answers right away, not knowing who she is or whom she's referring to. Over the course of a couple weeks, she sends him more e-mails, trying to make him understand. Finally she sends him, "You make a pretty good Batman."

He doesn't answer after that, so she decides to just cut her losses and head to Beacon Hills. Maybe…maybe she can sniff out whether it's Derek or whether it's the alphas before she gets there. Maybe.

«

When she turned fifteen, her mother tried to take Grumbles away.

"Mom!" she snapped. "Stop it!" She yanked Grumbles out of her hold and backed away from her. "Can you just let me keep the things I love?"

"Erica, you're too old for this," her mother said, and started to reach for him again.

Erica ran out of the room, but that must have been too much physical activity, because suddenly the taste of pickles was on her tongue and she was falling, falling…

When she came out of it, her Mom was sobbing and apologizing. "You can keep Grumbles," she cried. "Just be okay."

Erica moved until her head is resting in her mom's lap and wraps her arms around her mom's waist. "It's okay," she said.

Grumbles stayed.

»

She takes a month to get to Beacon Hills, even running as a wolf. She shifts back into a human when she only smells pack and Derek. The alphas are long gone, much to her relief.

When she gets there, she doesn't know what to do first—talk to Derek? Go to her parents' house? See the police?

Eventually she decides to follow the scent of Derek, because he'd be able to smell a foreign alpha, and if he's anything like he used to be, he'll attack first, ask questions later.

Having spent time as a wolf for so long, she understands Derek a lot more now. He only wanted to defend his territory, and like a wolf, fought the things he could, retreated when he couldn't. He had been brutal, but life, she's learned, is brutal.

She follows his scent to the younger side of town, where college kids live in lofts that look nicer than they actually are. At least he's learned how to fit in, she thinks as she climbs the stairs. His scent is strongest in apartment number 11.

She knocks, and then drops to her knees, doing her best to bare her throat in that position. She doesn't want to be a leader; she just wants to come home.

When the door opens, there's a soft gasp, and then a hand is reaching down, roughly pulling her up. "Erica?" Derek whispers, staring at her face, which must be wild and terrified. He tugs her into a hug and pulls her inside.

Home, she thinks faintly, and she holds onto him as tightly as she can.

«

Derek took Erica to Laura's grave after that day in the Camaro. "She really loved you," Derek told her while they sat side by side in front of the headstone. "She said you were a tiger in a sheep's body."

Erica let's out a hysterical laugh at that. "She…she would have said that."

"She was right," Derek said.

»

Derek takes her home after she showers and eats at his loft. "I think your parents deserve to see you first," he says. "If my parents came back…" His voice trails off and Erica grabs his hand tightly.

"Thank you," she tells him.

He nods. The drive is silent, but when he pulls up to her house, he says, "We'll talk about the new pack dynamics later, okay? And I'll let the pack come by as soon as your parents are willing to let you go."

"Okay," she says. But she's scared to climb out of the car, scared that her mom will be gone again, scared that she'll walk into her old bedroom and Grumbles will be missing, too. She's glad she left him now, because when she was a wolf, she would have had no use for him.

But she is strong, and she has pushed her fear aside for a long time.

"Okay," she says again, and then opens the door.

"Erica," Derek says as she pulls herself out. "It will be okay."

She nods, but she's crying, because what if it's not?

She walks up to her door anyway, and only hesitates for thirty-seven seconds before knocking.

Her dad opens the door after 29 seconds and chokes out her name when he sees her before bursting into sobs and tugging her inside the house. "Mi hija," he cries. "My love."

Her mom is there, too, and they hold her close. They don't ask her where she's been or why she left, they just hold her.

And when she goes to bed that night (sleeping on a mattress for the first time in nearly two years), Grumbles is there, on her pillow.

And it's okay.


Disclaimer: I don't own Teen Wolf.

A/N: Um, a couple notes that might be relevant. Erica tastes pickles before she has a seizure because a friend of mine with Epilepsy told me that was one of his indicators. Boyd thought Aiden had killed Erica; he didn't realize she was the wolf. Oh and "hija" means daughter.

I'm so sorry this wasn't more Berica-y but hey look I only have one more prompt to fill for my 14 Days of Fic wow go me! Haha.

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