Danny's really not sure how long they were sitting there – long enough for his legs to fall asleep and his ass to go numb – but he's really glad when they get up. Not because of the aforementioned leg-and-ass situation, either. He just happens to think the floor is no place for someone that's still recovering from a freaking gunshot wound and near-evisceration.
And besides, there's…there's just something about the image of Isaac sitting curled up the corner that makes Danny's heart ache.
Isaac doesn't say a word when they get up. He's got his eyes fixed on the floor or the wall or, well, anywhere but Danny, which Danny tries really hard not to take personally. He succeeds for the most part, too.
He also succeeds in getting him back over to the table, which is especially impressive because it's just him and Isaac. Peter's apparently decided he's needed elsewhere, and Danny actually thinks he kind of appreciates it. This is kind of a one-on-one thing, and he's grateful for the privacy.
Of course, that also means silence. With Peter gone and Isaac apparently entertaining a vow of silence that Danny didn't know about, it's so freaking quiet, he can hear the crickets outside the window.
Where's Stiles when you need him?
But no, he can handle this. Not that it needs handling. Isaac doesn't need handling. He just needs…coaxing, maybe is the right word. It's not like he's clamming up deliberately; Isaac doesn't really do the silent treatment. He's just naturally reserved, and he doesn't say things without thinking about them. And right now, Danny can practically hear the wheels in his head spinning out, trying to think of what he wants to say, trying to figure out what he should say, and he knows that the longer it takes, the more it freaks him out. He's already got that wide-eyed, thousand-yard stare pointed directly at the floor.
That's Danny's cue. Only, he's not really sure what to say, either. Normally, there's something that seems appropriate and harmless all at the same time that he can use as filler until Isaac gets his thoughts together. Maybe even to help him get his thoughts together. But what the heck's he supposed to talk about now? That special on wolves he saw on Animal Planet? That time they watched Balto while his parents were out? Somehow, he doesn't think either of those would help.
He's wracking his brain, trying to think of something to break the silence, when all of the sudden, "I talked to Peter."
It just kind of slips out. He doesn't mean to say it, but it's out there, and he can feel Isaac stiffen beside him.
It's better than nothing, so he goes with it.
"Or, I guess, he talked to me. I didn't really have a whole lot to contribute, but he's pretty chatty once you get him started. He told me about, you know, you guys. Werewolves." It's weird, but he thinks he's actually starting to get comfortable with the word. Maybe even the idea. "It's kind of different from all the stories. I mean, they got the moon thing kinda right, but Peter was saying you don't always…change. You don't always lose control. And you obviously don't go all American Werewolf in London, with the shaggy fur and muzzle and everything, which is kind of good I guess, because I'm actually allergic to dog dander."
He might be imagining it, but he thinks he hears Isaac snort. When he glances over, though, he's still picking at the torn edge of his jeans and staring at the floor.
So, Danny keeps going. It's not hard; now that he's gotten some momentum going, it's actually kind of easy to keep it coming. Really easy, and suddenly he's thinking he might understand Stiles' rambling. "Peter and Derek didn't even look any different. Neither did Scott. Peter said you're getting the hang of it, too, though, and I get that tonight was kind of an…off night." And the award for understatement of the year goes to…. "I'm sure you'll figure it out, though. I mean, however it happens. I'm sure you'll get it. I have faith in you."
Obviously, he does. The only other explanation for why he doesn't run screaming in the opposite direction is that he's got some kind of death wish, and he's actually kind of attached to his life right now, weird as it is.
No, it's just that he trusts him. He knows him, and he knows he's a good, kind, all-around-amazing guy…werewolf…person.
"He told me how it happens, too."
That gets Isaac's attention. Danny can feel him go ramrod straight against his side, and out of the corner of his eyes, he sees his jaw clench so tight he thinks he might be able to hear his teeth grinding.
He keeps going. "The bite, I mean, and the whole thing with the Alpha. I'm still trying to get my head around the whole Alpha-Beta-Omega thing. I'll definitely never look at the Greek alphabet the same way. And frat names are definitely kind of fun to think about."
And he's definitely getting off subject. God, he's turning into Stiles. Is this what it's like in his head all the time? If so, he's got new respect for him. New, mad respect. He thinks he'd probably go insane. Then again, maybe that ships already sailed.
But he digresses.
"I was wondering, though…if Derek's your Alpha, and you get the bite from the Alpha, does that mean—"
"I asked him for it."
There it is. Isaac's finally found his voice. And the roles are reversed, because now Danny has no idea what to say. That's…not what he was expecting to hear, and he doesn't understand. He wants to ask for an explanation, even though he knows Isaac doesn't owe him one. He wants to ask him why.
Turns out, he doesn't have to.
"He found me that night the grave robber hit the cemetery," Isaac begins. His voice is quiet, measured, and his eyes are still fixed on the floor. "I got knocked into a grave, and I—I thought—" His voice hitches, and he runs his hand through his hair and straightens a little bit. "But then he was there, and he helped me, and I don't…I don't know how he knew, but I know he did. He knew."
Danny feels his stomach twist sickly. "About your dad." It's not a question. He knows now. He knows that there's only one thing that makes Isaac look like he does now, that same mix of fear and hurt. The way his lip pulls down from his teeth, the way his eyes go wide like he's seeing something that isn't really there. Danny's seen that look more times than he likes to think about.
He gives a stiff nod. "But it wasn't just my dad. I was…I was always afraid to do anything. I didn't talk to people, didn't make friends. I was too scared. But then, Derek found me, and he said…he said he could help me. He said I wouldn't have to be scared anymore, and I…I wanted that. I wanted that so bad. I know it sounds—"
"Isaac, I'm not judging you." How could he? If he was in Isaac's place, he probably wouldn't have chosen any differently. Hell, he's not even sure he could've handled being in Isaac's place, wasn't sure he could've endured the things Isaac had to endure. He certainly couldn't blame him for wanting to get away from it. "I just want to understand. Did he…did he tell you about all of this before he did it?" He's honestly a little confused when Isaac nods. "Even the hunters?"
"He told me everything."
"And you still wanted the bite?" He really isn't trying to interrogate him. He just doesn't get it. Isaac wanted the bite to stop being afraid, but with the hunters and the Alphas and everything else, he knows there are people and things out there maybe even worse than Mr. Lahey trying to hurt him. Surely he's got to be afraid of that. "I don't understand."
But Isaac just sighs, and finally, finally, he raises his head and looks at Danny. "I would rather be afraid to die," he says, "than afraid to live."
And that hits Danny hard, because…God, what a choice.
Danny can only stare as Isaac drops his eyes back to the floor, his jaw working and his fingers pulling at the frayed threads on his jeans. "I was always so afraid," he says. "I never did anything. Never risked anything. But then I got the Bite, and—" he pauses, takes a breath, and then restarts. "At first, it was all about the power. It felt like I was finally on top of it all, like I was untouchable."
"Your asshole phase?" What? He calls them like he sees them, and they've sort of talked about it before: the leather, the scathing remarks, the general air of 'fuck you' he broadcasted. Danny thought it was just because of his dad, and maybe that was part of it, but the whole werewolf thing puts it in a different light.
Besides, Isaac doesn't seem to hold it against him. He lets out a ragged chuckle, shaking his head, and there's a wry sort of smile on his lips when he cuts his eyes over at Danny. "Yeah," he says. "My asshole phase."
"So, what happened?"
Isaac shrugs. "A lot of things, I guess…I realized I wasn't as untouchable as I thought. There are things out there a lot stronger than me." And there's just a hint of that look again, that far-off look, and Danny doesn't think it's coincidence that his arm curls around his chest.
Danny goes out on a limb and catches Isaac's hand, threading his fingers through Isaac's. He gives him a reassuring squeeze, because even if there are things out there that hurt him, they're not here now. Danny is.
He thinks it was the right move, because Isaac tears his eyes away from the floor to look at their hands together, and the wry smile softens a little, and when he continues, his voice is lighter.
"Then I found a pack. A real one." And again, Danny thinks it isn't coincidence when, this time, Isaac's fingers tighten around his own. "Turns out, being afraid wasn't nearly as bad as being alone."
And this time, when Isaac raises his head, he turns his whole body, folding his leg on the table between them, and Danny kind of reflexively mirrors the gesture. Whatever Isaac's about to say, he knows it's important, not just because of the relocation, but because he knows Isaac. And God, he really does have expressive eyes. He can see the worry in them, the anxiety, but there's this crazy sort of resolve in them, too, this focus. He's decided to do something, and Danny's got no idea what it is, but he feels his own palms sweating and his hair standing on end from the intensity of it.
"I was going to tell you," Isaac says, and it doesn't even cross Danny's mind to doubt him. Not with that look in his eyes. "After this full moon – tomorrow, I was going to tell you. I just…I wanted to be sure I could control it. I didn't want to bring you into this until I knew I could protect you, and I will. Wolves protect what we love, and I'll do whatever it takes to keep you safe, Danny. Whatever it takes." There's a conviction in his voice that Danny's not used to hearing, but he can't doubt that, either. Even when he drops his eyes to their hands, still entwined between them and swallows thickly. "But…it's dangerous, Danny, and I—I get it if you—"
"Isaac," Danny cuts him off, and he waits until Isaac cuts his eyes up at him through those curly bangs of his to continue, "If you say you'll get it if I don't want to be around you or any variation thereof, I swear to God I will find a newspaper, and beat you senseless with it."
He's only joking…mostly, and he thinks after the initial surprise, Isaac catches on, because his lips curve upwards into a grin that crinkles his eyes, and seriously, what the hell even are those dimples? They're unreal.
"A newspaper?" he says.
Danny feels his face flush – probably more those damn dimples than any real embarrassment, and he's ninety-nine percent certain that Isaac could weaponize that smile – but he gives a pretty casual shrug. "It was the first thing that came to—"
This time, it's Isaac that interrupts him, but for the who-knows-how-many-eth time that night, he really can't bring to care. Because Isaac's got his lips on his, one hand cupping the back of Danny's head, and the other still holding Danny's tightly. And when they part, it's only to breathe.
"Hey Danny?" Isaac says after a second.
Isaac leans his head against Danny's, their noses brushing. "I'm a werewolf."
And Danny can't help it; he smiles wider. Especially when a thought occurs to him.
"So, earlier…you kinda told me you loved me, didn't you?"
Isaac pulls back just a little bit, an eyebrow raised. "Yeah," he says, and he sounds equal parts confused and just a little bit…cautiously optimistic? "Yeah, I guess I did. Is that ok—"
Danny stops him with a kiss. Because hey, turnabout's fair play, and the flustered sort of look Isaac's wearing when he pulls back is worth it. And suddenly, Isaac's got his arms around him, crushing him into his chest and nuzzling his nose against his neck.
"Hey," he says, and chuckles when Isaac hums contentedly against his shoulder, "I love you, too."