Isaac rode in the front seat of Scott's car. Derek had stayed behind to clear up the mess that was Jackson's body. Isaac didn't know how he'd do it, and he didn't want to. The thought of Jackson's limp, lifeless body was enough to set him off into fits of uncontrollable sobbing.
"Are you gonna be okay, I?" Scott asked, after an hour or so of uncomfortable silence.
"Probably not," Isaac said truthfully. He'd had his fair share of grief in his life but each time was just as painful as the last. He didn't want to talk about it; he wasn't ready to. He changed the subject.
"Where are we going?" he asked. He'd been staring out of the window for most of the journey and he hadn't recognized a single road for well over half an hour.
"My mom has a lakehouse by the Oregon border. We're going there for a few days," Scott said with a sideward glance.
Isaac managed a feeble smile despite his situation. Even with Jackson's murder, Scott was thinking of him. It made him feel a little better that he was there.
"I thought it would do you some good; getting out of town for a few days," Scott continued with a shrug. "I packed a few things for us before I came and got you."
"Just us?" Isaac asked hopefully. He didn't want company. Scott was the only person that he could bear to be with.
"That sounds good," he said, and the trip fell back into silence. This silence was much more comfortable than the one that preceded it.
The journey was long and Scott tried to pass it quicker with jokes and childhood anecdotes. There was one about a cake, a candle, a nose, and a trip to the emergency room on Scott's mother's birthday that kept them amused for a while. But with the end of every story came the memories. Jackson, Kali, the blood, the fear; it all came back to him.
At one point, an hour or so away from the Oregon border, as darkness began to fall, Isaac broke down. Scott pulled into a conveniently placed truck stop and got out of the car.
He walked around the vehicle and pulled the passenger door open. He slid one arm behind Isaac's back and one behind his knees and lifted him, bridal style, out of the car.
The air was cooler in this part of the state. Human Isaac would have been shivering with such a drop in temperature. Werewolf Isaac was shivering, but that was due to the violence of his crying. The tears didn't seem to want to stop.
"Even when you cry, you're hot," Scott said with the air of somebody who hadn't meant to meant to speak aloud. He went red.
Isaac squeaked in his arms, a sound that should have been a laugh but it got caught in his throat.
Scott seemed to not know what to do with him. It took a second for Isaac to realize that there was nowhere for Scott to put him down. He waited for a chuckle to rise up his throat but, once again, it was lost. He slid out of Scott's arms.
As soon as his feet touched tarmac, Scott was steadying him.
"Are you sure you can stand?" Scott asked, concern evident in his tone.
Isaac nodded but Scott left a calming hand on his shoulder anyway. Isaac pulled him forward into a tight embrace. He felt a hand on the small of his back and the other running through the curls of his hair, cradling his head. He nuzzled into Scott's neck and felt his tears fall.
"Ssh, ssh," Scott whispered comfortingly and affectionately. Isaac whimpered. His wolf strained to get at Scott but Isaac suppressed the desire that didn't feel entirely his.
Somewhere between the crying and the hugging, Isaac blacked out.
It was dark in the play-park. Isaac sat alone on a bench. He tried to move, to stand, but found that he couldn't. It was as if he was restrained; bound to the metal by unseen ropes. Three figures approached him from the other side of the swings. He couldn't make out their faces but he knew them instantly. Jackson stood with his hands in his pockets. Isaac sensed that he was smiling. Camden stood beside him. He was distant like a stranger, but Isaac still knew him. He, like Jackson, had hands in pockets. Unlike Jackson, he was hunched over as if he didn't want to be there. And there, to the left of Camden, she stood. It had been years since he'd looked upon her face. When she smiled, he felt it all over his body.
"Isaac," she said. "Hello, my love."
"Mom." His voice was choked. He missed her so much. Somewhere in his mind, he recognized that this was a dream. He ignored the mental voice. "I miss you."
"I never left," she said. She moved close enough for him to see her smile. She was happy; content with death as she had been with life. Could this really be her? Some spirit of his long-dead mother? Isaac hoped so.
"Stay strong, Isaac," said a male voice. Isaac looked past his mother at Jackson. He felt a pang of guilt. He'd forgotten Jackson was there. "I'm sorry I died."
Isaac laughed despite himself. The blunt cheeriness that he'd said 'I'm sorry I died' with was funny to him. Jackson mirrored his laughed. Isaac's eyes had adjusted to the darkness and he could make out every feature on his friend's face.
"I guess it's okay," Isaac said. He felt his throat swelling into a lump. He didn't want to cry. Jackson sensed his feeling.
"Dude, it's cool," he said. He moved forward to stand next to Isaac's mother. "Death's more fun than I thought it would be. And I met your mom again. She's hotter than I remember."
Isaac laughed again. He didn't feel like crying so much anymore. He looked past his mother and friend.
"Cam?" he asked tentatively. His brother seemed withdrawn. Even in death, Camden was distant.
"Yo, bro," he replied half-heartedly. "How's life? I wouldn't know, being dead and all."
It dawned on Isaac that Camden was bitter. It wasn't that he didn't want to be there, he just didn't want to be dead.
"Great," Isaac half-laughed. "I'm a gay, teenage werewolf who everyone seems to die around. What could be better?"
Cam smiled at that. He offered no more words.
Isaac was going to speak again when the three people in front of him began to change. He started to panic.
A pair of bullet holes appeared in Camden's torso. Blood seeped through the wound and into his shirt. A gash appeared at the edge of Jackson's throat. The wound that killed him spread across his throat. His eyes widened and then faded. He was past hearing anything when Isaac shouted.
The worst sight was his mother. Her hair receded, her eyes went gaunt, he skin greyed. The illness that killed her acted at super speed until she resembled the old-looking, frail thing that she'd died as. And then, they were gone.
Isaac wanted to cry, but for once, he couldn't. He looked to the ground and blinked, trying to bring water to his eyes but he couldn't. He looked up and three more figures stood in front of him. Kali stood on the left, Deucalion on the right and in the middle stood his father.
"Isaac," Kali said. "You're going to join us."
"Yes," Deucalion said, sounding almost bored. "Yes, you are."
"And if you don't…" Kali left her sentence to hang in the air.
"Well," Deucalion finished for her. "You'll see what will happen."
The dissolved into thin air and for the first time since he'd ran out of his home for the final time, Isaac was left alone with his father.
Automatically, he cowered. Mr Lahey glared at him. The air surrounding them seemed to thicken intensely. It became difficult for Isaac to breathe but his father looked to have no trouble.
"Isaac," he said, sending a chill down Isaac's spine. He recognized the tone. It was the tone of a hunter, cajoling a fox out of its burrow, the tone of a killer asking for final words, the tone of a father preparing to beat the living shit out of a disobedient child.
Isaac said nothing. He shivered with anticipation and closed his eyes ready for the first blow. It never came.
"You've disappointed me, son," Mr Lahey said. "The people you associate with are disgusting. Mongrels and fags. And you're both. A mongrel and a fucking fag. You're a fucking disgrace."
Isaac squirmed under his father's glare.
"Your mother died and your brother died and you were all I had left. Why couldn't you have been a better son? You embarrassed me and you failed me. It should have been you that I watched die."
Isaac felt throat swell. And then the oddest thing happened. The pressure in his chest was lifted and a wave of warmth surged through him. It gave him courage and the restraints that kept him down were gone. He was on his feet before he thought, words tumbling out uncontrollably.
"Shut up," Isaac said, as angry as he was scared. "I never embarrassed you and I never failed. I did everything you ever asked and you beat me relentlessly."
Isaac's father was taken aback. Isaac pressed on; now he'd started, he couldn't stop.
"I'm your son, and you beat me. I've spent years terrified of trusting people because of you and I won't have it any more. You ruined my life for no reason. You're not my dad, you haven't been since mom died. You're just a stupid fucking cunt."
His anger faded at the same speed as his father. More than anything, Isaac just felt drained. Is it even possible to feel tired in a dream? He slumped down against the bench again.
"Isaac?" His ears pricked. Scott's voice, Isaac knew that. He looked in front and behind him but Scott was nowhere to be seen. Only when his surroundings began to fade did he realize that Scott's voice was coming from the real world, outside the dream. Scott was pulling him back to consciousness.
"Isaac?" Scott looked and sounded concerned. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah," Isaac replied. "I just… it was a dream. They were there."
"Who?" Scott moved a little and Isaac became aware that his boyfriend's hand was on his bare chest. His shirt had been rolled up.
"Jackson, Cam, my mom. Deucalion, Kali, and my dad," he said. The dream had felt so vivid. Was it so unreasonable to believe that he'd been visited by spirits in a world where werewolves exist? But Deucalion and Kali were alive. They couldn't have been spirits. Isaac felt disappointed.
"What happened?" Scott asked.
"I was in a park. They came to me. Jackson, Cam and mom spoke to me. Then I watched them die." He shook his head to try and disperse the memory. "Then Kali and Deucalion spoke to me. Same shit: 'join us or die' kinda thing. And then, him."
Scott didn't need clarification of which him Isaac was referring to. The hand that wasn't resting over Isaac's heart found his hand and gave it a squeeze.
"What did he say?" Scott's jaw was locked, as if he was biting back and angry comment.
"You know, mean things." Isaac didn't want to relive that part of the conversation. His own input however, was a different matter. "But then the weirdest thing happened."
Scott nodded, his head tilted, eyebrows raised. "Go on."
"I felt like I was being tied down while he spoke but then it was like something lifted the pressure" – he lifted his free hand to cover Scott's – "here. And then I stood up to him.
Isaac grinned and swelled up with pride. Dream or not, he'd stood up to his father. He was happy. Scott looked happy for him.
Scott leant down from his sitting position to plant a firm kiss on Isaac's lips. Isaac smiled through it.
"Well done, I," he said. "The pressure, I think that was me. You were shivering and whimpering. I put my hand over your heart to try and take the pain away. I thought you were hurt." He looked sheepish, as if he thought that Isaac would have been annoyed.
"Thank you," Isaac whispered. "You made me brave."
Hearing himself say it, Isaac thought it sounded pathetic. But judging by the look on Scott's face, his boyfriend disagreed.
"I love you," Scott said.
"I love you too," Isaac said.
Since waking up after his dream on a sofa bed in the lounge, Isaac had fallen in love with the lakehouse. It was beautiful, he concluded after Scott had toured him. It was a late night tour because of his three hour long blackout but Isaac didn't mind.
There were five rooms in the lakehouse. The front door opened into the most homely lounge that Isaac had ever seen. It was furnished with greens and browns, like woodlands. French doors opened out onto a veranda that overlooked a sparkling blue lake surrounded almost entirely by a thin forest.
A door on the left of the lounge led into a kitchen/dining area. The room was small but sufficient. A table with three chairs around it was pushed against the far wall. The wall to the left of the entrance was the cooking area. An old fashioned oven and a microwave were surrounded by cupboards and worktops. The wall to the right of the entrance was a giant window.
Back in the lounge, a thick oak staircase in the middle of the room led up to a square of floor surrounded by three doors. The doors to the left and right were bedrooms, the door in the centre, the bathroom.
The bedroom on the left was Melissa's. Its walls were magnolia, the king-sized bed a deep chestnut brown. The floors were bare and it smelled dusty as if the room had been out of use for years.
"Mom never really comes in here," Scott explained. "She likes to sleep on the couch and watch the stars and lake. She finds it relaxing, idk why."
"Did you just say 'idk'?" Isaac asked grinning.
Scott shot him a sideward glance.
"Shut up," he said, laughing. He pushed past Isaac into his own room and Isaac followed. He gasped.
Not an inch of Scott's wall was visible through the wallpaper of posters. The casts of TV shows and movies looked down at them curiously. Bikini clad women straddled motorcycles, and topless men sat upon lawnmowers looking mysterious. Bands played their instruments and pulled funny faces. There were posters advertising videogames and movies and there was even one photograph of their high school's lacrosse team that had been blown up and glosses so it was a poster.
Scott looked embarrassed.
"It's a little nerdy," he muttered. "I forgot how stupid it looks. We can sleep downstairs."
He turned to move out of the room but Isaac caught his arm. Scott looked up at him with a weird vulnerable expression on his face, like he was expecting Isaac to make fun of him.
"I love it," Isaac said. Scott's face lit up. "It's adorable and it's you and I love it. You can sleep downstairs if you want, but I'm staying here."
That night, they slept in Scott's bed. It was too big to be a single and too small to be a double. They slept with their bodies entwined. Isaac woke in the morning sweating from the heat. It was perfect.
"Mmph," Scott grunted as he entered the kitchen in sweatpants. Isaac took the noise to be Scott's way of saying good morning while still half-asleep.
"Hey there," Isaac said, not daring to turn away from the frying pan for even a second. He felt a pair of arms slide around his waist and he smiled at the sizzling bacon in front of him.
Isaac felt Scott nuzzle into his back and then he heard his boyfriend make a distinct sniffing noise. Suddenly, Scott's head was next to his own.
"Dude, you're spoiling me," Scott said lovingly as he craned upwards to plant a kiss on Isaac's cheek.
"Can you butter the rolls for me, please?" Isaac asked. As much as he enjoyed the feeling of Scott's warmth, he couldn't risk getting flustered whilst cooking. Knowing his luck, he'd burn the house down. Scott complied with the request.
They sat down to breakfast together on the veranda instead of in the kitchen. It was a warm morning with a lovely breeze that promised a beautiful day ahead.
Isaac looked out over the lake as he ate his bacon rolls. The ripples in the water twinkled like stars in the night sky and every so often the water would be distorted further by the sharp change in direction of a fish.
The woods surrounding their side of the lake were quiet and peaceful. They held within a darkness that was as ubiquitous as the air that it engulfed. It wasn't a menacing darkness though, more a calming one. Isaac liked it.
Almost directly opposite Scott's lakehouse, about a mile away across the water, stood another house. From where Isaac sat, it looked a lot bigger than the one that he was staying in but much less homely. It was almost gothic, a Victorian English style mansion. This house's pier was at least five times the size of the McCalls' and it had four boats tied to it, compared to Scott and Melissa's solitary boat. Scott caught him looking.
"That's Robb and Julie's. They have like eight kids but they're really nice," Scott explained. "There're two more houses on the lake. From here, the lake looks like an oval but it's more of a pear-shape. We're on the narrow end. On the left, there's a couple with three kids. The eldest I may or may not have had my first gay experience with."
Scott grinned and Isaac felt a pathetic pang of jealousy before he realized that it was totally unwarranted. Whoever this guy was, Isaac had almost certainly done more with Scott than he had. Isaac smiled back and let Scott continue.
"The couple are called Chris and… and, um… Mary! That's it; Mary. Their kids are all really cool. Jon's our age and he's incredible at like all sports. I took him on at tennis once and I don't think I scored a single point in a whole hour. We made out a few times when we were thirteen but he's got a girlfriend now and he'll totally deny it if you bring it up. Daenerys is twelve, I think, and she reads a lot and she's wicked smart and if you piss her off, she'll cut you down with insults so hard, like seriously. Trust me; I made the mistake of criticizing Harry Potter once. She made me cry. I was fourteen."
Isaac laughed. He liked the sound of Daenerys already. Scott went on, a smile on his face as he flitted in and out of nostalgic mode.
"Then their youngest is called Cersei. She's really quiet but she's funny when she does speak. She used to pretend that she was a queen and she'd make me, Jon and Dany all pretend to be knights and fight to the death for her own amusement. She's either eight or nine, can't remember which."
Isaac loved the way that Scott spoke of his neighbours with such pride and knowledge. It was as if they were all members of some great extended family. One thing still confused him though.
"Um, Chris and Mary their names are right? They named their kids Jon, Daenerys and Cersei?" he asked.
"They were like massively into the Game of Thrones books in the nineties. They never really grew out of it." Scott shrugged. "I like it. I've seen that show and they all fit their names."
He'd never actually considered that people named their kids after fictional characters but now that he did, he thought it endearing. How better to choose a name for your offspring than to name them for characters that you love and cherish like family. He wondered if people would judge him for naming his kids after Sam Winchester and Donna Noble. Although, Isaac thought to himself, Sam and Donna are much more typical names than Cersei and Daenerys.
"What about the other house?" Isaac asked. "Whose is that?"
"Some elderly couple, as far as I know. They seem okay but they keep to themselves."
They finished eating and Scott took the two plates into the kitchen to wash up. When he came back out, he looked a little excited, like he'd cooked up a master plan and couldn't wait to share the details.
"Do you want to meet them?" he asked.
"Meet who?" Isaac asked back.
"Who do you think? I'll go out on the boat and see if any of them are here. They should be, both of them used to stay all summer long. If they are, I'll invite them over if you fancy it…" Scott let his words linger into a question. He tilted his head a little as if hopeful and Isaac found it downright adorable.
"It sounds good to me," Isaac said and then laughed when Scott lit up like a child at Christmas. "I'll go to the store and get some drinks and snacks while you're gone if you want."
"Since when can you drive?" Scott asked surprised.
"I can't… well, not legally anyway. But I am a werewolf and a half hour walk to a normal person is a five minute jog for me, duh."
A/N So here's another chapter after another longer wait than promised. I can only offer my sincerest apologies! I have an excuse though; I've begun working on my own original novel so that's taking up a lot of my free time! I'll be doing my best to update as often as possible but it's not looking like a weekly thing at all. The next installment will be up on Christmas Eve though, that's a promise.
Just A Lonely Reader: I hate to be the bearer of bad news but Jackson will most definitely not be the last fatality. If you keep on reading, hold your breath for Chapter 17, that's all I'll say!
Piper-Riddle13: I'm glad to hear it:) If I'm honest, I've never thought of Duke/Scott but I suppose it would be a fairly interesting story. It wasn't explored in loads of detail in the show so I guess I could do anything with it, thanks for the suggestion!
irishoreo: Hit you harder in the feels you say? Your wish is my command! I'll give a little reveal though; Jackson will return to the story later on in Isaac's mind. This isn't the last of him!
Guest: I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying the story and I'm sorry about Jackson :(
Pace1818: Thank you very much! I left it a little more ambiguous than I'd hoped, I think; that was Jackson's death. He died almost instantly from the injury Kali left him with. Danny will make an appearance but it'll be nothing more than a cameo really and 'Dethan' isn't canon in terms of this story. I'm glad you feel that way about Kali though, it's the same with me. I just saw so much potential for her and they totally pissed on her and killed her. It's like Kate Argent all over again. Like I said a little above, Jackson isn't gone forever. He'll appear in at least two more chapters in Isaac's mind. I'm a little nervous about the Scisaac (despite it being a Scisaac fic - sounds weird I know) because Chapter 15 is going to be when the fic really lives up to its M rating - hope I can do it justice! I just wanted to say a massive personal thank you to you for sticking with this story and reviewing so often, it means so much to me!
Additional Note: For my next fic, I want to try my hand at a crossover. If you could comment which of the following two that you'd be most interested in reading, I'd be so appreciative:
- Teen Wolf/The Vampire Diaries - Klaus sets his sights on a Beacon Hills pack of werewolves when he decides he needs more hybrids. The Salvatores, Elena and co. decide enough is enough and follow him from Virginia to California to put an end to the making of hybrids once and for all.
- Teen wolf/Game of Thrones - Daenerys Stormborn finds allies in Westeros within House Stark. Together they declare war on the crown of the Seven Kingdoms and plot to take the iron throne. They have the force of dragons on their side and the sigil of Winterfell is a direwolf for a reason...