When he leaves the pack, he vows to stay a lone wolf. Easier that way, he figures. Stefan is still a stain on his heart, and Ciara tugs at his conscience. He will never get his best friend back, and in his wake he leaves the girl he could easily love, if he let himself, to face the aftermath unprotected. The King got what he wanted, and Dyson is letting him have it.
Never again, he promises himself.
Being a lone wolf is, perhaps unsurprisingly, lonely. He never pegged himself as particularly outgoing or gregarious, but within the pack he had friends. A family. Here in the outside world he eats, sleeps, finds a job, rinse and repeat. Alone. He's sullen and tainted by his past, which morphs quickly from sadness to anger. He almost returns to Ireland on more occasions than he cares to admit, but each time he reminds himself he'd rather be alone than betrayed again.
What he doesn't really expect to be a problem turns out to be his biggest - learning who he can and cannot trust. He reckons himself as having a good nose for that sort of thing, but he doesn't realize until he's out on his own that he's spent so long as a member of a pack that it's clouded his judgment. The outside world is no longer as black and white as in the pack/out of the pack, friend/enemy, light/dark. Here he must contend with fae politics, and the Ash, and humans.
In the pack, they stuck with their own. Most were wolves or various shifters; there were a few other Fae that got adopted in at one point or another. But humans they actively avoided. It was easier that way - amongst each other, they could simply be, whereas in the company of the rest of the world they had to worry with secrecy and hiding their baser instincts.
The world changes, and Dyson changes with it.
He learns to intermingle with the human world. He doesn't particularly enjoy it, and the secrecy and lies are tiresome. But it's either that or join another pack, and he doesn't care how much he changes, he is not giving his unending loyalty to someone ever again. Sure, there's Trick, and there's Hale, and before them others that he marks as friends and considers worthy of loyalty. But he is no longer subservient, obeys no master but himself. It's Hale who gets him the job at the police station, and Hale who must suffer the brunt of flack from their superiors when Dyson ignores orders and goes rogue.
"Wolves don't do well with authority," he says. Sometimes with a grin, sometimes stone sober. Hale shakes his head at him. Sometimes fond and exasperated, sometimes disappointed and angry. It is not the same as his friendship with Stefan, but as angry as Hale gets he never tries to double-cross him, never decides he's sick of his shit and ditches him. Dyson wouldn't blame him, but appreciates it nonetheless. He tries (mostly, sometimes) to tone it down, play nice for Hale's sake. It...kind of sticks.
Lauren is the first human he has extended contact with. Though the fae are not the same as a pack, it's easier to stick with them and their designated safe zones, minimizing human contact though no longer shunning it outright. But there's no escaping Lauren Lewis, especially not with the frequency that Dyson seems to find himself injured.
"It's not right," he snarls. The Ash merely raises an eyebrow at him.
"That is not for you to decide," he responds. Dyson growls. At one time the sound was menacing; now, standing in the middle of the Ash's throne room by himself, surrounded by guards, it's weak and pathetic to his ears. He refuses to let her poke and prod at him, study him like a lab rat. It's one thing to interact with the human world; it's another to invite it inside. He's seen how humans react to something they deem a threat, whether it's the wolves or the fae or other countries. The division lines exist for a reason.
And then along comes Bo, and with Bo comes Kenzi.
He likes Bo, even from the beginning. Even when she's driving him insane. He of all people can understand wanting to buck the rules, do what he likes, but - perhaps it's a holdover from the pack mentality - he can't sever all ties. He needs something guiding him, constraining him, even if it's just Hale rolling his eyes and pointing out his mistakes. Without anyone looking, Dyson fears what he could let himself become, and he knows is own dark side far too well for that to happen. Bo, on the other hand, doesn't need or want any of it, and makes no secret of her disdain for both sides of the fae world.
And he likes that. Respects it. But still he wouldn't exactly say that she's someone he could trust. Not that he thinks she'd try to double-cross him, so much as that she's so unpredictable he never knows what to expect from her. Even when they have a plan, she deviates from it at the slightest whim. She's reckless, and doesn't think about the consequences. And she adopts a street girl she's known for a few days and demands that the rest of them accept her as one of their own, too.
Dyson's not having any of it. One human poking around their business was bad enough, but Lauren at least knows, for the most part, when to keep her mouth shut. It doesn't exactly make him trust her any more, because god knows what she could be secretly thinking or planning, but if she disagrees with their politics, the way they do things, she stays quiet and lets them sort it out themselves.
Kenzi has no such tact. She is outspoken and stubborn, making her a great match for Bo but a pain in the ass for everyone else involved. And the thing is that she's smart, too. She's small in stature but large in personality, and isn't above using the former to her advantage. She's also human, and when she shuts up and sits back, she picks up on probably more than anyone realizes they're giving away. And it makes Dyson uneasy. Lauren, for the most part, stays to the labs. The conversations that take place there are limited. Kenzi is at the Dal nearly every night, a safe space that loosens tongues almost as much as the alcohol does. She's privy to things that no human should be privy to, and Dyson waits for it all to blow up in their faces.
Only, it doesn't. Dyson blinks and a few years have gone by - practically nothing to a fae, but a good stretch of time for a human, and still Kenzi is right there in the thick of things. She spends most of her time helping them out, saving their asses, and the most she asks for in return is the respect that she's damn well earned. And also to stop calling her a 'toy' and a 'pet'. She saves Dyson's own life, more than once. She makes him laugh, stands by his side and shares whatever booze it is she's liberated from Trick's bar shelf as she makes disparaging comments about Lauren. She demands high-fives and declares herself "Team Dyson" and it's been a long time since anyone, fae or otherwise, made that much of an effort to have his back. Kenzi does not accept casual friendship; she worms her way in until she's so deep that it would be more effort to remove her than to accept her presence.
"You know that it's cats that have nine lives, right?" she asks after their latest scrape. Dyson is bleeding profusely from a wound in his side, and his ankle gives an uncomfortable twinge with each step. But the bad guy is down for the count, the people he loves are safe, and Kenzi's scrawny little arm is wrapped firmly around his waist, supporting him when he starts to list to one side or another. He grins, slinging his arm around her shoulders and pulling her against him for a hug. She yelps, and struggles to keep both of them balanced and standing.
"You know I'm totally Team Kenzi, right?" he murmurs. What surprises him is that he means it.