Before Kate, before the fire, before Peter, there was pack. There was life in the house, there were siblings and cousins and friends and family that made him feel safe, protected, and above all else, loved.
Now there’s a subway station, abandoned when Beacon Hills realized they really couldn’t afford and didn’t have a use for a metro line.
Now there are three outcasts given strength they weren’t ready for by a man unprepared to lead them.
But it’s pack, and his Betas cling to him like he used to cling to his mother, to his sister, and like he tried to do with his uncle. Even Boyd, the most standoffish of his new pack, lets himself get lost in belonging sometimes. They stay most nights with him. Issac can’t leave. Erica’s mom doesn’t care. Boyd’s parents haven’t even noticed.
Derek starts every night alone on the mattress he brought from New York and rescued from the shell of the house before the hunters took up residence there. It still smells like Laura, deep inside the fibers, and when it’s not breaking his heart, it soothes him.
Issac is always the first to come to him, searching out warmth and comfort. Derek shifts onto his side, wrapping an arm around Issac’s small body and burying his nose in Issac’s hair. Issac breathes easier, and Derek’s wolf sings.
Next is Erica, emboldened by Issac. She faces Issac and tangles their legs together, resting her head on his bicep. Derek grasps her hip firmly, pulls the covers over her from where they’ve gotten bunched up because Issac is a blanket hog.
Boyd takes the longest, but a few hours before sunrise he sneaks into the car Derek calls his and spoons up behind Erica. His forearm rests against Derek’s as he reaches out for Issac, and the pack is almost, almost complete.
There are still a few missing, but Derek knows that they’ll come in time. In the small hours, with his three chosen Betas close, he’s content to be patient.