The warehouse they were staying at was, to put it nicely, utter shite. Derek was living there. Well, he had nowhere else. He couldn't stay at the burned out crisp of his old house. The Argents were holding meetings there every second night just because they could. Hoping to shoot someone who walked into the ex-Hale residence and check the lifeless body for signs that they had deserved it.
Personally, Isaac thought that it would do Derek some good to fix up his old house. Make it a proper home again. It'd beat the hell out of the blow-up mattress and sleeping bag in a corner he's got going on at the moment. But Derek isn't interested in Isaac's opinion. This isn't a democracy, he'd growl.
Isaac stayed at the warehouse as well. He just hadn't left one night after practise. He had nowhere else to go. His father was dead, the house was a crime scene. He didn't have any friends to stay with. So he'd tucked himself into a ball on a shelf, arms wrapped around his knees. The next night there'd been a second blow-up mattress and some blankets, still in the packaging. Isaac had felt a stinging pain in his chest, they type that comes when something nice happens and you're scared to trust it. He hadn't mentioned it to Derek. Derek wouldn't have appreciated thanks anyway. But he had somewhere dry and warm to stay. Derek for all his growl-y-ness was a reassuring presence a few metres away. It was uncomfortable and there were all sorts of noises and drafts like crazy but he felt safe. For the first time in a long time- he felt safe. And that made his night sleep the best he'd had since his mum…went away.
Erica has somewhere to stay but once she wigs onto the fact that Isaac is staying behind, she stays behind as well. Isaac doesn't know about Erica's family, but he doesn't think they're close. There are things she says, off-hand comments and the like that suggest her parents could be more supportive of the whole epilepsy thing. Erica's undergone some, wow, changes. But sometimes she looks sad and mad in equal measures. Isaac's not sure her parents, assuming she has both, have even noticed the drastic wardrobe and beauty regime change. Isaac knows he sure has.
Erica stays with Isaac on the mattress. She brings her own pillows and blankets from home and some toiletries and changes of clothes. It's a double mattress but they lie as close as they can without touching. It's nice to have someone near, close. Their breathing constant and steady as you drift off to sleep after being repeatedly slammed into concrete by Derek for reasons only he understands.
Sometimes Isaac smells her hair when it lies across the pillow that has become his. She's very pretty and Isaac thinks she's attractive but in a general hot-girl sort of way. She's impressive because under normal circumstances she wouldn't look twice at him. Like a blonde Lydia. But she's beautiful and smart and sassy and she laughs at his stupid jokes and lame observations. He'd like her if she liked him first but for now she's just sort of a friend who's a girl who's incredibly hot.
They're platonic but he's not friggin' blind.
Boyd realises they're all staying behind one day when he leaves and no-one else makes a move to go with him. Isaac watches him, thinks that Boyd will say something. Make an observation; ask if they want to see if pizza delivery guys will actually deliver pizza to abandoned warehouses in the middle of the night. But he sort of squares his shoulders and firms his jaw, lips tight. Then he turn and leaves with a 'see you at school tomorrow' over his shoulder.
Derek moves off. Even though they occupy the same space Derek keeps to himself. When it was just Isaac they would co-exist in silence. When Erica joined, Erica and he would hang out. Sometimes they'd talk to Derek, call out something to his area of the warehouse, and he'd answer in one syllable or a grunt. Sometimes to include him... Sometimes just to check he was there with them.
Erica and Isaac don't talk about Boyd. They don't know what to say. Why didn't he stay? It was obvious he felt rejected, but they're only teenagers as well. His leaving felt like a rejection right back. And maybe that's unfair but that's how it feels.
After a few more days of silence on the matter, Boyd becoming more sullen and withdrawn, Isaac falls asleep with his face in a pillow that smells of Erica's shampoo. She's breathing deeply already asleep a few feet away, blanket tangled around her. Derek's still awake, tinkering away with something in the warehouse. With his werewolf hearing Isaac can hear him muttering about Stiles and being trapped next to him for over an hour, paralysed, as the hyperactive teenager detailed the entire history of the male circumcision.
Crazy as it is, it feels like home. And Isaac remembers the second night he stayed: the mattress and blankets just suddenly there. And the wariness. The hurt that someone who's gone too long without kindness can feel when it's reintroduced to their lives. Like a starving man eating for the first time in a long time, the body rejecting the unfamiliar even as it craves it. Maybe that's what it feels like for Boyd. He couldn't take the leap, put himself on the line, and assume he'd be welcome to stay because he's too unused to it.
After all, the reason he accepted the bite was to have friends. A connection.
A few nights later it's training night. Derek sometimes (rarely) lets them have a night off. They hadn't seen each other over Thursday. Now it's Friday and the training session has ended. They're all bruised, cuts healing but blood staining their clothes.
Boyd picks up his backpack and starts walking towards the door. His shoulders are slumped in, as if that will make the bulk of him less obvious. Less of a target. What he feels isn't something you can physically protect yourself from. Isaac would know. He feels a shiver climb its way over his skin at a phantom memory of his father but then it's gone.
"Boyd," Isaac calls out. "Where are you going?"
Boyd turns around and frowns. "What?"
"It's Friday, man. We should, uh, do something."
"Yeah," Erica chimes in. He hasn't discussed the plan with her but she jumps on board immediately. "Hey Derek, you want to do something?"
Erica sighs. "You need to get laid. Go de-virginalise Stilinski or something."
Derek growls and stalks away.
"So. Uh. Movies?" Isaac asks.
Isaac feels bad for how expressive Boyd's face is right now. Even if the worst movie in the world is playing right now, they're going to go sit there and endure it because they'd be enduring it together.
"Ugh. I hate movies," Erica says. "Sometimes they don't warn you before they get all… flash-y."
"Yeah, but you're a werewolf now," Isaac points out about her epilepsy.
"I just have- negative associations with movies, okay?"
"Fine! Uh. We could go get a meal?"
Boyd nods and Erica starts prattling about typical I'm-so-fat-watch-what-I-eat female nonsense so Isaac puts that down as a win. There are limited places to eat out at in Beacon Hills. They end up getting take away from McDonalds. It's one of the few places they can get a decent meal on their teenage budget and the employees aren't paid enough to care about the bloodstains all over them. They each pitch in $15 and they get enough food to feed a small village or cause a small heart failure. It's about 11pm as they wander the streets.
"I feel like we should be drinking from an open bottle," Erica says as they eat cheeseburgers, wandering aimlessly. They weave around the pools of light from streetlamps and walk down the centre of the road because they can.
The moon is a sickle in the sky and there are some clouds, but plenty of stars. There's a biting chill to the night air but werewolf blood runs hotter than normal. And they have each other.