Don't Give Up:
Erica and Boyd believed they’d lost and Isaac hadn’t known how to correct them. They hadn’t lost, the storm was only beginning to build. Isaac hadn’t found a way to explain that feeling to them. They’re standing on a precipice and the horrors they’ve witnessed had only been the clouds rolling in. The storm hasn’t hit yet. This Isaac knew. Except tonight he’s missed something. He couldn't be sure if it’s because he’s too young, too stupid or too unaccustomed to listening to these new werewolf senses, but he knew that the something he’s missed is little, subtle and might be a key component in getting through the threatening storm.
Isaac tore off his uniform as soon as he got to the locker room and struggled into his clothes. Scott had told him to get to the hospital, to keep an eye out for Jackson while he looked for Stiles. He’s just dropped onto a bench to shove his feet into his shoes when he noticed Danny sitting away from everyone, still in uniform and staring at his phone. Danny’s eyes were shuttered, grip tight on his helmet and lips pressed together. Danny took a slow stuttered inhale that Isaac couldn’t help but focus on, it drowned out Coach Finstock’s bellowing. Isaac closed the distance between them and sat on the bench next to Danny, placed a hand on Danny’s elbow when Danny didn’t react. Slowly Danny looked away from his phone.
“I’m going to the hospital,” Isaac offered.
Danny looked back to his phone, hunched over farther.
“I’ve never seen AED pads used before,” Isaac tried, “but it said it didn’t need to shock him before the ambulance got here, so he had a pulse.”
Danny let out a slow exhale and told him, voice shaky, “I keep thinking I should call his parents.”
They weren’t there. How had he missed that? Jackson’s parents weren’t there. When Scott’s mom had been issuing orders and starting CPR, as a teacher ran to get the AED and another called the hospital, several people had stuck around to help while several just fled as though they too feared they’d be told to help. The only person who’d been screaming for their kid had been Stiles’ dad. Finstock had immediately set out to make sure Stiles had been the only missing player, but by the time he’d was just getting started Jackson had a pulse and was being loaded into an ambulance. There had been no parents screaming for Jackson as they played a championship game or as he lay bleeding on that field. Isaac wasn’t sure how he’d missed that.
Isaac followed Danny’s gaze down to the phone and frowned at the way Danny’s hands were shaking.
“I fucked it up,” Danny confessed.
Isaac shook his head, opened his mouth to protest, but stopped when he realized Danny was going to continue.
“Sometimes he needs his space, but I should’ve pushed. This time I should’ve pushed. He…he tried to warn me something was going to happen, but I didn’t…It doesn’t make any sense.”
“No, it doesn’t,” Isaac agreed, because even with the added truth of werewolves, a kanima and crazy hunters this world he’d found himself a part of was still making very little sense to him.
Danny closed his eyes and nodded, swiped at tears still trying to make their way down his face and nearly dropped his phone.
Isaac caught it and handed it back, “Someone at the hospital will call his parents.”
“I have to get over there.”
“I’ll drive,” Isaac told him, not liking the fear and panic he could practically taste coming off Danny. It wouldn’t be safe to let him drive like this and they both intended to go to the hospital so it was the safe thing to do.
“You don’t even li…” Danny started then trailed off and Isaac berated himself as he watched Danny fit some of the puzzle of the last few weeks together.
“It’d be better if you were stupid,” Isaac advised.
“Yeah,” Danny agreed, before he countered, “but if I was stupid Jackson wouldn’t be my best friend, Stiles wouldn’t come to me when he needed help and Lydia wouldn’t be a study partner. I’m already on the fringes of this so…”
Isaac wasn’t sure how to answer or if Danny was going to push for answers.
“I just want my best friend back,” Danny finally concluded.
“Hospital,” Isaac prodded. Danny nodded, shoved his phone at Isaac and began stripping off his uniform. Isaac worked his way back to his locker and put his things away. By the time he made his way back over to Danny’s locker Danny was holding out keys to him. Isaac traded the phone for keys and then pulled out his own phone. He’s sent a quick plea out to Derek, Erica and Boyd as soon as he and Scott had split up. Only Derek had replied, telling him: Stay in public. He could only hope that meant Derek was going to help Scott.
Lydia threw herself at Danny the moment the two of them left the locker room. She was talking rapidly, a nervous replay of the CPR she’d helped with on the field and the fears of not remembering why she’d been left bloodied on that same field.
“We’ll go to the hospital to wait,” Danny reassured as he pulled her close, “Isaac's driving.”
“Isaac?” Lydia questioned as she stepped back from Danny’s embrace to give him a questioning look. Isaac tried for a reassuring smile, but wasn’t sure he managed it when her critical eye made him want to slink back into the locker room and find another way to the hospital.
“Neither of you showered,” she pointed out.
“I’m not going to be in the shower while my best friend is in the ER, but I’m not safe to drive right now and neither are you. Isaac offered,” Danny insisted.
The drive to the hospital was quiet, each of them lost in their own thoughts as Isaac concentrated on driving. Isaac expected the silence to break once they got to the hospital, but Lydia found a corner and pulled out her phone. Danny joined her. Isaac snatched up one of the few couches and stretched out facing the door and concentrated on trying to hear anything relating to Jackson. Danny eventually disappeared and came back with coffee for each of them, he sat down next to Isaac and Lydia drifted over. Danny’s already fixed his own coffee but he and Lydia picked through the creamer and sugar that Danny set on the nearby table filled with pamphlets. There’s really no word yet, all they have is a reassurance that Jackson’s parents were called. Isaac kept checking his phone, waited for word about Stiles, but he only got one text from Erica asking where he was. Isaac told her and she hadn’t responds which made Isaac uneasy. Erica is always the one to end a conversation even if the last thing she texts is k, her lack of response wasn’t like her. Isaac sent Derek another text stating he thinks something happened to Erica, but he hadn’t heard back yet.
Another two hours later has Danny slowly nodding off beside him and Isaac wasn’t sure how to handle that. A part of him wanted to send Danny home since Lydia confirmed they weren’t going to get any information about Jackson until Jackson’s parents gave permission. Apparently there are laws about patient privacy.
Lydia perched on the edge of the couch, still playing with her phone and Isaac wasn’t sure he wanted to know how the device could keep her occupied for that long. He’s on the verge of asking when Danny lost his battle with sleep and slumped on him. Isaac glanced down at the teammate suddenly using him as a pillow and frowned when he realized Lydia had snapped a picture.
“What? It’s cute,” she smirked.
“Oh please,” she rolled her eyes, “You’re not his type.”
“Type?” he questioned.
“You’ve got no piercings or tattoos,” she told him as she slipped the phone into her pocket.
Isaac raised his eyebrows. Lydia gave him an innocent look in response before she got up, brushed imaginary dirt off her pants and went back over to the desk. Isaac wasn’t sure what to make of her asking for blankets, but decided he couldn't complain when she dropped two on the couch next to him and he could feel a pleasant warmth radiating off of them.
Lydia prodded a half asleep Danny into sitting up and giving her his coat. She looked close to laughter as Danny slumped back down against Isaac as soon as the coat was handed over.
“But I think you’ll make a good pillow,” she told Isaac as she folded Danny’s jacket and dumped it into his lap. Isaac gave her a confused look and indicated the coat in his lap before she rolled her eyes and pushed Danny into using his own coat as a pillow. She pulled Danny’s legs up onto the couch and covered him with a blanket. Lydia draped the other blanket over herself before she pulled Isaac’s arm around her and snuggled into his other side.
Isaac took in Lydia using his left side as a pillow, eyes closed and breath starting to even out and then down at Danny using his lap and a coat as a pillow. Isaac nodded to himself, this wasn’t what Scott had meant when he said go the hospital, but all the same Isaac tightened his grip on the two of them and waited.
He’s half lulled into wanting rest himself when Derek and Scott come in with Stiles. Isaac bit back a whimper, he wanted to jump up and join them, but that would wake Lydia and Danny. He surprised when it’s Derek Stiles latched onto and won’t let leave him, but Derek just goes back with him and Scott walked slowly over to him, the exhaustion shown in the slump of his shoulders. He stood over Isaac looking as if he could sway into the couch and asked how Jackson was.
“I wasn’t able to pick out much from the crowd, but they’ve stabilized him and moved him up to ICU. We can’t actually go see him unless his parents say so,” Isaac managed.
Scott frowned and looked around.
“They haven’t shown up yet,” Isaac admitted.
At that moment Stiles’ dad flew in through the door, ran up to Scott and got pointed in the direction of the desk. He’s hurried back to his son and Isaac sighed out a relieve breath he hadn’t even realized he’d been holding in.
Scott hugged himself and Isaac indicated the couch. Scott shrugged and indicated Danny and Lydia, “They okay?”
Scott nodded and gave Isaac’s free shoulder a squeeze, “Going to find Jackson.”
Not sure if he wanted to tell Scott to sneak carefully or ask about Erica and Boyd, Isaac is relieved when Erica and Boyd walk in stiffly. They both smell like healing, pain and relief. They’re wearing clean clothes, but there’s dirt on their hands and shoes. They perch in what little space is left on the couch. Boyd settled down next to Lydia and Erica slipped into the space behind Danny’s knees. Scott took them in, nodded and slipped off to find out about Jackson.
Isaac wanted to ask what happened, but Boyd and Erica look haunted. Instead Boyd asked questions, in a quiet tone, about how the night had gone and Isaac tried to answer in an equally quiet tone. They still wake Lydia who blinked at all of them, nodded and then shook Danny’s shoulders. Danny gave a muffled protest and snuggled against his coat before wrapping his arm around Isaac’s knees. Isaac resisted the urge to laugh, but Erica didn’t. Danny gave another sleepy protest before he turned enough to look at her and then pull his arm off Isaac and nodded to the space that created. It took a moment for Erica and Danny to rearrange so Erica’s in Danny’s arms and they’re both using the coat on Isaac’s lap as a pillow, but they managed. Lydia nodded to herself as the two settled down and then pulled up her blanket and tilted her head at Boyd who only raised his eyebrows.
“Warm, hurry up,” Lydia yawned. Boyd shrugged and settled into wrap himself and Lydia in the blanket. Lydia hummed her approval as Boyd used her shoulder as a pillow and pulled her close. Then Lydia patted Isaac on the chest and told him, “See, good pillow.”
Everyone had drifted back off when Allison strode in, face set in anger. She smelled of grief, stopped short when she spotted them, stared at them a moment and Isaac met her gaze unblinking. She pressed her lips together and for a moment she smelled like regret, but Isaac wasn’t sure because the slid of emotions that run through her are quick and pained. She backed out of the doors slowly, before she turned and walked away.
The doors have only just closed behind her when Jackson’s parents finally sedately walk through the doors. They’ve just walked up to the desk when Derek joined them and stared down at the five of them. Isaac indicated Jackson’s parents with his chin and Derek scowls at them a moment before he turned back, “Who?”
“Whittemores,” Isaac answered.
Derek frowned and looked at them again. He gave Isaac a questioning look. Isaac pointedly looked at the five people wrapped around him. Derek scrubbed a hand down his face.
“How’s he supposed to know how to have a family if the one who are supposed to want him can’t be bothered to show up until six hours after he died,” Isaac managed.
“He’s not dead,” Derek gritted out.
“Cause they shocked him back to life on that field and then they had to do it again once he was here,” Isaac told him, “He probably thought it was a better option than hurting one of the two people who actually care about him or maybe he was just tired of being used, but…”
Isaac stopped, feeling helpless.
“I know,” Derek tried to reassure as he ran a hand into Isaac’s hair, “We’ll figure this out.”
“Together?” Isaac asked.
Derek took a step back, surveyed the group of sleeping teens again, then towards the elevator that Scott had taken up to the ICU and Jackson, then towards the emergency room past the waiting room where he’d left Stiles with his dad. Finally Derek nodded and agreed, “Together.”