Isaac didn't know what the thing they were hunting was called or why it was terrorizing Beacon Hills. He didn't know how Derek had tracked the thing to the section of Beacon Hills that was filled with abandoned warehouses and the like. He didn't even know why it fell to the pack to deal with this sort of thing because there was no way it was their fault - this time. What he did know was he was awfully tired of being chased and shot at by Hunters.
"Don't they know we're trying to help?" Scott asked as they sprinted down a narrow hallway, moving slower than they otherwise might because they knew the thing they were hunting was somewhere in front of them and Derek had stumbled back to the Hale house a few days earlier covered in bites and scratches. If this thing could do that to an Alpha werewolf, well, Isaac and Scott weren't particularly looking forward to a confrontation that wasn't on their terms.
"My guess is that they don't particularly care either way," Isaac said, looking back at the sound of gun fire. The hallway they'd been corralled into was narrow and the intersecting corridors they'd passed so far had all been blocked off. If the Hunters rounded that corner they would have a direct line of sight to Scott and Isaac. Sure, they'd survive being shot, probably even if the bullets were wolfsbane, but if they went down the Hunters would be on them almost immediately. Derek had warned them not to kill any Hunters if they could possibly help it, their treaty with the Argents was still shaky at best and it wouldn't take much to wind up with them being viciously hunted through the woods once more.
Isaac's eyes caught on a door handle a dozen feet or so further down the hallway and he glanced back at the sound of the Hunter's shouts coming even closer. He darted to the door and channeled his enhanced strength to pull it open. Even with all of his effort and with Scott pulling against the door as it scraped open they barely managed to move it far enough that they could slip inside and pull it shut behind them. The door audibly latched as it swung shut and Isaac took half a step back before he found himself abruptly against a wall. He put his hands out to see how much space they had, not even able to straighten his arms before they met the door, and froze in place when he heard the sound of the Hunters coming closer.
As their footsteps approached Isaac silently reached out and found Scott's hand, squeezing it as the Hunters pulled on outside handle. "Not here, it's jammed," one of the Hunters said, his voice barely two feet from where Isaac and Scott were standing so still that they barely dared to breathe.
Isaac closed his eyes as the Hunter's moved on and tipped his head back against the wall. "I think they're gone," he said when he was sure he couldn't hear anyone.
"Great," Scott said, his voice almost a whisper in the small space.
Isaac felt along the door until he found the handle and he pulled on it, first down and then towards him. It didn't budge. He felt his heart pick up a notch and he pulled on it harder before he tried pushing it and then pulling it up. Still nothing. His mind flashed to being locked in, chains and a padlock securing the outside and no one to let him out even if he begged and pleaded. He swallowed hard, reminded himself that he was a werewolf, and then started pulling on the handle again with all of his enhanced strength. Nothing.
"Isaac?" Scott asked, taking an audible breath in the silence.
"I can't get the door open," Isaac admitted, trying to ignore the way his heart was now pounding in his ears.
"Let me try," Scott said, and Isaac thought it wasn't his imagination that there was a hint of panic in Scott's voice.
Isaac plastered himself against the back wall so that Scott could get by, and even then he only just barely managed to squeeze past him. He listened as Scott pulled on the handle, his breaths coming quicker, and felt around to see how much room they had. His hand met a narrow wall at where he could feel the door hinges and there was a slight crack with a draft of cold air in the corner. Reaching up led him to the conclusion that they in the doorway of an industrial freezer or something, and the rest of the room had been blocked off just like the other corridors they'd passed. He pressed his back against the door and used his foot to press against where the crack was, but the metal didn't give in the slightest. If he had another foot of space to get better leverage, maybe, but he couldn't even crouch down facing the back wall or the door.
There was a loud crack and Isaac looked back toward Scott even though he couldn't see anything. "Scott?"
"That was the handle," Scott said and there was a clatter as he dropped it to the floor. A loud thump signaled Scott throwing himself at the door and then a scraping sound as his claws met the metal.
"Scott!" Isaac said again, reaching over to grab Scott's hands. The sound was just too much like the sound of Isaac's fingernails against the plastic of the freezer lid for Isaac's peace of mind. "Stop. Derek will come let us out. We're fine."
Scott stopped, his hands sagging down into Isaac's before he pulled away. "Yeah. Sorry."
Isaac wrapped his arms around his chest and closed his eyes so that he could ignore the fact that he couldn't see. He'd gotten used to being a werewolf, had wanted it so badly that adjusting hadn't taken much time at all, and he'd become used to opening his eyes and seeing well even in the near dark. The hallway they'd been in had been near dark; here in the enclosed space there was no light at all and while their eyes worked well in low light, in no light they were just as lost as any human would be. Focusing on taking slow and deep breaths, not wanting to panic or hyperventilate, it took Isaac a moment to realize that the pained gasps he was hearing weren't coming from him. "Hey, you okay?" Isaac asked, opening his eyes and peering uselessly in the direction Scott was standing.
"I just don't really like small spaces," Scott said, his words more than a little strangled.
Isaac drew a pained breath of his own. It figured that the only two claustrophobic werewolves in what had to be the entire world were trapped in a small enclosed space together. "Derek will be here soon, he'll let us out," Isaac said again, aiming for hopeful and doubting he succeeded when Scott gave a low distressed whimper in response. "Scott?"
"It's nothing. It's stupid," Scott said, sucking in air sharply around the last word. "I'm fine."
"We're okay," Isaac said, pressing the palm of one hand against his chest and reaching with the other until he found Scott's hand bunched into a fist. He wrapped his hand around Scott's, not sure which of them was currently shaking harder. "There's even air, there's a seam in the corner and I can feel the draft," he added, remembering how sometimes only the only thing that reassured him that he could still breathe when he was in the freezer was being able to feel the holes punched in the lid. "We can trade places so you can be closer to it, if you want?"
"I'm fine," Scott said again, his arm moving as he shook his head. "Just, stupid."
Isaac swallowed hard as his throat tried to close, restricting his breathing even further. He edged closer to Scott until they were standing shoulder to shoulder. "You're not stupid, Scott. What's going on?"
Scott shook his head again, his shoulder bumping against Isaac's. He gave a low gasp like he had tried to say something and then shook his head again.
Isaac grimaced and shut his eyes again, tipping his head down to gently rest his head against Scott's. "We both know why I'm having trouble, so you can tell me why you're not doing so well. Turnabout, and all that," he said, his laugh coming out as a series of short breaths. "Have you always not liked small spaces?"
"No," Scott said, his head turning back and forth slightly under Isaac's. "I was locked in a closet. By my dad."
Isaac's lips parted in surprise. This was the first time he'd ever heard Scott talk about his dad. There weren't any pictures of him in the McCall house and despite the ridiculous amount of time Isaac spent at Scott's house he'd never heard Scott or Mrs. McCall mention Scott's dad. He'd known that Scott's parents were divorced, Stiles had said as much once in passing, but he had no idea what had happened to Scott's dad after that. "Scott," he said, not as surprised as he thought he maybe should be.
"Once," Scott added. "It was only once. When I was a kid. Right before my parents divorced."
It was Isaac's turn to shake his head. "It doesn't matter if it was only once," he began, wanting to wrap his arms around Scott but not wanting to make Scott feel worse. Sometimes, when Isaac had been thinking too much about things he didn't like to think about, he didn't like to be touched at all.
"It wasn't like your dad," Scott said, standing a little straighter. "He and my mom were arguing, and I was trying to make them stop. I was in the way, and he shut me in there so I would stop interrupting."
"You don't think my dad had excuses about what I was doing to make him lock me in the freezer?" Isaac asked bitterly, though mostly because he hated that he could hear that Scott still believed what his dad had said about him.
Scott swallowed audibly and gave a little shrug. "He hit my mom that night. I remember because it went really quiet and then he left and she came and let me out. Two days later they told me they were getting divorced and that my dad would be moving out."
Pressing his lips tight, Isaac leaned in closer and wondered if Scott's dad was still alive, and if so, how Scott hadn't wolfed-out at him yet. Isaac hadn't even lasted a full week.
"It was only once. I shouldn't be so-" Scott cut himself off with a violent shake of his head, dislodging Isaac.
"Once is more than enough," Isaac whispered, leaning against the wall and hunching his shoulders and folding his arms tight against his chest. If he'd been alone he would have crouched down on the floor, rested his head on his knees so maybe he wouldn't feel so dizzy, but at least he didn't feel like he was on the verge of panic anymore. Maybe just on the edge of being sick instead.
"I just keep thinking the Hunters are going to open that door and take you, and leave me here, and I won't be able to stop them," Scott said, his voice shaking.
Isaac shivered. The image of being torn away from Scott, both of them small and helpless like they used to be, was all too clear in his mind.
Scott took a step closer, his hand questing out until he latched onto Isaac's forearms. "Sorry. Sorry. I know this is bad for you too. Worse, probably. Are you alright?"
Isaac nodded. "Yeah," he answered, surprised to discover that was mostly true. He wasn't freaking out the way he used to in the freezer when he'd been in there for a long time. He leaned in when Scott leaned closer and settled his arms around Scott when Scott's hands slid around to Isaac's back. He pressed his mouth and nose against Scott's temple and breathed in his scent. With his eyes closed again, this time it wasn't even to forget that he couldn't see in the dark surrounding them; he was remembering lying in Scott's bed with Scott, their arms around each other exactly like this as they lingered on the edge of sleep. "We're okay," he said, and it was a promise.
"Yeah," Scott said, his voice muffled against Isaac's shoulder.
He couldn't say how long they stood there, holding each other as they waited for rescue, but it seemed longer when they could only count time by their breaths and heartbeats. A scraping sound startled both of them from their silent focus, their claws out as they grasped at each other.
"Isaac? Scott?" Derek's voice called, barely audible through the thickness of the door.
"In here! We're stuck!" Isaac shouted.
There was some muttering Isaac couldn't quite make out but he imagined it was probably something about how Derek couldn't even leave them alone for thirty minutes without them getting into trouble. Derek said that a lot, even though it wasn't deserved most of the time. Trouble found them, not the other way around. A moment later the door opened, the edge slowly dragging away from the wall, and Scott squeezed through as soon as there was enough of a gap. Isaac followed without hesitation and stumbled out into the hall that seemed bright in contrast to the darkness they'd come from.
"Do we even want to know?" Stiles asked from where he was standing back, though worry tugged at the edges of his mouth as he looked at Scott.
"Hiding from the Hunters," Isaac said as he moved away from the doorway. In the hall, surrounded by relatively fresh air, he could smell the stench of fear seeping from the small space - both he and Scott were practically drenched in the scent.
"Great, whatever," Derek said, but there was less of a bite to his words than usual as he considered Isaac and Scott. "In the meantime, it escaped into the woods with the Hunters following it. Let's go."
Isaac thought that they should maybe let the Hunters face off with whatever that thing was, they could deal with whichever happened to survive, but Stiles and Scott were already walking in the direction Derek had indicated. Isaac fell into step next to Derek, wiping his damp hands on his pants as he listened to Stiles ask Scott if he was alright. Scott told Isaac he was fine and looked back at Isaac for a brief moment and gave him one of those small smiles that wasn't happy at all. Isaac nodded, understanding, and he thought that having Scott there with him, having to stay present to keep Scott from panicking, had helped more than anything else would have.
Derek glanced at Isaac and Isaac kept his eyes directed forward. He and Scott had survived - both then and now - and that was what mattered.