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Abiding Hearts

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A certain question floats around; does love wear out with time? Growing up as a kid you hear of finding a soulmate and living happily ever after- you settle down with a family, you grow old together. But then you enter the teenage years full of heartbreak and there are those certain people who don't even believe in settling down with one person. You meet commitment issues and reputations you've never thought of and drastic hormonal changes that even have you questioning what the definition of 'true love' is. The rate of young lovers growing old together is decreasing tremendously and people just start giving up, it's what our world is now. Is it really possible to feel the same amount of love for a person fifty years later than when you first started loving them?

This was a common topic that floated through Isaac Lahey's head. So much so that he sometimes even turned to people at random to just empty his thoughts out. Knowing Isaac, that was something he didn't do very often, become this deep thinker who you'd think was a college major in philosophy.

Isaac has witnessed first hand what effect divorce has had on his father even though it happened so long ago. When he entered high school his eyes seemed to open to the real world of how many households were being torn apart just like his own. It made him question how long a love can last before it isn't the same anymore. Did his mom fall out of love with his dad? Was it the other way around? It sure felt like his father didn't love him. And now why Isaac knew that a father/son love was not the same as a boyfriend/girlfriend love, he still observed every couple he could. Things got so hectic he soon convinced himself that couples who celebrate twenty, thirty, forty, and so on years just stay together in the fear of there being no one else. Was that what it was? Fear?

Now Isaac had been raised with his mother explaining to him the significance of love and how to identify it being real before she left them. He almost called her hypocritical after hearing those words, hearing her say 'I love you' to his father, than her just abandoning them. Isaac wanted to listen to his mother's words but after living through the event of his own parents, countless acquaintances, and even a lot of his own friends, being torn apart and left with a hollow feeling in their chest made him see how dangerous the term love can be.

But then Isaac met Derek Hale.

Derek was the type of guy who everyone would want to fall in love with but no one would try and get within a foot of him. His presence left you both intimidated and sexually confused but Isaac just found it comforting, almost in a big brother type of way. The two had immediately grown closer each day, roomed in college together, planned to live near each other afterwards. Through Derek, Isaac met the one and only Stiles.

Stiles Stilinski came along in the summer after Derek and Isaac's senior year of college and even Isaac wasn't blind to how complete and utterly smitten Derek was with the guy, though he'd been very good at hiding it. Isaac still saw Derek enough to maintain their friendship but it turned into more 'I'll be over after I drop Stiles off' or 'Can we do it tomorrow? Stiles and I made plans.' Isaac didn't let it bother him as he was ecstatic Derek had found someone of interest. And Isaac also knew that Derek wasn't replacing him with Stiles. No, he simply was a boy with a crush who wanted to get closer to them. It was a normal thing to happen around their age.

Isaac and Derek instead of living near each other, actually lived together after college. It was a blast with takeout tuesdays and scheduled movie nights more than once a week. They laughed together when the cranky old man upstairs yelled at them to turn their music down. They cried when the anniversary of Derek's family's death would arrive. There were so many memories shared in their tiny apartment.

Stiles came over more and more and Isaac would be generous to let them have the television or the kitchen or wherever. Each time the boy left Derek would just stand there wearing the dopiest smile with a faint blush of red on his cheeks. It made Isaac laugh and pat his friend on the back.

It wasn't until Derek came to Isaac's room one night and confessed how he thought he was in love with Stiles that Isaac started to worry. All his high school thoughts came back of how pained of a state love left couples in when they broke up. He didn't want to see his best friend go through it. So Isaac explained to Derek that maybe he should wait some time. It hadn't been that long since they'd met Stiles and he wanted to make sure what Derek was feeling wasn't him just being mistaken for lust or a big crush. That had been their first fight. Derek yelled at Isaac for not being supportive of his feelings but Isaac just retorted back how it's not easy to recognize what love really is.

That night didn't stop Derek though. He invited Stiles to a party thrown by Isaac and his friend Erica. Isaac had watched Derek and Stiles get wasted and grind on the dance floor, knowing they wouldn't remember this milestone in the morning. He was right, Derek woke up on Erica's couch while Stiles woke up in the bathtub. Both men didn't recall a thing after their fourth or fifth drink and Isaac just felt he didn't need to intervene by explaining how close they'd gotten.

Isaac tried to stay optimistic through it all but the more Derek hung out with Stiles the more he was in danger of spitting out a love confession. Isaac knew it could potentially ruin how strong of a friendship him and Derek had if he warned him of the cons of telling Stiles. Oh, how awful he felt. Isaac just knew he couldn't do that to Derek and the next day he had found the pair kissing passionately on the balcony. Derek later told him he explained to Stiles the love he felt for the boy and how Stiles reciprocated every feeling. Isaac gave Derek a smile and a congratulations before locking himself in his bedroom the rest of the night.

Isaac never told people the words he 'didn't believe in love'. That wasn't necessarily true. It was just the idea of two people having feelings so strong for each other that last until they're old and on their death beds. But if Derek thought he felt that way about Stiles then there was nothing he could do.

Years passed after that and Stiles and Derek remained together. Derek eventually moved out to live with Stiles but their friend Boyd took his place as Isaac's roommate. It was okay, him and Derek were still best friends. He'd get texts and phone calls every once of a while consisting of Derek just explaining to Isaac how perfect everything was, how perfect Stiles was. They weren't perfect in society's definition- the couple fought, teased, contrasted- but they were perfect in Derek's definition. Isaac let him have that.

In high school Isaac had observed many couples but as he grew older he only cared about observing one, that being Stiles and Derek. He just didn't understand. They'd fought over a huge thing, argued over little things. They weren't always together, they had different personalities, yet they still looked at each other like they had the stars in their eyes. Isaac had never seen that look but he guessed it just didn't happen in high school.

Derek was protective of Stiles and Stiles never shamed Derek for the softie he really was inside. It had been maybe six years of being together, being 'in love', when Derek asked Stiles to marry him. It was at that time Isaac realized maybe love wasn't such an awful thing.

He was Derek's best man (of course) and even teared up at the sight of his best friend since college exchanging vows with his soon-to-be husband. Later that night when the newlyweds danced under the stars, not paying attention too anyone else. That was when Isaac met Scott.

More years passed and Stiles had convinced Derek to adopt a child. Her name was Amelia and she was beautiful inside and out in Isaac's eyes with light brown hair and dazzling brown eyes. Isaac and Scott were always dubbed as first choice babysitters when Derek and Stiles needed a date night. That was perfectly fine with them as the little girl was so well behaved and it also gave Isaac and Scott some time. The two became fast friends after Derek and Stiles' wedding and though it'd been about three years since that day, Isaac still got this unfamiliar and funny feeling in his stomach when he was around the man.

Isaac described in as much detail as he could the feeling to Derek when they were alone one day. His friend just gave him the happiest smile and replied how that's how he felt when he'd confessed to Isaac that he was in love with Stiles.

But it couldn't be, Isaac had never been in love. It was probably just some minor interest, Scott was nice and not bad-looking at all, okay? All those years of doubting he'd ever come close to love and now Derek tells Isaac that he Scott could potentially become his long-term lover?

Fast forward months later and Scott made the first move. Isaac was terrified when he'd felt the press of soft lips against his one night and effectively screwed everything up by running away. It wasn't Derek that came to him later but Stiles. He said how Scott had explained what had happened to him and was wondering why Isaac had ran when he clearly reciprocated the feelings. Isaac ended up confessing to his best friends' husband what he'd explained to Derek so long ago. How he was afraid of falling in love and ending up broken, of how nothing ever lasted anymore. Stiles just held Isaac in his arms and convinced him of why love was amazing.

Scott and Isaac got married four years later. Derek shared a secret look full of pride and happiness with Isaac when he was standing at the alter with him as his own best man.

That night when Isaac was wrapped up in his sleeping husband's arms he reminisced about how it had all started. He realized it was Derek and Stiles who made him believe in love with how powerful their own was. There was no way in telling if they'd all grow old together but Isaac loved the moment he was in at that point and how he'd been missing out on what love was really about all this time. It wasn't about telling someone three words and kissing them. Love was about imagining a future with that person and wanting to known all about them, protecting them on first instinct and treating them like a best friend.

Fifty years later Isaac was sitting on his porch with his husband's hand in his. Stiles and Derek sat next to them, also not letting go of each other. Their kids were scattered around with their significant others while their grandkids ran through the yard full of energy. Isaac had been wrong, love doesn't wear off if you believe in it. Love is a great and powerful thing that no one should be afraid of. He looked to his friends whispering in each other's ears like the young adults still trapped in their old bodies. Then Isaac turned to Scott who was already staring at him. They shared a small smile before turning back to the group, their family.