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When Isaac told Stiles he was enlisting, it went as bad as he’d expected. Isaac knew that Stiles wouldn’t understand. Isaac was aware his brother, Camden, had done this same thing, but Isaac wasn’t his brother. No matter how many times he tried to explain this to Stiles, it kept coming back to that.

“He never came back Isaac! I can’t lose you to a bullet in some desert!” Stiles repeated again. “I love you. You and me were going to go to college. We’re getting married after we graduate and then grow old together. Remember that? What happened to that plan?”

“Stiles you made that plan when we were ten! Things have changed since then. Fuck, my life has completely changed since then!”

“I know we were ten. Don’t you even remember why we made this plan? Do you remember that day, Isaac, because I can’t fucking forget it. That was the day that Camden left for boot camp. You were heartbroken watching him leave. It was the only thing I could do to cheer you up,” Stiles explained. “Even then, I just wanted to make things better for you.”

“Yeah, and instead things just got shittier. I’m not doing this to run away. I haven’t thought about running since Derek took me in and gave me a real home. But enlisting? Yeah I’ve thought about it a lot. Fuck, Carp and I both have thought about this a lot. College isn’t for me, and neither is staying here and bagging groceries. I’m not going to be alone and neither will you, okay? Carp and I will keep each other safe. And you and Tommy can keep each other outta trouble. Then in four years when you have the degree you’ve always imagined, we can continue on with your plan.”

“You’ve really thought about this a lot huh? Just…why didn’t you talk to me about it?” Stiles asked softly as he sat next to Isaac.

“You would’ve talked me outta it. Carp tried, but he also listened. I never expected him to think it was a good plan for him too. That’s an added bonus, if you can call it that.” Isaac paused, pulling Stiles closer to kiss him gently. “So now, no more fighting about this, okay? I’m going to be just fine.”


Isaac looked around Max’s diner with a heavy heart. He’d told Stiles everything was fine, but he knew it was a lie as much as Stiles did. This was the last time he would be here for weeks, maybe even months. Tomorrow Isaac and Carp were leaving for boot camp. His bag was packed and sitting in the living room of his house where he knew Stiles wouldn’t see it when they went back later.

He wasn’t regretting his decision; he still believed that enlisting was the best for him. Not that he could change his mind now anyway. The idea of being away from his boyfriend for so long, not knowing when he would get to hear his voice or how often he would get letters, that had him feeling down.

“Lahey! You with us still?” Tommy asked, grinning at Isaac from across the table.

“Yeah, just thinking.”

“No. We made a deal. None of that today. We’re gonna have a great day, all of us!”

Isaac smiled back at his friends as he grabbed Stiles’ hand under the table. They were all putting on a ‘brave face’ for the day. Even though Isaac was sure they could all feel the tension as much as he did, they’d agreed to make today a happy day. Shaking away the sad thoughts that loomed inside of him, Isaac finished his lunch with his friends.

“Your place now, Lahey?” Carp asked as the waitress cleared their table. “I still can’t believe that Derek just let us have the place to ourselves tonight!”

“Yeah, well you should see the box of condoms he left in the bathroom,” Isaac mumbled as he felt his face blush. “Or heard the lecture I got this morning before I left. Still glad he gave us time though, ya know.”

“Alright, enough talking, let’s get outta here! I gotta get my fix of video games before…” Carp stopped, and Isaac saw his eyes go wide.

“We can’t completely ignore it today, beb,” Tommy said softly.

They climbed out of their booth and headed toward the front to pay.

“My boys! Leaving in the morning aren’t you?” Maxine, the owner of Max’s, asked as the smile faded off her face. “Take care of each other, okay? And I expect to see you both back here eatin’ as soon as you come to town.”

Maxine pulled them both into hugs before looking over at Tommy and Stiles. “And you two, I expect to see you around until the fall. Just because your boyfriends are gone doesn’t mean you need to be hiding from me.”

“No worries, we’ll still be around to harass you!” Stiles exclaimed. “And our boyfriends are going to be back before you know it.”

“Be careful,” Maxine, whispered softly so only Isaac and Carp could hear her. “We can’t do that again.”

Isaac didn’t even have to ask what she meant. Camden dying had hurt the entire town, not just his family. He knew everyone they were close to felt the same way, but most of them were too scared to say it.

“Always,” Isaac and Carp both whispered as they gave Maxine a final hug.

~*~

“Pizza for dinner?” Isaac asked for the fourth time.

“Huh?” was the response he got from both Tommy and Stiles.

“They’re horrible. You think they’re going to remember to eat when we’re gone?” Carp asked Isaac, smiling fondly at his boyfriend who was jumping around with the controller in his hand.

“Probably not. The Sheriff is probably gonna starve, too. Either that or the house will be lined with pizza boxes from late night deliveries!” Isaac replied with a laugh as Tommy and Stiles finally turned to look at the two Isaacs on the couch.

“Talking about us?” Stiles shot back grinning at Isaac.

“About time you heard me! You want pizza for dinner or something else? You two have been at that game for hours now”

“Oh fuck! Isaac! Why didn’t you just turn it off? I want to spend time with you, not just the game,” Stiles said quickly.

“I was enjoying the view,” Isaac said with a grin, pulling his boyfriend onto his lap. “I just can’t get enough of it.”

Stiles leaned closer to press their mouths together. The kiss quickly turned heated, the two of them pushing toward each other. Isaac took over, moving Stiles just right until he could feel his boyfriend’s hardening cock pressed against his body. He kissed him deeper, his tongue licking into his lover’s mouth as if he were memorizing everything about him that he could.

The low growl that escaped when they broke for air snapped them out of their lust-filled trance. Isaac looked up and laughed when he saw they were alone in the room.

“Guess they had the same idea?” Stiles asked just before he attacked his boyfriend’s mouth again.

Isaac pulled back to nip at Stiles’ bottom lip before breaking the kiss completely. “Yeah, and I think we need to move this upstairs.”

Stiles hopped up before Isaac even finished speaking and reached down to pull his boyfriend up. They climbed up the stairs quickly, not even caring at the noise they were making. He was sure that Tommy and Carp had found their way into the spare room and were paying no attention to anything else in the house.

Isaac barely had the door to his room shut before Stiles was pulling off his shirt and working on his pants. Moving across the room, Isaac grabbed his boyfriend’s hands, stopping him.

“Baby, we don’t have to rush. Slow down, go lay down and let me take care of you,” Isaac whispered into Stiles’ ear, his voice heavy with lust.

Isaac let go of Stiles and watched him walk across the room. He took in the way he moved, the lines of muscles down his back, the tender skin of his hips that peeked out of his pants and committed it all to memory. His lover climbed onto the bed, laid on his back, and Isaac couldn’t stop the low growl. Stiles had been working out with him more, and it was really showing. The defined muscles on his chest and stomach were like new ridges on a map that Isaac needed to memorize.

“Gorgeous,” Isaac whispered as he moved toward the bed, “and all mine.”

Isaac fought to keep his wolf at bay as he climbed onto the bed and captured his lover’s mouth with his own. The kiss was slow and deliberate and pulled the best noises out of Stiles. Isaac slowly broke the kiss and moved down his boyfriend’s body, leaving a trail of kisses. He licked and teased the smooth skin as he moved over Stiles’ trembling body. He let his nails extend as he carefully scraped them over his lover’s chest.

“Need you…” Stiles said between breaths. “Please.”

Isaac grabbed Stiles’ pants and pulled them and his boxers down when the other man lifted his hips. He ran his tongue across his lips as he took in the sight before him. Stiles’ cock was hard and flushed, curving just a bit as it rested against his body. Isaac settled between Stiles’ legs before leaning down and taking the head of his cock into his mouth. He wrapped his hand around the base as he licked around the head. Isaac sucked down his lover’s cock, running his tongue along the underside as his senses filled with everything that was Stiles.

He pulled back, lapping at the bitter pre come that was leaking into his mouth. Stiles cock hit the back of his throat as his hand dropped lower, rolling his boyfriend’s balls in his hand. He could hear Stiles babbling above him, his breath hitching as he got closer. Isaac pulled off and moved up his lover’s body to capture his mouth in a fast kiss.

Isaac reached down teasing Stiles’ entrance with slicked up fingers for a moment before sliding one in. He worked the digit in and out, as he kissed Stiles, capturing all the needy sounds he was making. He added a second and then a third twisting them just right as Stiles’ hips moved to chase the movements.

“Want you…now,” Stiles panted between breaths.

Moving to kneel between Stiles’ legs, Isaac ran his hands over Stiles’ hips, giving his lover a moment to catch his breath before he slowly pressed inside him. Isaac moved his hands over the gorgeous body under him as he fucked into him, slow and deliberate. He wanted to commit every sound, every touch, everything he was feeling right now to memory.

Isaac quickened the speed when Stiles’ begging got desperate. He wrapped his fingers around his lover’s cock and stroked it in time with his thrusts, working to get both of them off. When Stiles’ found his release, his body clenched around Isaac’s cock, sending him over the edge with a few more thrusts. He fell onto his boyfriend’s body as they both came down from their high.

“Gettin’ sticky,” Stiles mumbled into Isaac’s ear after they lay together for a few minutes.

Grabbing his cock, Isaac slipped out, took care of the condom and grabbed a towel off the floor. He cleaned them both up the best he could, before climbing into bed and pulling Stiles toward him. Stiles hummed as he arranged himself, finally laying his head on Isaac’s chest. Isaac’s wolf sighed happily as he reached for the blankets and covered them both up so they could sleep.


Isaac woke in a panic. The sheets under him were soaked through from sweating, his heart was racing and his chest was so tight he wasn’t sure how he was able to breathe. It’d been years since he’d had a flashback to being locked in the freezer. He thought he was over it.

“Stiles,” Isaac whispered as he pushed at his boyfriend’s body, “You gotta get up.”

“Muph?”

“Up. I need you to move.”

Isaac just wanted to climb out of his bed, go take a shower and forget the images that were once again floating through his head. He thought he was past this, letting the ghosts of his father haunt him. Unfortunately, the nightmare he’d just had was proof that the monster still had a hold on him.

“Isaac? What’s going on?” Stiles mumbled, still asleep.

Stiles reached out for Isaac and froze when he felt the damp sheets instead. He sat straight up and pulled Isaac close to him.

“Baby, what happened?”

“Freezer...” Isaac mumbled, and it was all Stiles needed to know.

Isaac wasn’t sure how long he sat there as Stiles whispered nonsense into his ear and rubbed his back. He was just starting to relax when Stiles pulled back and kissed him softly.
“C’mon,” Stiles said as he stood and pulled Isaac up with him.

Stiles helped Isaac slip on some sleep pants before putting on some of his own. Stiles then lead him out of the room and down the stairs. Isaac went willingly as Stiles sat him on the couch. Reaching up, Stiles grabbed a blanket, curled up next to Isaac and covered them both. The movement of going down the stairs and into another room had Isaac’s body relaxing and his heart rate returning to normal.

“Sleep now, baby,” Sties whispered.

Isaac listened as Stiles’ breathing evened out and wondered what he was going to do if this happened at boot camp.

~*~

Isaac hadn’t been expecting a big send-off, so it surprised him to see many of his friends gathered in the lot. Carp and he had said most of their goodbyes the last few days, and he wasn’t sure if it was better or worse to see them all again. He was lost in his thoughts when Stiles tugged at his hand to pull him in the opposite direction.

“Where we going?” Isaac asked as Stiles pulled him toward a fence.

“Mrs. Ratliff wants ‘the pic’ before you two leave, of course,” Stiles replied with a smile.

Isaac couldn’t hold back the smile. She took the same picture of the four of them every year since kindergarten. He remembered when they’d gone into middle school how much they’d all hated it and how their faces had shown that. They were all displayed proudly in her house, and sometimes Isaac would spend time just staring at them. He wondered sometimes if Mrs. Shafer knew what she started when she put the four of them together at a table on their first day of school.

“Ok boys, you know the drill,” Mrs. Ratliff said as she pulled her camera out of her purse.

Isaac, Stiles, Tommy and Carp all bunched together with the craziest faces they could manage. After Mrs. Ratliff took the picture, she had them straighten up to take a normal picture. Just as the boys started to move away from the fence, she stopped them and pulled out an old Polaroid camera.

“For the boys,” she said softly before taking two more pictures.

Isaac smiled down at the picture of his best friends as it developed. He slipped it into his bag and had a feeling he may need that to get him through the next ten weeks. “It’s time,” Derek said, walking over to the group. He stopped in front of Isaac and pulled him into a hug. “Be careful. I just…”

“Yeah, me too,” Isaac replied. He knew what Derek was feeling; he felt the same way. It just wasn’t something they said aloud. He was glad that Derek had found him, taken him away from the hell he was living in and given him something close to a normal home.

Isaac spent the next few minutes pulled from one hug to another before he finally ended up wrapped in Stiles’ arms. He leaned down, pulling his lover close and kissed him softly. He wanted to remember the feel of his boyfriend’s lips pressed against his long into basic training.

“Love you,” Isaac whispered into Stiles’ ear.

“Love you more. Ten weeks, I’m already counting down.”

When they finally broke apart, Isaac looked up to see Tommy and Carp sharing a similar farewell. He heard the Sergeant calling for them to be on the bus soon. Isaac looked over at Carp and let out a deep breath.

“It’s time,” he said, and Carp nodded back at him.

They walked over to the bus and loaded their bags onto the back of the bus without looking back. They boarded and grabbed a seat together. Isaac glanced out the window to see Tommy and Stiles in a tight embrace.

“We can do this right?” Isaac whispered to Carp.

“We don’t have a choice. They’ll be okay. They have each other to lean on.”

Isaac just hoped it was enough.


Stiles was lost without Isaac. Actually, he felt lost without both of them around. Tommy was at his house almost every day. They would spend hours playing video games, trying to forget that their boyfriends weren’t around. Their parents tried to distract them with shopping and packing for school. However, when Stiles really thought about it, he wasn’t sure how he was going to survive not being around Isaac.

He’d never been away from his boyfriend this long before. Even when they took separate family vacations, they could at least talk. This was driving Stiles crazy, and it didn’t help calm the voice in his head that wondered if he would ever see Isaac again. He knew boot camp wasn’t like being in the battlefield, but accidents happened, and he knew there were guns around.

It had only taken three nights before Stiles found Tommy crashing at his house or vice versa. It wasn’t as if they lived with their boyfriends, but Stiles knew how bad it had been those first nights alone. Everything he felt was amplified in the dark silence. He would never admit to crying himself to sleep, but the tear stains on his pillow were clearly there the next morning. Having Tommy there, in a sleeping bag on the floor, made everything seem less worrisome.

One morning, after Tommy had spent the night, Stiles found himself alone once again after Tommy’s mom called, needing him at home. His dad was working a double, and Stiles realized it was the first time in almost a week that he was alone for a more than just a few minutes. He sat down at his desk and pulled out the calendar he used to cross off the days until he would see Isaac again. He didn’t care if it made him seem lame; watching the days get smaller had already pushed away a panic attack once or twice. Stiles crossed off another day and went to put it away, when the notebook caught his eye.

He pulled it out and figured what the hell, it was better than nothing. He hadn’t handwritten a letter since before his mother died. It seemed as if the red spiral notebook was calling to him to write out his fears, love and hope to Isaac, as if he needed the tangible proof to calm his anxieties. He knew he couldn’t send it to Isaac, but maybe he would let his boyfriend read them when he returned.

Stiles opened the book to the first page, grabbed a pen and looked at the white page with faint blue lines. He had so much he wanted to tell Isaac, but all the words were jammed inside him. He shook his head trying to get his thoughts to line up. The image of words falling into place in his head made him smile and relax enough to start the letter.

Isaac,
This fuckin’ sucks. I hate being away from you. I hate that I can’t talk to you, I can’t text you, and that I can’t fuckin’ touch you. I miss holding your hand and being able to just lean up and kiss you when I need it. I hate that I’m here and you’re days away doing your thing. I can’t help but worry. The thoughts of everything that could go wrong seem to haunt me during the day and terrify my dreams at night.

Ya know Tommy started sleeping over; he keeps his sleeping bag in the corner. I stay over at his place sometimes, but usually we crash here. It’s hard on both of us. It’s been just the four of us for so long, but now we’re split in two, and it just fuckin’ sucks. I need ten weeks to go by like now. I know I’ll be at college when you get back from camp, but at least I can hear your fuckin’ voice.

Sometimes, especially late at night, I feel like I did after mom died.

Stiles stopped writing and stared at the page. He realized that was it. The feeling he’d had but couldn’t place. This was more than just missing his boyfriend, it was missing the man he was going to spend the rest of his life with. The deep empty feeling was from the separation of someone who’d been ingrained into his life. Isaac wasn’t his mom, but he’d been around almost as long, and they’d been through so much together. Cut off from contact with Isaac like this was as bad as if he’d died.

Fuck.
That’s it. Being away from you…it’s like you are dead. Fuck the bullets and overseas shit, I never thought you being at boot camp would be this fucking hard. Even though I think about everything that could go wrong, you’re still somewhat safe. But fuck you being safe. If I can’t even call you, in my heart it feels like you’re gone. How many more years of this am I going to have?

Fuck Isaac, I just need you home. Now.

Stiles threw his pen down, stuffed the notebook back into the drawer and walked away from his desk. He needed to get out of the house. The idea of Isaac dying was filling his mind and tearing him apart. He ran down the stairs, grabbed his keys and had the jeep out of his driveway and down the street before he even realized where he was going.

The trip to Derek’s house wasn’t long, but Stiles didn’t remember driving there. The jeep had hardly stopped when he threw the door open and made his way to the front door. Stiles didn’t even stop to knock before pushing his way into the house.

“How the fuck could you let him go? You could’ve said no. You could’ve stopped him. But no. Did you want him out of your house so fucking bad that you were willing to ship him off to be killed? You are his fuckin’ guardian, Derek. I know he talked to you about this. Did you even try? Or did you just stand by and watch him go off to die? I love him. I need him, he’s so far away, and I don’t know if I’m ever going to see him again. Do you know how that feels?” Stiles screamed at Derek.

“Stiles,” Derek said calmly.

“No. Oh no. You don’t get to Stiles me! You get to find some way to make this better!” Stiles yelled back.

Derek grabbed Stiles arm and pulled him forward. It was awkward with Stiles’ limbs flailing around as Derek pulled him down. Somehow, the shock of ending up in Derek’s lap shook
something inside of Stiles and brought him back to reality.

“What are you doing?” Stiles asked when his brain finally caught up with what was going on.

“Getting your attention. He’s not dead, Stiles. What the fuck happened today?”

Stiles pushed away from Derek and sat down on the opposite end of the couch. He held his head between his hands with his eyes down as he took a few deep breaths.

“Fuck,” he whispered.

“Stiles?” Derek asked again.

“I was just writing, trying to deal with everything, and just. Fuck. I didn’t mean to come over and freak out on you. It’s just, I realized Isaac being gone is like it was after mom died.” Stiles paused and stood up. “I’m just gonna go, and we can like pretend this never happened okay?”

Stiles ran out of the house never giving Derek a chance to stop him. He couldn’t believe he was so out of his mind that he drove over and made a complete ass out of himself.

The next eight weeks couldn’t go by fast enough.


Isaac shuffled into the barracks and resisted the urge to fall into his bed. He was so tired he almost didn’t even care that sweat and mud covered him. The training course today had sucked to start with, and when the rain came, it just got worse. He was sure every muscle in his body was aching. He let out a groan as he grabbed clean clothes out of his trunk and headed to the showers.

Later that night he found himself sitting in his bunk and, as usual, his thoughts drifted to Stiles. He knew Stiles and Tommy would be leaving soon for school. Isaac wondered how Stiles was coping and just hoped that he wasn’t having panic attacks again. The last thing he wanted was to make his boyfriend’s life worse by causing the attacks to show up again.

He was lost in his thoughts when he felt his bed dip. He looked up to see Carp smiling back at him.

“Missing him?” Carp asked softly.

“So much,” Isaac replied. “I wish we were there with them. It’s just so weird not talking or anything.”

“We’ve never gone this long being away from them have we? You regret it?”

“Yes and no. I don’t regret joining, just that I have to be away from Stiles. You regret coming with me?”

“Not at all. I just want this to be over so I can at least talk to Tommy.”

“It seems too quiet sometimes ya know, without Stiles around. I’ve gotten so used to his constant chatter. It’s like it was in my head, even when I was home without him. But now, I’ve been away so long it’s not there.”

“Need me to talk your ear off, Lahey? Ya know I’d do it for you,” Carp replied with a smirk.
Isaac let out a laugh at the idea. “No one can talk as much as Stiles. Somehow I think you’d run outta things to say.”

“Is that a challenge?”

“Oh man, what did I get myself into?” Isaac asked with a smile on his face.

“You’d tell me right?” Carp asked, the mood getting serious again. “If ya needed something, I mean. I’m here. Even if it is just to chatter to you.”

“Yeah, I’d tell ya. I’m ok man, I promise,” Isaac replied. He really was okay. He missed Stiles more than he ever imagined, and he was tired, but he wasn’t having nightmares. He counted that as a win.


The warm body that pressed against Stiles slowly pulled him out of his sleep. The voice in his ear was making quiet hushing noises as fingers slowly carded through his hair. A smile crossed his face as he was pulled further from sleep.

“Isaac,” he whispered.

“Not quite, dude,” Tommy replied.

Stiles jerked away from Tommy and turned over so he was facing his friend. “So you gonna tell me why you’re in my bed, snuggling with me?”

“I couldn’t sleep with all the crying and whimpering you were doing over here. And don’t give me that ‘I don’t cry in my sleep’ shit. I know you miss Isaac. Fuck, I feel the same way. It sucks we started college without them. I totally get that. Just, let me take care of you sometimes, okay?”

Stiles raised his eyebrows as if he were questioning Tommy.

“Not like that! Lay your ass back down. Class is in like 3 hours, and I need some sleep. History at 8am is bad enough without trying it on too little sleep the night before!”

Stiles mumbled something about werewolves and boundaries to Tommy before he turned and settled back into his bed. He didn’t expect the arm that Tommy threw over his stomach, but it still settled him. Stiles listened as Tommy’s breathing evened out, and he wondered if Tommy needed this too. Closing his eyes, Stiles tried to let his body go back to sleep. He couldn’t get past the empty feeling deep inside. He could have sworn that Isaac was back, holding him close. It wasn’t that he didn’t appreciate Tommy; Tommy just wasn’t his boyfriend.

The tick of the clock clicked through Stiles’ head as he tried to fall back asleep. He wanted to be with Isaac, to fill the empty feeling he had deep inside. He knew this feeling. He’d lived with it for years after his mom died. He felt invisible, as the world seemed to go on without him. Even at 5am, the college dorm seemed to be more alive than what he was feeling. Stiles knew Tommy was missing Carp just as much, but he wasn’t sure it was the same feeling to Tommy. He hadn’t lost his parents, or even his grandparents. No matter how much Tommy said he understood, Stiles was sure he didn’t feel the dead, empty feeling inside.

The tears began to pool at his eyes and Stiles just let them drop down his cheeks. He didn’t care anymore.

“Stiles,” Tommy mumbled as he pulled Stiles closer, “Soon.”

“Not soon enough…” Stiles whispered so soft he wasn’t even sure Tommy heard.


When Isaac had enlisted, he hadn’t mentioned the abuse. He hadn’t given anyone the details of why he had scars on his body. He definitely hadn’t told anyone about the freezer.

Isaac expected the isolation. He expected separation from everyone. He even figured they would separate him from Carp. What he never imagined was being in a hole in the ground. Technically a trench, but it was still a hole…in the ground. It was training; the logic in his brain told him that. However, the memories that still haunted him wouldn’t be calmed with any logic. His wolf panicked and it took all of Isaac’s strength to keep him at bay.

Falling to his knees Isaac curled up as much as he could in the small space. His chest was already tightening, and his breathing was getting quicker. He could hear his father’s voice telling him how worthless he was. Without even realizing it, Isaac began clawing at the dirt walls fighting to get out of his own personal hell.

“Sargent!” a voice yelled somewhere in the distance. “We need medical help!”

Voices bounced around Isaac’s head as if he were dreaming. His body was working on instinct, and it was focused on escaping. Isaac could feel the pressure pushing on him. The need to escape, fighting against the walls that seemed to be moving closer, as his breathing turned to quick, short breaths. He felt hands grabbing at him. Isaac crawled backwards as the image of his father seemed to appear before him.

His father was screaming his name, and Isaac couldn’t remember what he’d done this time to make his father so angry. He’d been trying to be so good, yet, here he was, his body pushed up against the wall. Isaac saw his father reach for him just before he blacked out.

When Isaac came to, he was lying in a bed with a curtain drawn. Looking around at the stark white surrounding him, he assumed he was in the medical clinic. He just wasn’t sure why or how he’d gotten there. He sat up on the edge of the bed. Before he could stand, the curtain pulled back, and a man was looking back at him.

“Finally decide to wake up, Lahey?” the man, Anderson, according to the patch on his shirt, asked him. “I was starting to think it wouldn’t be until tomorrow that we saw the whites of your eyes.”

“Uh, what’s going on?” Isaac asked as he looked around the rest of the clinic.

“You freaked out on Garvin in the trenches. By the time I got there, you’d passed out. Not a fan of tight places, huh?”

“Yeah, something like that,” Isaac mumbled.

“Well, glad to see you’re up and wanting to move around. Doc says you have to stay here tonight. Then, well, I’ll let him tell you the rest. He’ll be back in an hour or so to check on you.”

“Oh. Well, okay. Um, do you know if Carp knows I’m here?”

“Yeah, Garvin had to hold him back so I could bring you back here. You really scared your buddy. He stopped by a while ago. I told him to come back in the morning.”

“He say anything?”

“Not to me, dunno what he told the Sergeant though. Now, get some rest. You might be awake, but you still look pretty out of it.”

Isaac lay down as Anderson closed the curtain around him again. He couldn’t believe he’d freaked out during training. He’d thought having a nightmare would be bad, this was so much worse. He knew there would be questions, most of which he didn’t want to think about, let alone answer. His past was his to deal with. He didn’t need looks of pity from everyone at camp.


Stiles sat on his bed attempting to make his way through the next chapter in his history book when the door opened. He waved his fingers toward the door without looking up from his book as a bag dropped on the floor. He was about to turn the page when his book was pulled out of his hands.

“What the fuck, Ratliff?” Stiles spat out.

It wasn’t Tommy looking back at them though. Isaac, his Isaac with the bright smile and soft eyes, was standing there, just as Stiles had dreamed of so many times during the last few weeks. He knew his mouth was hanging open, but he couldn’t seem to close it.

“You. Here, like really here, but it’s early. Don’t tell me you went AWOL. Oh, fuck, please tell me we don’t have to like go on the run cause you are avoiding the US Army. I mean, yeah, history might suck, but I still totally like it here. Plus, dad-“

Isaac cut Stiles off by pulling him off the bed and pressing their mouths together. Once the shock wore off that, yes, Isaac was here and that he was kissing him, Stiles melted into the kiss. He wrapped his arms around Isaac’s neck, pulling him closer as he licked at his mouth. Isaac moaned into him as Stiles pushed his body closer to his lover. The kiss was needy and desperate, but Stiles’ entire body hummed happily as he finally felt whole.

They broke apart, panting for air, and Stiles pulled Isaac to the bed with him. He needed to touch him, see that he was really here and that this wasn’t an incredibly realistic dream. Isaac let out a laugh as he lay on the bed, and Stiles climbed onto him as if knew how desperate he was for his lover’s touch.

Isaac reached up, cupped Stiles’ face with his hands and pulled him down for a slow soft kiss. It didn’t last long, but it left Stiles wanting and needing so much more.

“Stiles,” Isaac said softly.

Stiles looked down at his boyfriend and smiled happily. The shock he felt of seeing Isaac in his dorm room was fading away as he looked at the gorgeous man now lying under him.
“Missed you so much,” Stiles said softly.

“Missed you too. But, let me up, I gotta explain, okay?”

Stiles moved off Isaac and sat next to him with his legs crossed. He reached out and grabbed Isaac’s hand, needing to keep touching him.

“Explain? I’m not sure I like the way it sounds.”

“First off, no, we don’t have to hide from your dad, or the Army, or anyone. I was discharged. They’ve found I’m ‘mentally unfit’ to be in the Army.”

“Nightmares?” Stiles asked quietly.

“Worse, actually. We had to do this training in some trenches. I freaked out so bad I blacked out. Then I had to talk to a psychiatrist, and, well, then the discharge and here I am. So...I’m not going anywhere. Well, I’ll have to go back home and figure out what I’m gonna do. But I’m here to invade your dorm room for the next few days at least.”

“Oh baby,” Stiles replied as he pulled Isaac into a hug. “So, um, college?”

“You’re not gonna give up, are you?”

“Life plan, baby. It’s all about the life plan.”

Isaac moved to flip Stiles onto his back, and at that moment, he didn’t care. The empty feeling inside was gone, his boyfriend was home and life plans could wait.