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“It’s the internet, Derek, okay?” Stiles says, full of confidence, “Minutes.”

Derek doesn’t comment, but he doesn’t believe the smart-ass either. IQ of 200 be damned.

“Best get started then,” Scott says it for him, and starts to walk out the door with Stiles in tow. On his way out, he turns to look at Isaac.

The beta slumps against the wall with his knees pulled up to his chest to try and suppress his shivering, an attempt he’s failing at miserably. Scott turns towards Derek next, his thoughts plainly visible in his eyes for everyone to see.

Others don’t get it, but Derek swears that teenager just pulled a total Alpha-move on him, like commanding him, commanding Derek, to do something without saying it out loud.

Take care of him.

Derek almost scoffs but stops himself; because that would be acknowledging that he does see what he sees in Scott’s eyes. He waits until the two boys are out of sight before doing exactly what was asked.

He walks up to Isaac, who looks like he’s just been revived back from death. Which kind of happens to be the truth.

“How’re you feeling?”

“Cold,” Isaac doesn’t even try to be anything but brutally honest, as always. It’s a naiveté that Derek finds equal parts endearing and infuriating.

“Come here,” he pulls Isaac forward and into his arms, tucking the boy’s head under his chin. Isaac wraps his own arms around his Alpha’s neck, not caring that Dr. Deaton is still in the room, cleaning up the latest mess the werewolves (and Stiles) have left behind in his office.

“I could come back in an hour…” Derek offers to help.

“It’s fine,” Deaton says, dismissing them. “I’ll get Scott to take care of it tomorrow. Go on, he’ll need some help warming up. It’ll take a while for his natural healing ability to reboot itself.”

Derek doesn’t know if Isaac hears the exchange; he just continues to shake himself apart in Derek’s arms. The shoes and socks will take far too long, so he chooses to ignore them and instead hoists Isaac up and off the cabinet he’s been perching on.

Automatic reflex kicks in and Isaac promptly winds his skinny legs around Derek’s waist. He crosses his bare feet at the small of the older man’s back and lets himself be carried out of the clinic.

The cold night air outside doesn’t bother Derek but it makes Isaac tremble just a little bit harder. “I can walk,” he whispers, as if suddenly remembering their car was parked quite a distance away.

“Don’t worry about it, you’ve been brave enough for today, puppy.”

Isaac mewls softly, enjoying the rare endearment more than he probably cares to admit, and it almost makes Derek smile.

“Almost there,” he promises as he straps Isaac into the backseat of his black convertible. Briefly he kisses the top of Isaac’s damp head, before taking off his own jacket and tucking it around the teenager.

He turns the heat up as high as it’ll go and floors it all the way home at the other end of town. Isaac snoozes fitfully, clearly exhausted because it’s been a hell of a day. Derek can also sense the worry etched into every line on his beta’s face, a face too young to have so many lines in the first place. Along with the chill that seems to have seeped all the way into his bones and keeps him from being able to rest completely.

“You did good, Isaac,” he tells his beta through the rear-view mirror, hoping to make him stop frowning like that. “I’m so proud of you.”

Isaac nods feebly. Soon after his eyes droop and he dozes off again.

*** *** ***

The next time he opens his eyes, it’s because Derek is trying to put him down on his bed in the loft downstairs. Isaac whines in protest, unwilling to part from the furnace-like body heat emanating from the werewolf who wasn’t dunked in ice-cold water for like hours.

“Shh, it’s okay. I’m not going anywhere…”

Isaac relaxes and lets his head fall back on the pillow. “Still cold,” he grumbles.

Derek quickly peels his damp clothes off and dresses him in a fresh pair of grey woolen sweats instead. Isaac smells the strong, safe, scent of his Alpha on the new clothes and can’t help but smile a little loopily, “Getting better.”

“Give it a minute,” Derek covers him with blankets from neck to toe before stretching out beside him over the covers. “Sleep, come on, close your eyes,” he urges, running a hand through the boy’s still wet locks.

Instead Isaac’s eyes glisten with a sudden rush of tears. “Do you really think… could she really…?”

He can’t finish. And to be honest, Derek doesn’t want him to. It’s not like he doesn’t trust what Isaac saw, but he’d much rather seek and confirm with his own eyes. He checks his phone again, knowing Stiles or Scott will ping him the minute they find something. The fact that they haven’t yet is starting to make him twitch.

“I’m so sorry, Derek. I… I don’t know what else I could’ve done…” Isaac’s voice is shaking again.

Aw shit, Derek takes a deep breath and pushes his own anxieties aside. Isaac is once again reacting to Derek’s darkening mood only way he knows how – he finds a way to convince himself it’s all somehow his fault.

Derek holds his beta’s head with both hands and doesn’t ask for permission before leaning in to gently kiss his slightly ajar, nearly blue lips. Isaac stills beneath him, gasping into Derek’s mouth.

“You did more than enough, puppy. You found them. Let the Alpha take it from here, alright?” He orders, then quietly quips, “Be good for my ego.”

He pulls off his black sweater and flings it to the couch behind him, then gets under the blankets so he partially covers Isaac’s cold frame with his own warmer one. He kisses Isaac again, stroking his pale face and neck, tickling his sides ever so lightly to try and make him smile.

He’ll need help warming up, Deaton had said. A rush of adrenaline just might do the trick.

He starts with kissing Isaac between the eyes, fingering the nearly feminine shape of his dark blond eyebrows. Then he drags his lips and tongue softly across the forehead before making his way down the bridge of the long nose, leaving a string of tingling, feathery kisses in his wake. Isaac sighs deeply and his insanely long eyelashes flutter, before they finally come to rest covering the naturally dark smudges under his eyes.

It’s obvious he’s going to let his Alpha do whatever the hell he pleases. Although he’s probably thinking they’ve never done this before. Sure they’ve cuddled as a pack before, and the two of them have slept wrapped around each other a bunch of times these last four months.

But there’s never been any actual display of… attraction, or affection, or whatever between them. Not until now. Not until Derek very nearly lost him, and not just once but three times in the last three days.

Doesn’t mean Derek has never been affectionate period.

Boyd would laugh his way to Timbuktu and back if Derek ever tried this with him. But he’s always like this with Erica, even though she’s got the biggest kink for roughness and a higher threshold for pain than the four of them combined…

Oh God, Erica…

Derek nuzzles into Isaac’s neck forcefully, growling deep in his throat. He cannot think of Boyd and Erica right now. He needs to focus on the one pack mate he’s still got left, safe and sound, and shaking like a leaf but no longer from the cold…

“Isaac, tell me what you need.”

“I-I don’t… w-whatever you, uh…”

Derek looks up to gaze into Isaac’s eyes. The boy is nervous as hell. He doesn’t know how to behave, doesn’t know what is expected of him here.

Okay. Derek takes a deep breath. Baby steps, Hale. Which… oh… reminds him, by the way, minor?

Fuck. With herculean effort, he pulls himself off and away from the beta. He lies on his back beside Isaac, gazing up at the tall ceiling and struggling to temper his racing pulse. At least he isn’t ‘cold’ anymore. That’s mission accomplished, right?

“No, no, no, don’t stop…” Isaac pulls himself up, reading the situation and Derek’s body language for exactly what it is.

And this time he’s the one practically climbing on top of Derek, eyes blown open in panic, and teenaged rebellion and, what can only be described as a sixteen year-old’s rabid horniness.

Derek sighs heavily, “Puppy…”

But Isaac doesn’t let him finish. “I did good today, didn’t I? You said so yourself!”

“And I meant it.”

“Well, maybe you should, like, reward me for it?”

Isaac bites his lip, and he’s probably going for a look of nervous innocence but it’s making him look more coy and wanton and downright seductive instead. Derek shakes his head. This kid’s way too gorgeous for his own good.

Besides, the Hale family hasn’t given two fucks to the law of the land in three centuries, why should he start now?

More than anything, what Isaac needs is reassurance. He needs to be told that even if they never find Erica and Boyd again (God forbid), he is going to be enough for Derek. That he matters, and he’s wanted, maybe even loved.

Derek sighs heavily, and pushes up until Isaac is back on his back, and the Alpha looms over him once again. He kisses him again, this time not so cautiously, infusing it with passion and urgency and more emotion than he’s ever shown or felt for anyone in years. Isaac latches on to his mouth like it’s his last source of sustenance, plundering Derek’s mouth with his tongue and allows Derek to do the same. He pulls Derek down over himself, wrapping his lanky arms around the older man as if to keep him from changing his mind.

But Derek isn’t going anywhere. He loses himself in the silky, caramel-y taste of Isaac’s mouth, rolling his tongue around Isaac’s, leisurely, like they have all the time in the world and nothing better to do. Hands roam boldly in search of bare skin, into ticklish nooks and erogenous corners that elicit delicious noises and breathless gasps, fingers running through hair that’s greasy or wet or both and hard to find purchase on but they try anyway. It’s a beautiful cacophony of scents and tastes and sensations, this kiss, and Derek can’t for the life of him understand why he didn’t let it happen sooner.

Being werewolves, they don’t need to break for oxygen for a long, long time but eventually they do. Derek takes advantage of that moment of disorientation to push Isaac’s sweatshirt up, exposing his baby-smooth midriff and heaving chest. The beta gasps when Derek’s mouth latches on to one of the cute deep-red nubs. Pretty soon he's giggling like a girl and moaning helplessly in response to Derek licking and biting and suckling them alternately. He can barely breathe when Derek moves down to tongue-fuck his navel while the Alpha’s hands continue to fondle his nipples. It’s more stimulation than he’s ever been subjected to, and he can’t have enough of it.

“So what should your reward be, Isaac?” Derek asks, mostly as a way to make sure he isn’t going faster than Isaac wants him to, or doing something the kid isn’t comfortable with.

“God… please just t-touch me?”

Derek licks his lips and smirks. “You ever been blown before?”

Isaac’s eyes dilate with intense lust and absolute disbelief. He shakes his head fervently, temporarily incapacitated from forming words.

“Would you like that?”

Isaac gasps uncontrollably. “Y-yes, fuck, please!”

Derek laughs and sits up to straddle the boy’s endless legs, hands already working to undo the drawstrings he’d just tied like thirty minutes ago. It’s not like they haven’t seen each other naked before, but something about baring Isaac’s blooming erection to his Alpha’s hungry eyes... makes the beta blush radiantly from head to last curling toe. It’s the most beautiful shade of red Derek has ever seen, especially since it chases away the icy pallor from before.

And then Derek closes his lips around the already leaking tip of his beta’s cock.

“Ah! Oh! … fuck … D-Derek…”

The sounds Isaac makes echo through the loft for the next several minutes. His hands grip the top of the headboard and damn near rip right through it while Derek kisses and licks and finally sucks him off, his expert hands playing with the rest of his private anatomy like a pro. At the peak of his climax, he loses all control and starts to transform. If it weren’t for his Alpha’s hands stroking his flanks, and the calm lilt in his voice talking Isaac off the ledge, his first time would have ended up far more destructive than he’d have liked.

“Shh, I got you puppy, you’re okay…” Derek soothes him softly as Isaac steadily climbs down and struggles to catch his breath, all the while grinning like a complete loon.

“Kiss me?” He pleads and Derek obliges, stretching out beside the boy once again and lets Isaac get a generous taste of his own ecstatic release. Isaac practically drinks him in, showing early signs that he’s going to be an incredibly sexual and insatiable lover in the future.

Derek hasn’t come yet, and his poor neglected erection strains painfully in the confines of his jeans. Every little whimper, every whiff of salt wafting from his desperately writhing beta pushes him closer to the edge. And it’s all he can do to rein the rampant feral inside because… goddamnit, because it’s about him, not you.

Derek presses down with the heel of his left hand over his bulge, hopefully discretely. He could always jerk himself off later, after he’s put his young and clearly wiped-out beta to bed.

Isaac does look pretty beat. He’s boneless and pliant and warm enough to be sweating already. But he’s still clingy and wraps his arms and legs around his Alpha, not willing to surrender to sleep just yet.

“So, what do I have to do to… um, get a-another reward?”

Derek raises an eyebrow. “What did you have in mind?"

Isaac bites his lip in that not-at-all-innocent way of his again, “You know the one where you…” he lifts a bony knee to nudge Derek’s blatant hardness, “…put this thing to good use, maybe?”

This time the sour wolf actually smiles, an honest expression that’s five parts surprise and five parts ohgodyes relief. He doesn’t even try to resist, and leans in to kiss his last standing beta.

“Alright, puppy, roll over.”

Isaac grins wide and quickly does as he’s told.

Tomorrow they will bring Boyd and Erica home, Derek is sure of it. They have to. But for now he’ll happily take all the reassurance he can get, in Isaac. Because for now, it just might be enough.

*** END ***