It's the middle of the night, and Scott knows he should be asleep, not staring at his cell phone like it has the answer to everything. He especially shouldn't be staring at Derek's number, his thumb hovering over the call button. Derek's only been gone a week, and Scott didn't think he'd miss him so much. After all, he had hardly noticed the lack of Derek's presence in his life this past summer.
But without Derek in town, Scott feels like something's missing. He wonder if it's just that darkness Deaton warned him about, but Scott can't help but feel like it's not. It's Derek's presence he's missing. Maybe it's an alpha thing. Maybe he's missing Derek because he feels like he's pack.
And it's almost funny that Scott feels like that, now that Derek's already left, when that's more or less what Derek's been after with him all along. Scott sighs, closes his eyes, and jabs the call button. He puts the phone to his ear, waiting and hoping Derek will pick up.
“Scott?” Derek answers drowsily and confused. “Is everything all right?”
Scott glances at the time and winces; maybe three in the morning isn't the best time to decide to make this phone call. “No, it's nothing,” Scott reassures quickly. “I forgot that most normal people are asleep right now.”
Derek snorts. “We're far from normal,” he replies, sounding a bit more awake now. “Don't you have school in the morning? Why are you awake and calling me?”
“Can't sleep,” Scott answers, almost truthfully. “And I- Well, I guess I miss you. It's like I can feel an empty space where you should be.”
Derek falls silent, and Scott worries his bottom lip as he waits for some kind of reply. “That...comes with being an alpha,” he finally says. “When you have a beta that's far away.”
Scott's brows furrow. “Are you my beta now?” he asks impulsively. “I mean, I'm not forcing you. If you don't want to be in my pack, I won't hound you.”
“You mean, like I did to you?” Derek questions with a dark chuckle. “Maybe I'll join your pack, if I come back to Beacon Hills.”
“I'd understand if you didn't come back,” Scott says. “But if you do, there's always a place for you here. Don't forget that, okay?”
“Thanks,” Derek murmurs sincerely. “You're going to be a great alpha, Scott.”
Scott smiles to himself. “I hope so. I don't want to let anyone down...”
“You won't. You're you.”
“What's that mean?” Scott questions in confusion.
Derek lets out a sigh. “It means,” he begins, “that just be you, and you'll be fine. Just don't change yourself or let the power change you.”
Scott swallows thickly. “Thanks, Derek,” he replies. “Talking from experience?”
“Yes,” Derek states bluntly. “My power trip got kids killed in the long run. Just pretty much don't do anything I did.”
“Derek, you did care about them, even if it didn't all go right,” Scott says firmly. “I'll never believe you didn't care about every single one of your betas. Even Jackson.”
“I wanted to kill Jackson,” Derek reminds him. “And I'm still not sure letting him live was really a great choice.”
“And you're lying,” Scott says confidently. “Okay, maybe you wanted him dead, but you went along with my plan to keep him alive.”
“Because of you. No other reason, Scott,” Derek answers quietly, and Scott falls silent for a long moment.
“Me?” he questions when the words finally register.
“The only reason I might even be anything resembling a better person is because of you, Scott.”
Scott lets those words sink in as he blinks up at the ceiling in his room. “Why? I'm not anything special.”
Derek huffs into the phone. “Scott, that's just a boldface lie. Of course you're special. You're the only alpha I'd want after all that's happened. I think your pack would agree.”
“Really?” Scott asks in awe.
“Really,” Derek confirms. “Now, go to sleep. Even alphas need sleep.”
Scott crinkles his nose. “Shut up,” he mutters, knowing Derek must be smirking on the other side of the phone.
“Good night, Scott,” Derek tells him with a chuckle. “I'll try not stay gone too long.”
“Yeah, I hope you come back soon,” Scott says, smiling. “G'night.”
The dial tone sounds in Scott's ear, and he ends the call, placing his phone on his bedside table. The emptiness inside him aches less now, and Scott can feel sleep calling his name. He curls up under the sheets of his bed, soon asleep and dreaming of the day his pack will be whole with Derek back in town.