magdalyna: (Confrontation)
[personal profile] magdalyna
Title: I Took Your Name
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Word Count: 3,211
Summary: They were a pack of their own, Alpha, Beta, Omega. And then the fire happened.
Warnings/Notes: Canon typical violence and gore; Psychological trauma





When they were cubs, it was almost like they were their own pack, pack within a pack. Laura was Alpha, Derek was Beta and Jeremy was Omega. Leader, protector, fixer. Red, yellow, blue, a perfect triskele of primary colors reflected in their eyes.

They were the closest in age, the cousins being several years younger and the adults were grownups, different.

On full moons they’d play together in the rumpus room in the basement while the human members watched the toddlers and fall asleep curled up together in a tight lump of brown and black fur.

When Laura had her first blood, she couldn’t shift fully, caught between wolf and human in a maelstrom of hormones. She wasn’t allowed in the rumpus room anymore, but she got to go on runs with the rest of the pack.

Derek was next two years after that, and Jeremy followed them in another year.

Derek was born in November and Jeremy was born the September after that, and they looked so alike the humans in town called them Irish twins. The human members of the pack still had trouble telling them apart sometimes and the only ones who could truly tell them from the other were the pack who had to rely on scent.

Derek and he both share fennel as a base note but where Derek has the fresh, earthy note of loam, Jeremy has the tang of limes as an accompaniment.

Where Derek has a top note of figs when he’s really happy, Jeremy has apples, green and crisp.

*

Derek and he share a room and while Jeremy’s bed is pirate themed and Derek’s is cowboy themed, which is clearly inferior to pirates, Jeremy still finds himself curled into Derek’s middle on Derek’s bed most mornings.

Derek will nose into his throat when Jeremy wakes up and then push him off the bed, which is six-in-the-morning Derek for ‘I love you’ so he doesn’t mind.

*

They’re in the new Macy’s, near the highway. Laura had needed a haircut so they climbed into her beat up Mazda and went with her. It was their own little pack outing.

Jeremy is drinking a lemonade from Aunty Annie’s while Derek reverently touches the leather jackets one by one.

“Doesn’t this one feel good?” Derek asks, and holds out a jacket with simple buckles at the shoulder and a few metal bits at the pockets.

Jeremy dutifully touches it with his drink free hand for a moment and then searches out the tag. “For that price it should feel amazing.” He’s snarky about it but he smiles. Derek knows he likes it though, from his own smile.

“You know leather jackets are the epitome of cool, slobberface.” Derek teases him back.

Derek knows him best, knows how Jeremy looks up to him, like he hung the moon. Derek protects him and he cares for Derek. It is who they are as much as what they do.

Jeremy’s phone rings and it’s Laura telling them to meet her at her salon.

“Come on, we gotta go.” Jeremy says and Derek nods, giving one last look at the rack before they leave.

They have to be early to get good seats for the opening of The Matrix: Reloaded, after all.

*

High school is a mix of highs and lows for him, because Derek is suddenly moody and smelling of chlorine and cheap perfume and won’t even tell him who the girl is. But he does start making friends and Laura still is ok with being seen outside of the house with him. Fifteen is awkward for everyone, he guesses.

*

Jeremy hadn’t known what was happening. The full moon was the next night and the pack was preparing the basement when there was a crash of glass and the world exploded into fire.

He inhales acrid smoke and the scent of charred flesh, forced on his knees by the blast and he tries to crawl away, Uncle Peter forcing him up to the first steps of the stairs.

Derek finds him further up on the stairs and drags him back up, into the kitchen. He doesn’t know how he managed to climb that much, nerve endings on fire.

Jeremy’s skin is red and sticky, from where the fire burned off his skin and the healing reaction is apparently trying to grow it back. His eyes flash blue, in agony, coloring the world a hazy blue film.

“Come on, we have to get out of here.” Derek pleads, and he’s so tired. Derek smells strongly of chlorine, and that’s right – Laura had Varsity Volleyball practice and Derek had JV Swim practice. The cheap perfume is there too, but Jeremy likes to ignore that.

Just then a steel beam that holds up the kitchen lights creaks, its’ support structures burning away. Jeremy freezes but Derek growls, pushing him away so hard Jeremy goes flying to the opposite wall and the metal comes crashing down on Derek’s head and torso, crushing his skull in instantly.

Jeremy is by his side immediately, claws digging into Derek’s chest, slippery red welling up between his fingers. His vision gets blurry, from tears or the flash of pain Derek gives him through the blood mixing with his open wounds, he doesn’t know.

“Jeremy! Where are you?” Laura is shouting, her voice tinged with Alpha command.

He stays put. She’ll find them.

“Oh my god, Jeremy!” Laura finds them, like he knew she would. Theirs is the only fresh scent in the house.

He looks at her and she starts sobbing, ugly and vicious, covered in grime and smoke, blotting out her scent of cherries and graphite.

“Come on, Jeremy we have to get out of here.” Laura reaches for him, but he blocks her.

“I’m Derek.” He tells her. He has to fix this. This is his fault. He can’t be Jeremy anymore, because Jeremy would never have let his big brother die for him. An Omega who can’t take care of their pack isn’t worthy of being an Omega, isn’t worth anything.

Laura is the Alpha, the leader, but she needs a Beta more than she needs an Omega.

Derek is a Beta, he can be her Beta still. A pack can survive without an Omega, but not without an Alpha or a Beta.

Laura has stopped sobbing. She radiates pain and confusion. “What?” She asks.

“I told you. I’m Derek.” Derek says.

She reaches out again, grips his arms, above his elbows. “No, you’re Jeremy. You were just in the car with me.” She shakes her head.

Off in the distance, about three miles, a siren wails.

Derek grips her shoulders, claws digging in. “No. I’m Derek. I’m Derek. I’m Derek.” He says and keeps saying it and finally she release him and looks at him sadly, nodding.

“Alright.” She says, and it’s devastating.

The blood on her shoulders is covered by more grime by the time the paramedics show up.

*

After that time blurs together. He has flashes of a Sheriff badge and a cup of coffee Laura shoves into his hands and the husk of their house in the light of day but not much else is distinct.

Laura is 18 and Derek is 16 so no one really has a problem with Laura gaining custody of him since Uncle Peter is still in the ICU where even his nurses are shocked that he’s still alive.

They leave town the day after school lets out for summer, about a month after the fire.

*

Outside of Kansas City, Derek buys a leather jacket at an honest to god cowboy store.

Laura takes a look at him when he comes home with it on and laughs at him for a solid minute.

For that one brief moment in time, things feel okay.

He wonders then, how long you can lie to yourself before you actually start to believe it.

*

They spend the winter outside Chicago, in a suburb called Milwaukee.

Lake Erie is peaceful looking when they trek out to see it on a cold February morning.

Derek wonders what the bottom feels like, if the icy water will fill his lungs and purge the smoke from his body.

“Derek, come on, let’s get back.” Laura tells him, mindful of the time.

Hearing the name does something to him, like it always does, makes the pain in his chest lessen just a little, and he can pretend there’s another body here with them on this dockside, in this weak morning light.

*

They crisscross the country because nothing feels safe and Laura is easily spooked. Other packs won’t take them in, can smell the smoke in their skin.

Their names change with each state line and Derek wonders what the point of it all is, why they run if all it means is another day separated from their family, their pack.

The Mazda is sold for an even sorrier looking green Geo Tracker in Kentucky.

It starts rusting in Florida in great yawning drags so they head north to stave off the internal devastation. Delaware is apparently a hotbed of supernatural activity as not one but two packs send them off nastily and a romp of Selkies who want them off their beach when they try to camp for the night.

They all smelled like rank seaweed anyway, Laura grouses as they head into New Jersey.

Derek hums his agreement, looking at the mass of traffic before them. He decides to nap.

*

They settle in Philadelphia for a few years working odd jobs and pretending to be a young married couple.

Laura dyes her hair a golden blond color and makes him go a chocolate brown color.

Derek can’t say he minds one way or the other. She is the Alpha, what she decides as their plan goes.

This is how they’ve stayed safe for four years, running and hiding from a faceless threat.

One morning she shakes him awake, their bags already packed.

“Time to go, Derek.” Laura’s voice is rough with sleep.

He nods, slides out of his bed and pulls on clothes for the trip. He wonders where they’re going. It was getting to be too long in one spot anyway. He wonders what their new names will be. Maybe he should be blond this time.

They go to New York in November and he turns twenty three.

*

In New York Derek finds work as a mechanic.

He finds machines soothing. They don’t ask anything of him and the boss claps him on the shoulder when he does a good job with a tricky problem, grease getting on his jumpsuit.

He likes the puzzle, the hum of an engine when it’s running smooth as butter.

He rebuilds an old Camaro by himself; works on it until it gleams like a star and purrs like a jungle cat.

Laura is a redheaded barista at a small indie coffee shop in the Village who’s living with her cousin after a messy divorce.

*

A couple of days before New Years’ Laura is brunette again, packing her bag.

“I need to take of some business back home, Derek. I’ll be back in a week, week and a half tops.” Her voice is modulated steadily.

The first three days back she’s always texting him. Then radio silence.

Derek doesn’t wait a week.

*

The forest embraces him, knows him. Every birdcall, every crunch of leaves beneath his boots, every animal bounding out of his path, leads him to her. Laura’s body, torn in half.

There’s a chemical, human smell clinging to the ground by the body.

When Derek picks it up he sees it’s an inhaler for someone called Scott McCall.

He pockets it. After he buries his sister he’s going to pay this man a visit, find out what he knows. Someone is going to pay for killing Laura. He’s going to rip out their throat with his teeth.

*

As he digs a hole, all he can smell is smoke and char, from the house, and rot cloying like dying roses in a dirty vase, from the body.

This is all his fault, somehow. He just knows. He should have come with her to protect her. An Alpha needs a Beta to survive. Laura went alone to this place of misery and now she’s dead.

*

He goes to see Uncle Peter in the long term care ward, and it’s almost physically painful to see him like that, a thin string of life trapped in his own body.

He begs for the help of a comatose man, because he is out of options.

*

Scott McCall is a teenager. He wasn’t expecting that. Scott has also been bitten by a rouge Alpha, which is even more surprising.

He turns on his heel and hears Scott’s friend practically squeal “Dude! That was Derek Hale!” and go on about how wretched his life was. Is.

This is rapidly getting out of hand.

*

He’s arrested, because why not? What’s interesting is what happens even before the cruiser has left his property.

Scott’s friend slips into the front like a knobby gazelle, all elbows and long, lean legs. The stench of fear is coming off him in waves but he’s still here, still threatening Derek on Scott’s behalf, trying to find a way to help his friend.

Derek’s trying to figure out if stupid is in the school’s food when he catches something in the boy’s scent. It’s clean, green grass and rock salt and the afterthought of toffee, with a hint of limes.

The wolf rumbles awake at this, almost. They know what scent sharing means.

The boy could be good for him, then. Useful anyway.

*

The upside to getting shot with a wolfsbane bullet is how it demonstrates Stiles is at least loyal. Talkative, fidgety, clumsy, yes. But also loyal.

He remembers, when he got the cure, how soft Stile’ hands were on his face, how tenderly his cheeks were held. At least before Stiles punched him. Or was that after?

Being poisoned can really mess with your perception of time.

*

He watches Scott as Scott takes in what Peter is, now. The boy is devastated. Derek hates having to put that look on his face but it had to be done.

“Laura and I, we were at school late. When we came home, we could smell the fire before we saw the house. There were humans in our family. Do you know coffins for infants have to be special ordered? This is what the Argents do, Scott. They’re hunters.” Derek says, and he’s remembering. But he wasn’t … of course he was at school. He had swim practice.

He thinks of Emma and Josh and Madeline and Leo, the row of differently sized coffins, all of them obscenely small.

*

Derek told Scott they were brothers now. Two Betas together can survive easier together than alone, after all. It’s not just about surviving though. Scott reminds him of how idealistic he was when he was Scott’s age.

Scott brushes him off, but that doesn’t mean Derek won’t protect him or his friend.

Stiles is more helpful than Scott is, at any rate.

Stiles still should have cleared his plan about getting … David? Danny? Danny. Danny to help them using his naked torso.

*

He had forgotten how stupid teenagers could be.

“Don’t be such a sourwolf.” Stiles gripes at him, with no heat.

“Shut up.” Derek growls.

It hurts, having someone around to joke like this with him, slinging barbs with no bite at one another. Slobberface he thinks with a stab of pain.

They have bigger problems to deal with.

*

Stiles is quietly shattering the perceptions Derek had about him.

Scott is motivated by sports and Allison, would never give something like playing on the field for a lead on the rouge Alpha.

“You won’t make it in time.” Derek feels he has to point out, to be sure.

“I know.” Stiles says, heartbeat singing truth. Derek doesn’t know what to do about that.

It’s not a minute later that that heartbeat isn’t screaming in terror and Derek is out of the car instantly.

*

“My dear nephew, it is so good to see you.” Uncle Peter looks down at him fondly from over the boot he has placed gently over Derek’s neck. He hopes Stiles got away, enough to warn Scott.

“You can not know how monotonous these last six years have been for me. But I know revenge will break up the tedium. Hmm. What do you say?” Peter smiles, taking a deeper breath and then—then his head cocks to the side. He takes a deeper breath.

The boot is off his throat and Peter has backed up, looking at him now, calculatingly, like one of his chessboards that used to be scattered around the house. He’d play multiple games against himself for fun, Derek recalls.

“Jeremy?” Peter asks. His voice is different now. Less assured.

“My name is Derek, Uncle Peter. I’m Derek.” Derek says. He’s tired, and pretty sure his left lung is punctured.

“No, dear boy, I know the scent of a pack mate. And you, you are fennel and lime, with the ghosting of green apples.” Peter sounds sad now.

“I said I was Derek, Uncle Peter.” What’s Uncle Peter playing at?

“You believe what you’re saying.” Peter says now.

“I don’t have to believe if it’s true.” Derek doesn’t see how this is so complicated.

Peter sighs. “I suppose an Omega masquerading as a Beta will fit right in with my wayward pack.” He says, contemplatively.

Derek’s been so lonely, after the fire, after Laura went missing, was killed.

Wolves are not meant to be alone.

*

It’s a choice he makes with eyes wide open, to be taken by the hunters so Scott can remain safe. He doesn’t regret it, not even with electric current coursing through his body.

What he didn’t expect was Kate Argent.

How she purred when she tasered him, saying this one grew up in all the right places. I don’t know whether to kill it or lick it like she knew him. Like she had any right to him.

How now that he’s strung up on the metal wall, she licks at his abdomen, leading down with the flat of her tongue.

How she says Derek and it feels like worms are crawling inside his gut.

How she smells like cheap perfume, and he knows, he knows where he’s scented that before.

She checks his id to his face, taking his money, but he can’t be bothered by petty theft right now.

Because.

Because this is Derek’s fault.

Derek led this hunter to them. And he is Derek. This is all his fault.

Everything is his fault, one way or the other.

*

Killing Peter is a knife in his side, but he can’t let Peter be the Alpha.

Someone has to protect this town.

He needs a pack to lead, and he starts with Jackson Whittemore’s willingly given hip, everything in a red haze of Alpha red eyes.

*

Much later, Stiles will sigh into Derek’s sweat slick skin, Derek’s name on his lips with love in every syllable, love in every thump of his heart.

And Derek won’t know why it hurts so much, in the arms of his mate.

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And that has made all the difference.

February 2013

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