#sterek #teen wolf #fanfic
A month and three days after Derek left Beacon Hills, he came back. He’d meant to come back sooner, to be honest; all he’d wanted was some time to be alone, reset his mind. He’d thought about going to British Columbia and spending a week or two in the temperate rainforests. They’d gone as a family once, when he was a kid. Derek didn’t have a passport, which wasn’t really a problem, but he’d forgotten to factor in Cora, who finally admitted that she’d spent her missing years living on a remote ranch in Texas and wanted to go back.
Texas was fine too, Derek decided, and he could still go to Canada if he really wanted to, so he pointed the Toyota to the southeast and they headed for Texas. One week, he told himself firmly as they drove up a dusty dirt road fifty miles from the Mexican border. One week and then he needed to get back to Beacon Hills. He didn’t feel especially great about the way he’d left things in town. He hadn’t seen Peter since before the eclipse, for one, and that worried him.
One week, though, turned into two, then three, then a month. As it turned out, the ranch was owned and ran by a large pack - nearly a hundred werewolves and humans known together as the Alvarado pack - and he was slightly bewildered to find himself welcomed with open arms. It’d been a long, long time since he’d spent so much time around so many wolves - not ones he wasn’t fighting, anyway - and away from Beacon Hills, he felt whole again. Cora was different too; she lost her cold distance, laughing as she showed him around the ranch, guided him through the stables. She made him pet the warm noses of horses and bumped her shoulder against his while they shucked corn for dinner.
He dragged his feet over leaving, though it helped when the alpha of the Alvarado pack, a tiny old woman with dark skin and steel-colored hair, patted him on the arm and told him he was always welcome. Derek didn’t need Beacon Hills any longer, he decided. He’d go back, make sure everything was settled, and then he’d leave for good. That had been the plan the last time, when it was just him and Laura, but the city had a new alpha in Scott and he’d earned it, unlike Derek, who’d just taken it.
The drive took two days and Derek took the coastal route because he could, driving due west from Texas until he reached the coast, then driving north until he headed inland toward Redding. It was dark when he got into town, almost eleven, and he got a room in a motel at the edge of town. He could have gone to the loft, but the dark, ruined expanse of it didn’t appeal to him. He couldn’t keep sleeping where people had died. The motel room smelled like mold and ancient cigarette smoke, but the sheets were clean and it wasn’t an abandoned railway depot or burnt shell of a house, so he couldn’t complain. Also, the motel got HBO so he really couldn’t complain; he and Cora had spent two weeks watching Game of Thrones every evening.
In the morning, Derek showered and went to a diner for breakfast. He watched the people around him talk and eat. Everything felt normal, which was a relief. There was no foreboding sense of things about to go horribly, terribly wrong, which he was one hundred percent okay with. Derek could do with no more blood on his hands.
After he ate, he stood in line at the register waiting to pay for his meal, hands in his pockets as he gazed absently at the community board behind the cashier’s head. It was covered in flyers announcing church potlucks, intramural softball leagues, lost cats, and salsa dance lessons at the local senior center. The cashier bent to grab a roll of coins from under the counter and Derek’s eyes fell to a poster previously hidden behind her head.
MISSING! it yelled in bold red text, and underneath it was a picture of Stiles Stilinski.