Everything in Derek is screaming not to. He can feel the tension snapping across his skin, itching inside his veins and the air is too sharp and loud and the wolf is twisting furiously inside of him.
But Scott is bleeding and the smell of blood is rancid in his nostrils and copper thin on his tongue. And Derek knows better, he does, because Derek has been a wolf all of his life and the wolf knows never to turn its back on its enemy, has been drilled into him since he was a child and running barefoot and terrified across the forest floor, rain-soaked branches lashing at his face.
Never turn your back on your enemy!
But Scott is bleeding, and Scott is sixteen, he’s a child and he’s pack, even though he vehemently denies it, but he is, and Derek knows: he’s pack and he’s Derek’s brother and he doesn’t have anyone, not like Derek did. Because when Derek was sixteen he had Laura, shoving at his arm and screaming into his face, Run! as she turned her back on their enemy and forced him away.
He should know better, he really should. Because Laura turned her back when she shouldn’t have, and now she is dead and gone, gone forever. But Derek is already rushing forward and shoving at Scott’s stomach, his hand returning blood slick as he shouts “Run!” and bullets tear through his body and the darkness takes his mind.
Derek should have known better.
But then he’s doing it again, four months later, the same mistake as the kanima hisses at him, the sound a harsh echo reverberating throughout the pool arena. Don’t take your eye from the target and Derek crouches down, body taut and alert-sharp as he bares his teeth and snarls, ready for attack.
But the boy behind him is not, tense and vibrating like a live wire, ready to snap, too terrified to flee. And Derek knows better, he does, but still he’s twisting around and slamming his hand into Stiles’ chest, fragile bone jutting against the breadth of his palm, so easy to main, so easy to break.
Don’t look away!
But he is, because something inside of him is fighting against the wolf, screaming in his ears to make sure that Stiles is safe and that doesn’t make sense, not at all because Stiles is not pack, he’s not his brother or even his friend.
And Derek knows not to turn his back, he knows this. Because Laura turned her back to save him and now Laura is dead. And Derek turned his back for Scott and was then captured and chained to a metal rack and electrocuted until he could barely breathe and now Derek has turned his back again. And he’s sinking, down, down, into the warm murky depths, as the water rushes into his ears and muffles all sound so that it is soft and quiet; he’s paralyzed and without breath as the world blurs a gentle blue above him.
He closes his eyes, feeling heavy and oddly calm and he can’t help but think, dimly, Laura will be so disappointed.
And then there are hands digging into his shirt and into his skin and dragging him up.
And then there is air, pushing into his lungs and a boy panting wetly against his ear, keeping him determinedly afloat.
(Source: neptunepirate, via neptunepirate)