Title: You Build This Home
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Category: Angst, Family, Gen, Hurt/Comfort
Characters/Pairing: Melissa McCall, Scott & Isaac
Spoilers: Mildly for S4.
Summary: Melissa holds her breath when Scott and Isaac leave the house each day, holds it until they come home again.
Word Count: 905 words.
Date Written: 02/01/14
Disclaimer: Teen Wolf is not mine. I wrote this story, for fun, not profit. Title is from Ryan Adams’ song ‘Come Home’.
Feedback: Bring it. dodger_sister / TheArtofDodger@comcast.net
Author's Notes: I adore the ‘family we make’ theme in all things and I loved when Isaac moved in with The McCalls. I wish they had shown more of that family situation, because Melissa is such a good mom. She tries so hard. I’ve always wondered what it is like for her, dealing with all of this. And I love the ‘coming home safe’ trope, so yeah, this fic was bound to happen sooner or later.
He could die at any moment. Any of them could.
She knew this.
She knew it in some abstract way, where it all seemed so ridiculous and filled with science fiction and fantasy that most of the time when he was out of her sight, her brain just pulled up images of him walking the hallways at school or hanging out at the chili diner, arm around Allison, laughing with Stiles over some joke or shopping at the mall, arguing with Isaac over a rack of brightly colored clothes.
Typical teenage stuff.
Her brain always caught up with reality though and images of blood and tearing and claws would come unbidden and she would wait, eyes on the door, for them to come in.
For them to come home.
She’d count fingers and toes whenever she would catch one of them barefoot and engrossed in some other activity, whenever she had the moment to observe unnoticed. She’d count out the digits on his hands and then move onto his feet, checking each one off like he was a newborn again, freshly set in her arms and she had to be sure that he had come out in one piece.
That he had come home in one piece.
When it’d been a bad night, when they’d both come in limping, someone else’s blood on their clothes, that set in their jaws that said not to ask, she’d just wait for them to fall asleep. She’d wait and listen and then sneak into the bedroom and watch him sleep, watch him breath, watch his eyelids flutter and his face relax, watch him turn back into the little boy she was so desperately clinging to while she still had him here.
Because tomorrow he could be gone.
And it ate at her, no matter how proud she was of him for standing up and being the alpha he was born to be.
Alpha or not, he would always be her little boy. Her son. Hers.
She had other ways of dealing with it, of forcing herself not to clutch them both to her chest and keep them there, right there, with her, forever. Other ways of telling herself it was okay to let them out the door that morning, of making herself breath through it every time the lock clicked shut behind them, of convincing herself they’d be back.
They’d be home.
Sunday afternoon lunch was one of those ways. It didn’t matter what was going on, who was trying to kill who, or what new monster was rearing its ugly head in Beacon Hills, or what terrible darkness was headed their way - the three of them had lunch, every Sunday afternoon at three, sitting around the kitchen table, eating nothing more than sandwiches sometimes. But they were always there.
For this one instant in time.
It also didn’t matter who was dating who or who was fighting with who or whatever other teenage drama was going on in the midst of all the werewolf attacks and ensuing pack rivals, because her boys always made time for lunch with their mother, end of story.
Except for that one time that Isaac hadn’t shown up and when she’d asked him why, he had told her that he thought maybe it should be more of a family thing.
She used her angry voice then, made her face make that disappointed expression to it, even though all she wanted to do was hug him and love him until he believed her. Instead she schooled him on what family meant to her and how he was in it now, whether he liked it or not, and Isaac had made a whimper like a puppy and bent his knees in some weird position and it took her a moment to realize that he was trying not to drop right down to them, that he was trying not to react to her the way a werewolf reacts to its alpha.
She wasn’t his alpha, but he was her pup, and that was the last time Isaac ever missed their family lunch.
Their morning kisses was the other way she dealt with having to let them walk out the door and they both hated it more than she would have liked, but they tolerated it anyway, because they were going off to fight demons and lizard people and the hallways of high school and she was going to kiss them goodbye before they left, lips pressed to their foreheads in turn, marking them as hers, putting her scent on them so they would always find their way back to her.
Find their way home.
“I love you,” she’d say, when she’d catch them sneaking off in the middle of the night, their supplies slung over their shoulders, their faces squared for battle.
“I love you too, Mom,” Scott would say “Don’t worry, we’ll be fine.”
She knew it, of course, but she had to say it. Had to make sure they knew. Had to make sure they knew they were loved, that someone told them, that they remembered what they were fighting for.
That if they didn’t come home, her words would still be echoing in their eardrums, at the end of it all.
She’d watch the door out of the corner of her eyes and when it would click open again, she’d breathe.
She’d breathe in deep and say, “Welcome home.”