Author's Note: This chapter is now beta'd, my beta's email got cancelled for some reason, but we're working through that!Shout out to my awesome beta Natalie, aka asongofflame and also to KeepCalmAndContinueBlissfully and her stories Haven Bound and Finding Haven. Thanks to my new followers and favourite-ers HenrietteOaks, Maxin, RinnaZevran1987, Stjarna22, Kat1894, QueenDisney201, Short But Deadly, Sallygirl2001, TeamCap93, kittkattt, missmoxley329, noemi-fin, CarleighAlpha, DarkMoonBitch, Kimberlydu31, LaxusKrum , fallenangel009, Greenj3llo85MichelleVents, and pinkshirt. Special thanks to SassyGrl23 for her review last chapter! Still don't have a double bed-still don't own Teen Wolf! Please review!
They kept Charlotte in hospital another day for "observation". Derek rarely left her side. He only left for bathroom breaks and when Charlotte insisted he get something to eat. He refused to leave even to sleep. He told her he was "quite content sleeping in a chair, in case Charlotte needs (him) for anything".
When Melissa said she was going to be very sore, she was not kidding or exaggerating. Somehow, when Derek held her hand, the pain seemed to lessen. It was strange. But maybe it was just her mind playing tricks on her. Derek seemed to have a better understanding of her and what she was capable of than anyone else. She never needed to ask him if he could do something for her, he just did it. He fed her when she didn't have the strength to raise her arm, adjusted the pillows when she needed it and just sat with her when she needed quiet company.
Today was the day. Charlotte was being discharged. She was allowed to go home. Although home was a different place now. It wasn't the prison with her abusive father. It was with Derek who went above and beyond with caring for her.
"So Charlotte, are you ready to leave?" Melissa asked her.
"More than ready, Melissa. No offence, but this place sucks." Charlotte replied.
"Yeah it does. Ok, so here's your discharge summary, medications and some dressings. You need to clean, disinfect and change the dressings every day. Medication instructions are the boxes. Use hot and cold packs alternatively for the pain. Don't keep each on for longer than 15 minutes at a time."
"Thanks Melissa. I think I've got it."
Melissa turned to look at Derek. "Look after her." She said sternly, emphasising each word.
"I will Melissa. I'll bring her over if there's a problem or if I need to go and do something."
"Ok." Melissa said warily.
"See you later Melissa."
"Be careful sweetheart." Melissa told her giving her a gentle kiss on the forehead.
Derek and Charlotte walked out of the room and the hospital. Derek supported her and held the bag full of her medications and whatnot, and walked with her, at her pace. Who ever said chivalry is dead?
Derek and Charlotte walked out. He made sure to carefully support her, while concealing taking her pain with his leather jacket. He made sure to walk slowly, no faster than she had set the pace at, and led her over to his Camaro. He got Scott to move it the other day for him. Yeah, he got Scott to move his Camaro. Still, at least it wasn't towed.
He carefully eased Charlotte into the passenger seat of his car, then ran around the other side getting in.
"Hey, Charlotte?" Derek asked.
"Mm, yeah?" She replied somewhat drowsily.
"Umm, I need to get some furniture and groceries and stuff before we go back home. Are you alright with that?"
"Sure. Don't let me hold you back from whatever you need to do."
As they drove to the store Derek begins making a mental checklist of what he needed to get. A trailer, to transport everything, a bed frame, mattress… Before he knew it, they had reached the store.
"Charlotte? We're here." He said to her gently.
As he drove home, Derek thought of everything they had bought in an attempt to hopefully make the place more habitable. A whole bed set up, draws, mini-fridge, kettle, towels, food, the list went on. Previously Derek's living in the old Hale house had been more like camping. He looked over to the passenger seat to find Charlotte fast asleep.
Pulling up outside the house, the first thing Derek did was get the mattress in, as well as bedding and all the other things needed for him to make up a bed for Charlotte to sleep in. With the bed made up he gently picked up Charlotte's delicate body from the car and carried her inside to the awaiting bed in one of the spare rooms. He'd put the bed in one of the spare rooms for the time being, so he could set her room up without disturbing her.
With Charlotte safely tucked in, Derek went back outside to begin carting things inside. Once everything was brought in, he set about the task of building things since they had assembly required. The first thing he put together was the draws. He considered doing the bed frame first, but if he did that he would still have to bring the draws in afterwards – so he put the draws first. With those done and set up in the room, he moved onto the task of building the bed.
Building the bed wasn't hard – working out how to move the mattress Charlotte was sleeping on onto the bed, was another matter entirely. Eventually Derek decided to leave Charlotte - and the mattress – be for the time being while he went about putting everything else in its place. He was putting Charlotte's new clothes in the draws when he heard someone enter the room behind him. He turned around to see a drowsy Charlotte rubbing her eyes.
"Hey. You're up." Derek said to her softly.
"Yeah. I fell asleep in a car and woke up in a room I've never been in. You wouldn't have anything to do with that by any chance, would you?" Charlotte asked playfully.
"Who? Me? Never." He replied sarcastically.
"Mmhm. Looks like you were busy while I was out of it."
"Well as enchanting watching you sleep is, I figured I should actually achieve something unlike you, Miss Sleeping Beauty."
Charlotte was silent for a moment and Derek wondered if he'd said something wrong or pushed her too far too soon in some way.
"Hey-" Derek started.
"Thank you." Charlotte said to him quietly, staring intensely at his hands. Not my hands. Derek realized. Her clothes. Derek looked up to find her looking around the room. Her room, now. Looking back at her, he saw the tears beginning to build up in her eyes. Putting her clothes on top of the draws, Derek walked over to her and pulled her into his arms.
"It's alright." Derek whispered in her ear rubbing soothing circles on her back, as she sobbed into his shoulder.
"It-it's j-just no one's e-ever done this for me. My-my father… He never did anything like this for me. I only ever got new things when I got them myself." Charlotte whispered sobbing.
"It's ok." Derek whispered to her. "You don't deserve anything less than this."
They stood like that for a while, Derek just holding Charlotte in his arms while she sobbed and hiccupped, letting her get it all out. Eventually the sobs and hiccups lessened until all that was left was Charlottes deep breathing. Derek slowly took half a step out from her.
"Are you alright now?" He asked her.
"I think so." She replied.
"How about while I bring the bed in, you go freshen up. Wash your face, maybe take a shower? It'll make you feel better." He said to her, pointing to the other door in the room.
"Ok." Charlotte said to him quietly.
"You don't have to worry. I'm always here for you, ok?"
He watched her grab some clothes go and go into the bathroom, then heard running water. He never remembered being as grateful for his parents having their own generator and water system as he was now.
Derek thought about the situation he was in now, as he brought Charlotte's bed in. He wasn't stupid. He knew all these feelings and the protectiveness he had for Charlotte were very unlike him. He didn't know why he felt like this, but he knew it was right. He knew that he wouldn't have been able to live with himself if he hadn't helped Charlotte, first in the woods, then when she called, then again in the hospital and coming home. Home. It was a word he hadn't used for years because it was too painful to think of without all his family. Really, it should be even more painful now that Laura's gone, but for some reason at the same time, it was even easier now that Charlotte was here. The memories of his family and the hurt didn't go away, but at the same time it just… didn't hurt anymore. Because he had an angel to look after now.
Charlotte walked out of the en-suite in fresh clothes and sat down on the newly made bed in front of Derek.
"If you keep that expression much longer, you won't be able to get those wrinkles out." Charlotte said to Derek, gesturing to his forehead which was scrunched up in thought.
"Ha ha. I was just thinking about some things. But first, I think I owe you an explanation." Derek replied.
"What do mean? An explanation about what? You don't owe me anything."
"Some of the things you've seen. They won't make sense without an explanation. You know the day I found you?"
"Yeah." Charlotte said slowly, the gears in her mind desperately trying to turn and make sense of what, and why Derek was telling her this.
"You said you thought you saw a wolf. You were partially right. I know this makes no sense and it's going to make me sound like a crazy person, but just bear with me, ok? There may not have been wolves in California for 60 years, but there's another species here that never left. Now think about it. Wolves will only ever attack if they're threatened, or on the brink of starving to death. The wolf you saw, it was neither, wasn't it? What is the only species in the world that attacks for no reason? Or that attacks for pleasure?" Derek asked Charlotte.
Charlotte thought for a moment, her mind only able to reach one conclusion. "Humans."
"Right. So what is something that looks like a wolf but behaves like a human? Something most consider a myth or legend?"
Derek could practically see the gears turning in her head, coming to a realization.
"Werewolves? You're trying to tell me that werewolves exist? They're real? There's one here? And it attacked me?"
"Yes. But the thing you have to understand is that they're just people like you. Not all of them are bad. Some are good, like you. Others… they're not good. They're bad. Really bad."
"Wait. You said, 'they're just people like you'. That infers that you're not one of those people. Are you-are you trying to tell me that you're-that you're a- a werewolf?". Charlotte was on the edge of panic, her breathes starting to become sharp and uneven.
"No. They can't be. You can't be. They're myths. Legends. Made up story to teach kids to be good."
"Charlotte," Derek said to her in his deep soothing voice. "That wolf that attacked you. Was it a myth? It had red eyes, didn't it? Since when do wolves have red eyes? Doesn't that tell you it wasn't normal?"
"If that's true, and you're really a werewolf, then show me."
Derek carefully considered for a moment how to do that. He could just fully 'wolf-out', but he didn't want to scare her. Being strong wouldn't be particularly superhuman. Especially not these days. My eyes, he decided. I'll flash my eyes. And he did. Just for a moment he allowed himself some slack on his self-control. Just enough, and just for a moment to allow his eyes to flash a piercing bright blue.
"Oh my god! How did you do that?" Charlotte asked on the verge of tears and panic
"Charlotte, it's okay. I'm not going to hurt you. You know that, don't you? I want to help you. It's okay." Derek told her, soothing her with his melodic deep voice.
"Tell me about werewolves. What else can you do?"
"We don't usually turn into actual wolves. Only a very select few have that ability. Instead our facial appearance changes. Becomes more wolf-like. We're faster and stronger than humans. We have an accelerated healing ability. We can also take others pain. Look." Derek told Charlotte, rolling up the sleeve of his leather jacket. He gently grabbed hold of her hand and began taking her pain. The veins on his arm became more prominent, turning black while the exhaustion and pain Charlotte felt began to drain away.
"In the hospital-when you held my hand and the pain went away. That was you?" Charlotte asked, sounding slightly shocked.
"Yeah. It was."
"Why? Why me?"
"I don't know. There's something about you. From the very first moment I laid eyes you, there was something there. I don't know what it is, but I don't think I could have walked away and left you there even if I tried. And I couldn't leave you there after being attacked by the Alpha."
Charlotte blushed a faint pink which Derek thought made her look even more cuter. Cuter? Even more cuter? What am I thinking? I can't like her! I'm supposed to look after her! Not fall in love with her! Wait, love? Definitely NOT lo-
"The Alpha? What's that?" Charlotte said breaking Derek out of his thoughts.
"You know how the structure of wolf packs work? There's Omega's who are the outcasts. Wanderers. They travel and don't belong to a pack, they just go it solo. Then there's Beta's. They're all the wolves within a pack. And then the leader is the Alpha. They're in charge, keep everyone in-line. As for who the Alpha is… we don't know. Six years ago, most of this house burnt down with my family inside. This is the most habitable part. Back then, the Alpha was my mother, Thalia. When she died, the Alpha became her next surviving kin- Laura, my sister. Laura came back here because she was investigating a werewolf in Beacon Hills. Then she disappeared. I lost contact with her, which is why I came back. They found her body a few days ago. She was cut in half." Derek told her, voice going sad telling her about Laura.
"I'm sorry." Charlotte told him.
"Don't be. There's nothing you could have done. And there isn't anything either of us can do now."
"That doesn't make it ok."
"No, it doesn't. But there's no point in me wasting energy over what-ifs. Laura wouldn't want that. She would want me to do something good. Protect and look after people."
They were silent for a few moments, thinking over the information about werewolves and Laura.
"The thing is, if Laura was killed by a human, the position of Alpha would automatically go to me as next of kin. But it hasn't. I'm still only a Beta. Which must mean this other werewolf Laura was looking for, killed her and became the Alpha."
Derek smelt a hint of fear in air and looked up to see Charlotte with a worried expression on her face.
"Don't worry about it though. You're safe. I'll look after you, I won't let anything happen to you. And if I'm not with you, I'll make sure Scott is."
"Scott? What do you mean Scott? How can he protect me?"
This time it was Derek's turn to blush.
"Umm… well see the thing is… Scott was kind of… well… bitten…"
"What do you mean bitten?"
"Well, that's another thing. There's two types of werewolves. Those that are born one, and those that are bitten. Scott was bitten by the Alpha. Which means now he's a werewolf."
"I thought he got away that night. I should have checked to make sure he got away." Charlotte spoke quietly and sadly with shame in her voice.
"Hey, what ifs don't matter. What matters now is that you're okay and that we can look after and protect you." Derek told Charlotte caringly. "Now, what do want to eat?"
Derek revolved around Charlotte. He cared for her just like he did in the hospital. He always made sure she was well fed, had enough sleep and was on track for her healing. He always made sure there were painkillers available even though with Derek present there was pretty much no need for them.
Normally she hated physical contact because it was too much of a trigger for her, but she didn't mind it with Derek. In fact, she craved it and not just because he was a natural painkiller. Because now, with her father gone she felt free. She didn't have to worry about getting hurt by being close to someone.
Sometimes Derek helped Scott out with learning to control the change or fighting. Other times when Derek had to do something alone he would drop her off at Melissa's place with Scott. He made sure she was never alone though.
Charlotte stayed home for a day before she got bored of not doing anything productive. After a long negotiation with Derek about going back to school, she eventually won and came out on top. The conditions of her return to school were that she had to have Scott or at the very least Stiles, whom for some reason he referred to as 'sties', in all of her classes. That was no problem because Scott was already in most of her classes as it was and for those few where he wasn't, Stiles was. Derek did give her some space to herself, however made sure she knew that he was there if she ever needed anything. They even had a system set up for emergencies where Charlotte would text Derek 'asap' along with her location if she needed him.
When Charlotte returned to school she soon made friends with the new girl, Alison, who was also the object of Scott's affection. Alison had been the 'new girl' plenty of times before as her dad often travelled so was used to being an outsider like Charlotte already was. Luckily for Alison this time though, she almost immediately made it into Lydia's 'clique'.
Despite being in different social circles, Charlotte and Alison quickly became close friends. Alison was one of the few people aside from Derek, the McCall's and the Stilinski's who knew about her past with her dad. Despite not having gone through what she had, Alison seemed to understand that she didn't want everyone treating her like a piece of glass or feeling pity for her.
Charlotte had even gone home with Alison one afternoon and had met her family. Her mother Victoria didn't seem very welcoming so she stayed cleared of her but her dad, Chris more than made up for it. He was very kind and friendly toward Charlotte and even pulled her aside to talk to her.
"Hey Charlotte. I just want you to know, I know what you went through and I completely understand not wanting pity or sympathy from anyone. But, for what it's worth, I'm here for you. Anything you need. You can consider me to be the dad you never had." Chris told her.
Charlotte's heart melted upon hearing those words and his offer, and she broke. She burst into tears and immediately Chris' arms were around her, encircling her. She cried into his shoulder and thanked him over and over again for his kindness and generosity.
She now had a mother in Melissa, a father in Chris, brothers in Scott and Stiles, a sister and best-friend in Alison, a guardian and protector in the Sheriff and Derek. She wasn't quite sure what Derek was to her yet, but she knew he was a vital part of her life and that she would probably be lost without him.
A/N: I added a cover photo that has Derek and Charlotte on it, so check it out! Please review, they are appreciated and I take them into consideration with my writing.