go home, or make a home
|Title:||go home, or make a home|
|Date(s):||21 February 2012|
|External Links:||go home, or make a home (AO3)|
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Recs and Reviews
To close out Season 1 of Appreciate Derek Hale, let’s revisit a formative fic from the early days of fandom.
In go home, or make a home, theladyragnell explores what might have happened if Derek had stepped aside at the last minute, letting Scott rip out Peter’s throat instead. In those final moments, as Derek closes his eyes, breathes, and decides whether he can hurt the only family he has left, he understands the depth of the choice he’s making.
If he kills Peter, he’ll take on a role he’s too young to shoulder, which had burdened his sister and ultimately led to her death at their uncle’s hands. The alternate path isn’t much more appealing: “At best,” he knows full well, “he ends up alone.”
Gesturing Scott forward, Derek gives up the temptation of taking the Alpha power, but, more importantly, he lets go of the opportunity to rebuild a pack. He won’t be able to bite himself a new family. He won’t have the strength or support to protect himself if the Hunters come back in force, or if Argent’s treaty with him doesn’t hold. Scott won’t need him, even begrudgingly, once their wolfy brotherhood is stripped away. He’ll be alone, more fully than he’s ever been in his life.
Stiles, of course, disrupts these plans. Vibrant, energetic, and struggling with his own hidden loneliness, he shoulders his way into Derek’s life, carving out an unexpected place for himself. They barely know anything about each other at this point, but there’s a thin, tentative promise of a connection that they both sense on some level. When Stiles talks, Derek listens. When Derek retreats into the hermit lifestyle he thinks he’s destined to resign himself to, Stiles pulls him back out.
In the end, Derek slots into a new pack, built not on blood or teeth or tradition but on one human’s stubborn determination to ensure he hasn’t been forgotten. This relationship - gradual and natural and entirely unlike anything he’s experienced before - doesn’t need labels. What matters is that he’s making a new home for himself, crafting it with hands that haven’t been stained with blood.There’s a long way to go, and many questions left unanswered, but the important part is that Stiles smiles when he sees him - in the stands at track meets, at dinner with his dad, in the breathless seconds before he leans in and kisses him. For Derek, balanced against the looming emptiness he’d thought he was accepting, these moments are more than enough.