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He’s realized a few things about life over the years. Sometimes the people you love turn out to be murderers. Sometimes the people you love die and it hurts and it never stops hurting.

He’s never had time to grieve really. He had gotten the hell out of Beacon Hills and didn’t think about his parents or Kate and just wandered around with Laura. It was never quiet when they left. Not with Laura crying every night, and him trying to block out his thoughts and his guilt. He never felt peaceful, not with the sounds of screams haunting his thoughts, setting him on edge.

He thinks about how broken he was when he found out about Peter and when he became alpha. Now there are all these people around him and he’s never alone. He knows they’re broken and damaged, but so is he. He can’t help them when he can’t even help himself.

It’s October and it’s starting to get cold again when he remembers finding Laura this time last year. And he needs quiet. He needs silence because all this noise of these people is crowding him and he can’t breathe and Peter looks at him and he knows. Peter leaves for a while and he might be the only who understands.

Except. Except there’s a boy bursting into the house and he’s telling them they’re going to get pizza and moving them all out of his way. He makes eye contact with a sad smile and nods. He’s finally left alone. He breathes out and inhales silence. He wonders when in the hell this kid understood him.

The night passes and he’s curled up on the ground and he’s thinking of doing something stupid because why does this hurt still and he thinks of his parents and... His sobs are the only thing heard all night and he’s left alone and it’s good, it’s good because now he can think. He can breathe, he can move on.

The leaves start to fall and he stands outside and waits. The boy comes up to him and he stands, quietly, peacefully. He’s a warm presence to his right, a solid figure, and he doesn’t say anything. He looks at the smooth expanse of the boy’s face, freckled with moles, and the pale curve of his mouth. The boy looks at him and he wants to say, Thank you or How did you know, but the boy shushes him before he can speak and waves his arm towards the forest. The leaves continue to fall and he smiles.

The only thing he can hear is the soothing sound of their heartbeats and the wind.