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21 September 2015 @ 10:02 pm
coeur élastique (Teen Wolf | Isaac, Chris FIC)  
Title: coeur élastique
Rating: PG-13 (for mild swearing, some in French)
Disclaimer: The shows or characters ain’t mine, ok?
Characters: Isaac, Chris
Genre:
father-son relationship, general
Word Count: 2,836
Summary: Post-"The Divine Move," Isaac finds that he can start anew in France alongside Chris. // The woman's smirk wanes for a moment. A sweeter smile takes its place when she softly says, "I see. Boy not laugh for long time. So okay. He will again soon. Promise."



It’s been an hour now. Dusk is settling into the city square when Isaac slumps backward onto the temple's exterior. He watches the people scurry home from the newly thundering skies.

"Great," Isaac murmurs as he wonders how he got into this mess.

"I don't get this," Isaac had said, his palm curled around the triskele tucked safely in his messenger bag. "Why fly over 5,000 miles to drop this jar of evil at a synagogue of all places. Haven't we got those in California?"

"It's not the synagogue that's important. It's what's inside." Chris holds out his hand and gestures with a flick of his fingers.

Isaac plants the triskele in his waiting hand.

"Just make sure no one comes inside," is the last order Chris gives before he disappears.

Through bleary eyes Isaac spots a blur of grey approaching him, shakily but determinedly ambling up the steps of the synagogue, the legs pausing every so often but the shoulders still set straight.

Isaac mimics this, panicked, and jumps to his feet.

He now can tell that the body belonged to a woman, old enough to be his great-grandmother if Isaac had one.

In a flash, he is in front of the old woman, blocking her entrance to the synagogue.

"Sorry, it's closed," he blurts, with so little conviction that a child would recognize it as a lie. “For renovations," he adds quickly.

The woman's eyes (grey like her woolen coat. Gray and worn and tired and... strong) squint and Isaac stammers. "Um, renovations like fixing," he says as he briefly imitates a hammer.

''Fixing," the woman echoes, suspiciously. She looks Isaac up and down before holding his gaze.

"What you name?"

"My name?" Incredulously, he points to his chest. "I'm- ahem,” he clears his throat in the most faux-confident way possible, “it's Isaac."

Suddenly, grey eyes glisten with a hint of blue as the woman's visage softens.

"He laughs. Beautiful name. Means he laughs," she smiles genuinely, aged teeth showing. She moves slightly to place a gnarled hand on Isaac's forearm. He tenses, lips tight-pressed in a thin line.

The woman's smirk wanes for a moment. A sweeter smile takes its place when she softly says, "I see. Boy not laugh for long time. S’okay. He will again soon. Promise."

With that word the clouds open up and prey upon the quaint city square with buckets of pouring water and all Isaac can think is Fat chance.

~*~*~*~

They tiptoe around her name as if the word, Allison, were a slumbering dragon, ready to burn and char and destroy them both at its mere mention.

So they only use pronouns in its place.

At first, it troubles Isaac, worrying that it demeans her somehow. A person without a name is no more than an animal. Like the beast in that Disney cartoon. Or like the times his father barked boy at him, teeth bared and angry, introducing Isaac to a maddened dog long before he ever came in contact with the wolves in Beacon Hills.

Later, though, he realizes it just makes life easier. It lets them pretend that she and her is anyone else in the world and Allison, their Allison Argent, full of fire and fight, is back home, studying for her PSATs and looking up prospective colleges with Lydia.

When Chris pulls up the quiver of arrows from the rocky terrain of the Pyrenees for training, Isaac shakes his head at him, alerting him, "Those were hers."

Chris nods minutely, places the quiver back down with gentle reverence.

Sunrise is beginning to appear, the skies are dotted a soft pink and yellow. Everything is so quiet, so fresh, so grand, so open, Isaac thinks he can stay up here until the day he dies and be content.

"Tomorrow we'll start with building tolerance to wolfsbane, but today we train with weapons. Which do you want to start with, Isaac?"

Isaac glances at the half-open duffel bag when a slight shiny glint catches his eye.

"This," he says, bending down, and inspecting the inconspicuous knife in his hand, turning it over by the handle, sliding his thumb through the bottom opening. "Knives. I want to learn how to fight with knives."

"Good choice, kid. Given your supernatural strength, you'll probably be in a lot of hand-to-hand combat," Chris bends down opposite Isaac and squeezes his shoulder, a small smile on Chris's lips, almost undetectable were it not within Isaac's intuitive ability to discern the slightest of change. Isaac stares at Chris, trying to reciprocate, but not quite managing it. 

"Just so you know, though, they're called Chinese Ring Daggers," Chris corrects, and Isaac sees the flash of a memory and feels a double twinge briefly hit the middle of his back before they're both gone as quickly as they came.

~*~*~*~

"I know you're laughing at me! You know I hate suits!" Isaac exclaims. "I look like a dweeb and I can't tie the tie and I don't even speak French that well for this!"

Chris's arms open in exasperation. "The clients speak English, but how is that possible? We've been here half a year! You're practically a foreign exchange student."

"Except I'm not a student. And it's hard to pick up on the language when you're up on an isolated mountaintop most days. ARGH!" He throws the tie he'd been playing with to the floor in frustration, runs a hand through his curls.

His eyes closed for only a moment, but Isaac still jumps slightly when he feels calloused fingers and silk around his throat.

"Sorry," Chris says, adding, "Look in the mirror. Just pay attention to the steps, okay?" His hands move expertly, one over the other, but not too quickly for the novice to lose sight of. At last, Chris make a final knot and pulls it together, smoothes out Isaac's collar, and lets his hand rest on his shoulder.

"Do you think about other kids your age and school a lot?"

"What?" Isaac pops up an eyebrow.

"How do you want to make your living, Isaac?" Chris asks, genuinely.

Isaac's confusion meanders toward intimidation. "I never really had a lot of chances to think about it. For a good chunk of my childhood, I didn't think I'd live to see adulthood, heh, or that I'd even want to."

There's a pause that seems to last for minutes on end in Isaac's head and to end it (because oh, how he hates those awkward silences - the calm before the storm), he blurts out two words that fluttered around in his brain since Chris's most recent words.

"Social worker. I want to be a social worker."

Chris can't quite place all the pieces in his head. Doesn't fully understand why Isaac, a strong and bright and capable young kid, doesn't want to aspire for more - athlete, doctor.
"It's a thankless job," Chris warns.

Chris feels a shrug under his palm and when he looks back to Isaac, he's smiling. "So's this," he reveals. "Doesn't make hunting any less important, right?" Isaac closes his eyes, tries to get the right words to his lips. "Nous protégeons ceux qui ne peuvent pas se protéger leurs-même."

It's a rare occurrence, but a surge of unexpected emotion surges through Chris; he presses his fingers into Isaac's collarbone before he eases them again.

"Right. Right. You're getting your diploma or a GED or whatever French equivalent there is this year and you're getting into a good college by next year. Understood?" Chris demands, like he was telling Isaac to take ten laps before training.

Isaac is taken aback. "I can't affor-" he's cut off before he even finishes the word.

Chris shakes his head and immediately offers, "The Argents are an affluent legacy."

An immediate response. "No, no, no. I can't ask-"

"You're not asking. And if you're too stupidly proud to take it, then you get an athletic scholarship. All I know is that social workers," Chris begins undoing all of his work with the tie, while Isaac glances with puzzlement. "Need to wear ties." He smiles proudly at the messy silk. "So ... practice!"


~*~*~*~


He really didn't think that his first underage drink would come from Christopher friggin' Argent, of all people.

It's a warm night, the second or third of the season so far. Chris and Isaac have just returned from a successful hunt, a woodwose, locks of hair hanging taut onto every part of the face save the eyes, eyes so richly brown, it reminds them both of the earth below them, what came before and what shall ever be. This particular woodwose was caught when the mutilated bodies of victims began appearing - stabs with spears made so deep, they almost came out the other side.

So they celebrate in the capture and hunt. Chris pours Isaac a glass of Syrah wine, deep, deep burgundy, like an ocean stained in blood, like the life they live now.

"Um, I guess I'm not complaining, but isn't this... kind of... illegal?"

Chris answers in chunks, tersely. "You're 18. It's Europe. You're good.

"Tchin Tchin," Chris toasts and their glasses clink like the bell of Notre Dame itself was ringing.

It doesn't take long for him to ditch the glass and possess the bottle for himself, holding it close to him as if it were a lifeboat among the vast ocean.

Isaac feels as miserable as Chris looks. He knows why. It'd have been Allison's birthday today. With that thought, he gulps down his drink, damning his inability to feel its effect.

The room is loud with chitter-chatter of carefree youth, shrill laughter, and ardent cheering and Isaac, more than anything, wishes he were one of them, but that life hadn't been reserved for him. Instead the life he has is contained within this delicate bubble of his own doing, where there is the father of the girl he lov- the girl he dated- sitting across with him with longing eyes (always longing, no matter the setting, no matter the circumstance, and every time, Isaac wishes he could get her back). The life where there is the quiet and the calm, but no peace, no tranquility.

And so Isaac can hold his tongue no more.

"It was my fault," he announces suddenly amid the deafening silence. He drops his head at the same time Chris lifts his, steel blue eyes boring into him.

Isaac clears his throat before slowly looking at the older man again. "I never told you before. I'm sorry. When she di...when she..." the word still burns a hole in his throat, making it impossible to speak it aloud.

"When she... ..." he stammers, unsurely. "It was to protect me. I was getting my ass handed to me by the Oni. She took one out," he smiles, proudly at first, then sadly, mouth turning back downward as soon as he thinks his next thought. "Then they took her.

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I'msorryI'msorrysosorry..."

There's a squeak of Chris's leather jacket as his arms make a sudden approach toward Issac and Isaac scoots his seat back immediately, chair screeching against the wooden floor. Through a hazy drunken gaze, Chris sees a flash of metallic gold in Isaac's baby blue eyes. It does not deter him, but it slows him down.

Gently, Chris cups Isaac's head with one hand, fingers sink in lush curls, thumb resting under his ear, and pulls him a little closer and whispers: “Même si vous êtes irréprochable, je vous pardonne de sorte que vous pouvez vous pardonner.

Confused, Isaac begins pulling away, until Chris holds his grip and transcribes, "Although you are faultless, I forgive you… so that you may forgive yourself."

The older man pats his cheek and falls back into his chair, gives a quick nod, and throws down money for the alcohol.

Arms around shoulders, the two carry each other home that night, each feeling lighter than they had in a long time.

~*~*~*~

It had been 1:40 a.m. when Isaac heard, in the subconscious of his mind, shuffling feet on the creaking old wooden floors and an urgent hand, shaking him awake.

Now it’s 4:25 a.m. and Isaac and Chris are waiting for the earliest flight to San Francisco in Paris’s de Gaulle airport, nearly vacant and desolate.

Normally, Isaac would be bitching and moaning about how he’s sleep-deprived and no natural (or supernatural) living thing should be awake this early, but he knows Chris’s actions are justified. He knows it was a text from Scott about trouble, and Scott McCall is not one to panic easily.

So instead, Isaac slumps down next to Chris, handing him his straight-black coffee, and sips his own. The heat of the beverage catches him by surprise and he lets out a small gasp. He sets his cup down. With the absence of something to do, he starts chewing at his cuticles.

Chris’s eyes glance sideways. “Are you nervous? About going back?”

Isaac pulls his fingernail from his teeth, wipes it across jeans, tries to appear calm. “Scott needs our help. I’m there. Are you? Nervous?” he asks, focuses his mind to hear for a change Chris’s heartbeat.

Heh heh,” Chris chuckles, heart picking up pace, but almost in the pleasure of relief that he could say “You don’t know the half it.

“But it’ll be all right. It’ll be all right,” Chris mutters again softly, to himself, this time.

Isaac watches him shut his eyes for a minute, inhaling and exhaling purposely. Isaac is hesitant, hand shying back to his stomach every time it leaves, but he persists and Isaac softly smacks his palm on Chris’s thigh.

“It will,” he chokes out, with as much confidence as he can muster. “We’ve been through worse.”

Chris’s eyes flutter open, the shadow of a smile on his lips, but the quiet moment is disrupted by a crash and a curse.

Ah, merde!” comes from an older woman, her dark arms saddled with luggage from all sides, her hair in dreadlocks tangled among her things, and her biggest suitcase laying in front of her, belongings scattered over the floor.

Almost relieved for the interruption, Isaac stands and crosses the short distance next to the woman, bends and starts picking up some of the items from the bag. “Here you go,” he says, giving her a toddler’s tee.

Oh, merci! Merci beaucoup!” she says to Isaac warmly before she glances down and notices a wet floor and sighs exasperatedly, “Dieu, mon thé!


“Uh, I’ll go get some paper towels for that,” Isaac offers and makes a dash for the restroom.

By the time Isaac leaves, Chris is already next to the woman, trying to help her clean up her belongings.

Votre fils est très gentil!” she tells Chris, genuinely.

Chris fumbles with the items in his hand. Your son? Mon fils?” he mumbles, echoing the self-talk he exhibited earlier, except the woman doesn’t notice.

Oui, votre fils,” she says, jerking her head toward the direction Isaac went. “Il a vos yeux exactes, vous savez. Bleus et beaux," she adds, smirking.1


 


Chris mimics her expression, but it soon widens into a full blown grin. "Oui, il est. Il est un bon garçon, mon fils."2


 


"Je vais être la chance d'avoir mon garçon révélera même," the woman admits, pointing to her toddler boy, sleeping uncomfortably in the airport's chair.3


 


Lucky, Chris reiterates it in his head. He's lucky to have him.


 


"Il sera," he assures the woman, before handing her the last of her things, as Isaac returns with what seems to be half the paper towel supply in Paris.



 


~*~*~*~

They board the plane in a little over an hour.

Chris is asleep as soon as he buckles himself in.

Isaac wants to join him, in the sweetness of slumber and rest, but his thoughts of returning to a town filled with so many emotional memories plague him for now and his cuticle is in between his teeth between he even realizes it.

As the plane begins to take off, a flight attendant passes by Isaac, reminding him he needs to be buckled in and then asks, “Serait votre père soin d' une couverture?”

He knows this now. He’s learned a considerable amount of French within the year now and he knows that the flight attendant just referred to Chris as his father, and he knows that he has it well within his means to answer that Chris is not his father, and he knows it won’t raise any suspicions because who cares anyway, but for the life of him, Isaac cannot find a single damn reason to refute the man’s words.

So Isaac lets a sudden laugh, light but hearty, and answers the man, “Oui, s'il vous plait,” and waits until the attendant returns with the blanket.

Isaac gently drapes it across his old man’s legs, yawns unexpectedly, feels his body much less tense than moments ago, and arches his head back for sleep.
-----

Literally, pardon my French. I used a mixture of Google Translate and my knowledge of Italian to see if it made sense. Below are some of the translations to the lengthier phrases.

Yes, your son. He has your exact eyes, you know.


 


Yes, he is. He is a good boy, my son. 


 


3 I would be lucky to have my son be the same.






My first Teen Wolf fic after binging the series over the summer. Comments would be greaty appreciated!