Oct. 13th, 2015

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A year isn't a long time, but a lot of change can happen in a year, especially after they return from the road trip. A year can feel like an entire lifetime, entire universes shifting and passing when there's so many changes to adjust to.

Sam has family, a brother. He knows where he comes from, but he still wants to come back home with Rhys. And in that one night of revelation, he gave himself over to Rhys, one night to prove that he could still touch and be touched without the weight of his past.

In that night was the promise that one day Sam could be whole again, and that with patience and trust there could be intimacy. So they come home, and start on the promises Rhys has made, building what is going to be their life together.

With Cyrus dead, tentative deals are made with the new pack leaders. No one really misses the old Alpha and his vicious ways, and reparations are made with money and promises, not blood. Things are fixed, and with the new plans in place, they can start working on the changes to the house.

Sam can have his upstairs room. It's a project that they can bond over, working together on new furniture, new paint, and whatever other furnishings make Sam feel at home. The house needs work anyway, and renovating the heavy, stuffy Victorian into something newer and brighter seems...appropriate. The renovations mean new surroundings and all the small steps while Sam learns how to be free and Rhys learns how to be alive again.

And of course, there's always room in the master bedroom for Sam. No matter what Sam is willing to share, the offer is always there of safe, comfortable space with no conditions. Whether he wants to share the bed or simply curl up in the reading chair, he's welcome.

The rest is a strange sort of blur. Chasing leaves and drinking cider in the fall. Play-fighting in the snow and watching movies on the couch on long winter nights. Thorough brushings on the porch followed by naps in the spring air. Long video chats and a couple of visits with Dean and Benny, catching up on an entire lost lifetime as Sam bonds with his brother again and Rhys makes new friends. Slowly, they are building a life.

Then it's summer again, almost a year to the day since Rhys walked into the dirty, miserable warehouse by the water, looking for someone to save.

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