Jason corners Stiles to work a new angle on getting Scott McCall's cooperation. It mostly works.
August 9, 2015
Stiles is in his bedroom, alone in the house, and currently standing in front of one of his cork boards, winding a length of red yarn between two thumbtacks that connect a photocopy of the only scrap of information he's found on "House Lupus" to another fragmentary, cryptic reference to some kind of vampire-like creature from ancient Italian folklore. This, of course, is interlaced with other strands: Yellow connects this to cards with the names of his various friends written on them, while some of those cards are connected in turn by green strands to other cards: notes about werewolves, and so forth. Many wind their way back via red strings to a large card, where "The Nemeton" is written in large block letters. Sighing, he looks down at the next card in his hand: "Were-lions?" He's going to need more red yarn.
Jason Christopher has been watching Stiles for some time now. Walking in slow lazy circles around the cork board and in general just bemused. He was impulsive when he came here. Approached the situation without actually knowing it. An amatuer mistake born of wishing to return to La Push faster. Jacob had seemed ok when he left, but there had been that episode. It was time to wrap up his dealings here for now. But he had to make one last attempt at least to...To save them. He gnashed his own teeth in aggitation. His father would be laughing at him now. But there would be time enough for him to dwell on the ruination of all of his plans later. He waits for Stiles to be busy, head turned, and slips away. Once outside of his bedroom door, he deactivates his gift, and he politely knocks on the door jam. Three smart wraps, followed by a polite. "Excuse me Stiles Stalynski. May I come in?"
Stiles is totally lost in his own world, a pen held loosely between his teeth, as he looks for the other bundle of red yarn... and then there's that knock. He turns around slowly, brow furrowed, expecting to see his dad--or maybe Scott--and when it's him, Jason, alias Darth Overbite or Dracuwolf, Stiles nearly falls flat backward out of sheer shock. As it is, he takes an involuntary step back, smacking into the wall beside his cork board, and the pen tumbles from his lips in shock. He's too stunned to manage one of his usual witticisms, or even articulate his shock. All that comes out is a sort of strangled sputter, and a look of appropriate fear plays across his features. But after a few seconds, he controls himself.
"Looks like you already did," he offers, his voice high and tight with anxiety at this intrusion, but also with forceful control. Then, in a moment of sheer audacity as his brain hits its limit of fear for that instant, he adds, voice a bit shaky, "So... is this the part where you kill me and leave my mangled corpse as a 'lesson' for Scott?" His eyes dart a wooden bat in the corner, immediately dismissing it, and then to his cell phone, on the desk. Too far away. So he just adds in that same voice, "Because, um... if I get a vote, I'm... I'm really against that plan."
Jason Christopher didn't refer to Stiles as 'human'. Now if that is good or bad, well thats a tough call to make. He smiles faintly, though it appears false. "No, I am not planning to kill you, or harm you in any way. Though the reasons why might suprise you. Now, before you start lunging across the room for your phone to call the entirety of Scott McCall's pack here. I'd ask you to pause and consider something. At no point have I tried to harm any of you. I have actively avoided that as a matter of fact. Despite several attempts on my own health, and numerous insults. You appear, for reasons I was previously unable to comprehend, to be a valued member of Scott McCall's pack." He gestures to the cork board displays. "Now I see they value you for your intuitive capacity and deductive skills. So I'd ask you to employ them. If I wanted to hurt you, any of you. Would I not have done so? If I am not here to harm you, what is it that it stands to reason I am here to do? In the absense of any proof to the contrary, might I not merely be telling the truth?"
He arches his eyebrows to emphasize the point and then clasps his hands behind his back. "Incidently, that is also why I would not harm you. You are, as incongruous as it is to me, a human that is a member of a wolf pack. Why nobody has bitten you yet, is as baffling to me as it is none of my immediate concern. You recieved the evidence I left for you." It is a statement not a question. "Imagine dozens of those. Potentially more still. Many if not all possessing unique gifts as I do." He looks earnestly at Stiles. "They will kill your friends. I don't give a good god damn if you like me. If you appreciate my mannerisms. If you think how I approached this was wrong. People you care about are going to die. They will listen to you, though clearly not me. Make them believe Stiles Stilinski. Make them believe and help me to save them."
Stiles, in absence of any hope of being saved by witty banter--and really doubting that he'd reach his phone faster than Jason could, say, chomp off his hand--takes refuge in a skill that few people realize he's refined as well as he had. He listens. And when Jason's set his piece--or, at least, this much of it--Stiles finally relaxes some, managing a more neutral posture, and lets his arms down slowly to his sides, where he lets his fingers slowly curl and uncurl--never clenching to fists--to keep himself from losing it completely. Then, first off, he answers, "It stands to reason that you're here to get something that benefits you. Maybe that means you're telling the truth, or maybe that means you like to play games." He offers a mild shrug. "You blow into town all bark and--thank god--no bite, then you come to try the rational approach with me." He frowns, staring hard at Jason. "I think you're somebody who's used to getting what he wants, and you expected Scott to roll over for you. And now you want me to get to him for you."
A beat, and he spreads his hands to his sides, gaining some momentum. His voice is stronger. "So that raises the question... what do you want? Obviously you want to me to believe your 'evidence' of vampire attacks--thanks for that, by the way, but I was nearly jumped by two fanged creeps just a few days ago, so I already knew they were out there--but you didn't give me anything useful. No facts, no explanations. And that's what I'd use to convince Scott, if I was gonna." He drops his hands, pressing his palms together in front of him to keep himself from fidgeting. "So, I guess, here's the deal." His voice still has a tremor, but his command of himself is, all things considered, probably more than expected.
"You want me to convince Scott? Give me information. Help me understand. Lay off the theatrics and intimidation--" He breaks a bit, admitting, "--which are very effective, don't get me wrong, but I think they're having the wrong effect from what you say you want." He draws a deep breath. "Lay off that... and just try talking. Scott respects respect." His eyes dart up, daring to meet Jason's. "And I respect... information."
Jason Christopher turns his back to Stiles as he walks across the room, listening to him as he speaks. He picks up the bat and very lightly tosses it to him. "I saw you looking at it, perhaps it will make you feel less nervous?" Then he walks over to Stiles' phone and picks it up as well. He walks over to the human teen, takes his wrist in his own hand, and spins Stiles' hand palm up. Placing the phone there, intact and functioning. "I want you to know you have your options Stiles. If you believe I am so like Deucalion." That time his emotions are on display. He virtually spits the name. But then it is back to his normal voice. Quiet, calm and largely devoid of any trace of emotion. A killer's voice really, all things considered. Someone for whom taking a life is much akin to a normal person sipping a glass of water. "Then call your friends. I shall of course leave as I wish no confrontation."
Spinning around he walks back to the cork board and chuckles softly again. "Encountered the werecats I see. The Nemeton re-awakening has had a very adverse effect on this area. It will make the situation much worse. They will be drawn to this place the same as so many others have been. But they WILL come with death on their mind." He sighs and then starts to speak again. "There is a faction of vampire elite in a bloodline referred to as The Cold Ones." He chuckles inwardly at the choice to use the Quileute descriptor. Feeling a sudden pang of missing a particular member of the tribe, his eyebrows knit together in momentary aggittaion. "They are named The Volturi. They have waged war against the various shifters for more than 2000 years now Stiles Stilinski. When they find a werewolf, they send teams to kill them. Scott Howard went public as a werewolf. The Volturi will become aware of it if they are not already. The Nemeton will no doubt draw them right in as well. Right here to you and your friends."
He looks at Stiles and says quietly. "You, and your friends do not see me as any prince you recognize. That is fine, I am hardly wounded by such. But they are werewolves, and as such I feel a responsability to them even if no such kindness is returned. I am not Deucalion, and so help me should I ever find him. For thewerewolf blood directly and indirectly on his hands." He shakes his head, eyes shimmering briefly red. "His screams will be short lived."
Stiles catches the bat with minimal flailing and accepts the phone wordlessly, quite clearly focused on Jason's words. They're troubling words, especially because they fit what little he knows... but they can't be confirmed, either. And on the other hand... they can't be dismissed. After Jason finishes his threats against Deucalion, Stiles tosses the bat lightly onto his bed. He shoves the phone into his pocket. Raising his hands in that See, I'm not calling for help or pointlessly trying to threaten you way, he says, "Hey, you want to maul Deucalion and shred his freaky ass into tiny bits? You've got my thanks. My blessing. He was so far beyond an asshole there aren't even words for it. But I still don't think--uh, no offense--that you quite get me."
Then, deliberately and feeling his pulse race through his body, he crosses over, pulls out his desk chair, and sits down. He loads up a map of Beacon Hills and gestures at the laptop monitors. "This is Scott's territory. His number one priority is defending it, keeping his loved ones safe. All you've got to do is show him that you want to do that." He dares look up at Jason again. "But Scott loves a lot of humans. Like me. Like..." And he stops himself before he does something idiotic, like handing the still-possibly-a-bad-guy a list of hit targets. So, he finishes lamely, "...lots of people. So you wanna appeal to Scott, you gotta speak his language." Exhaling sharply, he fully turns to face Jason, though he can't quite manage to keep up the eye contact, glancing over at the wall.
"I'm simpler. I already believe you. I believed you before you even showed up. I was nearly killed by vampires like days ago. I was part of the blood sacrifice that reawoke the Nemeton... because it saved lives. I--we had to die to do that. We were lucky there was someone there to bring us back from the brink. But that's what happened." He glances up again, just for a moment. "So we beat the bad guy. Scott became a True Alpha, something that nobody really seems to understand yet. And it's all because he wants to protect lives. He doesn't kill. Probably not even vampires. But you want him to listen to you? Show him how he can protect people better. Maybe you don't want to be his friend--maybe you do. But don't come at him like Shakespeare on Vice. Just... talk to him. Be calm." And then it dawns on him that he's verging on lecturing a deadly predator about communication skills, and he abruptly backs off the point.
"What I mean is," he says uneasily, "I'm on board with getting Scott to do whatever he has to... to keep him alive. He's gonna keep fighting monsters, and I get that the monsters are getting worse." He shoves to his feet, then, and defying every instinct, takes two steps closer to Jason, meeting his eyes once more. "And I'll do anything to help him. To keep this town and Scott safe. So if you've got the way? I'm on board. But if not... If you're trying to hurt him...then I swear to god or anything else you got, I will find a way to make you wish you'd never even heard of Beacon Hills." It's a ballsy speech, dramatic and forceful. It's sincere.
But he's shaking like a leaf while he says it.
Brave, yes. Stupid, no. He knows exactly how far he's overplaying his hand... but Stiles doesn't see any other moves on the board.
Jason Christopher listens to Stiles and when he finishes he chuckles and shakes his head. "This will not mean nearly as much to you, not knowing me very well. But you have fire Stiles. You have spirit. I believe I like you hum-Stiles." He walks over and sits on the edge of is bed, like they were going to talk about video games. Taking in the young man's room for perhaps the first time. He notes the various posters and things that are natural for a teenaged boy's room. "When this is all over, and your friends are still alive. For helping me here today I will have you flown to George Lucas' ranch and given a tour. I know a guy that can make that happen." He shrugs some and then takes a deep breath and sighs.
The next words are troubling for him to say. But he has come to respect the teenager for his sheer balls right now as well as his skills. "I apologize Stiles for my approach before. I was quite, shall we say peeved, at Scott Howard. But your words and the spell I cast on Ethan both ring true. I have caused my own damn setback here. Now time is against me more still. I will meet with Scott mcCall. Hopefully I can convince him to see reason. He is the alpha of this territory, the choice should rightly be his. Though with or without his help I will do what I can to protect the wolves of this area."
He pauses as he stands up. Then he does something else uncharacteristic. "When I came here. My goals were, more muddied. Less altruistic. I freely admit that to you Stiles. It took seeing myself through someone else's eyes." He shakes his head some and his face grows stern. "When you all looked at me, you saw Deucalion. Seeing that moment through Ethan's eyes." His fists tighten and he sounds pained at the next words. "I saw my father. My willingness to, cross lines. It is a transgression I can hardly forgive myself for. Much less seek it from those who do not know me. Nor fully the offense. But just the same. I am sorry. I shall seek out Scott McCall, and pray he is as reasonable as Ethan's memories suggest he is kind hearted." Jason leaves out the part where to STOP a vampire you really must KILL a vampire. Baby steps.
Stiles sits back down in his chair so his legs don't just give out, releasing a breath he didn't realize he was holding. Funny how that happens. And, in spite of everything, he laughs. He laughs... harder than seems entirely appropriate. It's just too much. Struggling to contain himself, he asks, voice strangled, "You... know a guy... who can get me a tour of the Skywalker Ranch?" He leans forward, elbows on his knees, and just shakes his head. "You're... either for real... or you're the weirdest bad guy we've ever met. I'll give you that one." Of course, then something else clicks.
"Wait," he says, mirth draining away. "You know how to cast spells... and you did one to see Ethan's memories? That's how you knew about Deucalion..." His brow furrows again, and he gnaws his lower lip thoughtfully. "It's good you'll talk to Scott. It's good you'll try to do this a better way. But, like... I think the magic angle is the one nobody's thinking about. It's what's bringing people here. If you know magic... then maybe that's something worth paying attention to." And there's something more. When Stiles discusses magic, there's a keen focus. Like it's something he's very, very interested in.
Jason Christopher nods to Stiles, having said what he felt he needed to say. Part of him felt Jacob would approve of such an apology too. He forced himself NOT to smile at that thought dammit! Things were so much simpler when he had his plans. When they guided him towards the inevitable bloody final confrontation with his father. Now things were complicated, well more complicated. Patricide was fairly complicated as a rule. But now this was just so much worse. He centers himself and relaxes. Save the wolves here. That was the new plan. Then, then he would decide what to do about his father, and how. He had been an army of one for a very long time. An alpha without a pack. One would have to be enough.
"Yes I can get you into Skywalker Ranch. Yes I am able to use druidic incantations, which I used to see into Ethan's memories." He leaves out the part about Ethan seeing into his, or how he is going to try and heal their fused form. This was Ethan and Aiden's affairs and he elected not to discuss such. "I was aware of the Nemeton before, well before it went dormant. It acts as a bell, ringing for all those with the proper ears to hear it. To borrow the phrase, it is a bell that can not be unrung. But, it may serve another purpose yet as well. On that I will presently speak no more, for much would need to be carefully planned." He glances down at Stiles ring again. "I do not wish to sully this meeting. But I again advise caution with regards to that ring. You seem quite bright for someone that has lived so little Stiles. Your pack needs you, and I believe you need them as well. Don't jepardize theat." It is no reprimand. Just a warning to have a care. He frowns at his own display of even saying anything but chalks it up to, well Stiles IS in a wolf pack after all. Someone will turn him....right?...Right?
Walking to the door, Jason reaches for the handle. "I will go and find Scott McCall now. Thank you again for your council in this matter Stiles." As farewells go, it is hardly much. But then it sure as all hell beats the last farewell Stiles got from him. Even as the door swings open he fades away.
Stiles stares after Jason for a good three seconds, mouth hanging open and eyes wide. And then, in a sudden burst of motion, he's yanking out his phone to begin furiously sending texts.
It never rains, but it freakin' El Niños.