Derek demands answers, forgets to ask questions. Ethan is clueless.
3011 Forrest Hill Park, Beacon Hills
August 11, 2015
Beacon Hills - 3011 Forrest Hill Park
The entry hall of this large home is quite a bit cheerier than it could have otherwise been, due perhaps to the tastes of the owners. While the stone walls and floor might lend themselves towards a cold and gloomy look, brightly colored rugs and wall hangings have been used to add warmth and vibrancy, as well as to keep the chill of the floor from the feet of guests. An ebony coatrack and a mat for shoes has been placed near the door, with a table a bit further down the hall, made of matching wood, with a gilt-framed mirror placed above. A large archway opens up into a massive sunken living room, accessed by walking down three steps, with an oak door directly across from it, though it's usually kept closed. Further down the hall, a set of French doors open up into a dining room. Across from the dining room is a large, frosted glass door, which is warm to the touch. A smaller hallway leads off into the kitchen area, laundry room, and garage. Finally, a massive spiral staircase, with an ebony banister, winds up to the second floor of the house.
Ethan Carver is currently beating the snot out of a punching bag, which hangs from a chain hooked to the rafters in an unused corner of the kitchen. He's wearing athletic shorts and shoes, and his fists are wrapped, but he's otherwise bare and glistening with sweat. Though the front door was locked, the back door that leads directly to the kitchen is open, letting in the summer breeze.
Derek is, by this point, a past master at getting into places when he needs to. Unlocked doors make it all very easy, especially when they're sitting open anyway. One moment he's not there, and the next he is, far enough from Ethan to give him space to move, of course, and to be far enough away not to be attacked out of reflex. He doesn't announce himself. He figures it'll be pretty obvious he's there to someone with the senses of Ethan.
Ethan Carver wallops the bag a few more times, a growl building in his chest, until he finally turns toward Derek and shouts, "What?!" It's only then that Derek can see Ethan is wolfed out, eyes glowing blue and mouth filled with fangs. Thin trickles of blood run down his wrists from where his claws are digging into his clenched fists.
Derek wasn't wolfed out, but as soon as Ethan shifts, he does the same. He's not acting hostile, but he's not going to be defenseless in case the unpredictable man does something they might regret. "The one trying to steal a pack. I want to know about him." And his tone, rumbly but even enough, makes it clear that he expects Ethan to be the one to tell him.
Ethan Carver clenches his teeth, squeezing his eyes shut as he gasps for several breaths, willing himself to shift back. "What's to know?" he asks as his fangs recede. "He's an Alpha, a strong one. Strongest I've ever seen." When he opens his eyes, they're brown again. "But he's not trying to steal anyone. At least, he says he isn't. He wants to help, to teach us how to be like him." One last, deep breath, and he finally opens his fists. "Is that really such a bad thing?"
When Ethan returns to human form, Derek isn't far behind...though he does pause, as if waiting to make sure it's for real. He's not the most trusting, and he has good reason not to be. But he listens, noting all of these things in his memory. It may come up later. Important to know who might turn against you. "You keep asking that. Which makes me think you're leaning towards yes. You want to justify it."
Ethan Carver lets out an exasperated huff. "Maybe I am! You saw what he can do, what he can become. Why shouldn't we all want that? We've got a freakin' lion for a gym teacher now, and he's supposedly on our side. But if he's not? We need all the help we can get. And what about the vampires? I've never even heard about them being real, but Jason found one the same night he mentioned them, didn't he? Here in Beacon Hills!" He's pacing around the kitchen, either working himself up into a rant or trying very hard not to, though at least he keeps a respectful distance from Derek.
"Convenient." Derek folds his powerful arms over his chest, which just brings out the shape of his musculature under the shirt he wears. His breathing is deep, shoulders rising and falling in a steady, almost mechanical rhythm. His eyes never once leave Ethan as he moves. Best to keep an eye on someone so volatile, someone he can't count on doing the expected thing.
Ethan Carver slams his forearms against the counter, elbows just off the edge, and drops his head. Breathing deeply again, he gets himself back under control. "Nothing convenient about any of this. Werelions and vampires and God knows what else." He looks up, and Derek might notice his eyes are a bit watery. "Aiden's missing, Derek. I haven't said anything to Scott, because I don't want him to worry. But I haven't heard from him in over a week. His voicemailbox is full, he doesn't answer texts. What if whatever Jason warned us about has him? Am I supposed to just sit around and wait for them to come get me, too?"
Derek tilts his head slightly back and to the side, gaze fixed on Ethan in his outburst. "What if Jason has him? You really want to trust him. All you have is his say-so that any of this is the picture he's painting. You're smarter than that." There's a moment's silence that passes between them, the breeze drifting through again from outside. "At least, I hope you are. For your sake."
Ethan Carver nods, letting his head hang again. "I know, I should be. It's just...I'm going crazy. You don't know what it's like, Hale. Sure, I know you've lost siblings, and that's gotta suck." He looks up again. "Not being sarcastic here, it sucks. It hurts like hell. But this not knowing, it's killing me, and it's getting harder to hide from everyone. And...I don't know about Jason. He did some voodoo where I saw a whole bunch of memories. I think. Just flashes really, impressions. Nothing about Aiden though. But if he already had him, wouldn't he use that to tempt me to join him?"
"Not if he's waiting for you to have a breakdown from not knowing." Derek coolly answers, although maybe a bit too coolly, considering the topic at hand. He doesn't like that, but his brows always seem to be inclined to frown, and even the slightest expression appears all the more extreme due to those thick eyebrows of his. His default facial state is "mild annoyance". "I know how to share memories. I get the feeling he didn't tell you exactly how dangerous it was."
Ethan Carver nods slowly, running a hand over his hair. "It was pretty intense, just about knocked me out. Him too, I think. And after, he was...I don't know, he was different somehow. More sincere, maybe?" He shakes his head, letting out another sigh. "It's all so frustrating. Scott Howard trying to hide from us, werecats all over town, all over the school. That hunter chick. Liam...God, Liam. He's such a puppy. Stilinski throwing fire extinguishers at the lion. Pretty cool the way he stood up for Liam though. He's got a lotta guts, for such an easily breakable human."
"Howard." Derek repeats. He's not sure the Howard guy is as much a threat as Jason is, or for that matter a hunter. That's the last thing Beacon Hills needs more of. They seem to always be just getting rid of more! But once Stiles is mentioned, his eyes narrow. The sides of his mouth pull back and down. "More guts than most anybody. Human or otherwise." His tone has become pointed, the words pronounced with a decided edge to them.
Ethan Carver catches the change in tone, cocking one brow. "Something going on with Stilinski? I mean, more than usual? I've met his weirdo boyfriend. There has got to be something wrong with him, if he's fallen for Stalinski. Don't get me wrong, Stiles is cute and all, in his way, but have you seen his boyfriend? Way out of Stlinski's league. There's just something off about the guy." His eyes get a distant look for a moment, as he tries to remember the last time he actually saw Lance...in this very kitchen.
Derek starts walking, starts moving, and every slightest twitch of muscle has its purpose. It's easy to see his body beneath his clothes: solid muscle pushed against thin fabric, frail as paper really. Even in the form of a man, it wouldn't stand up to him long. He takes a finger and pokes it at Ethan's chest, shoving his hand against the man. "Mind your own business."
Ethan Carver frowns, lips pressed in a thin line. "Hey, this is my business. Stilinski is part of the pack, even if he's only human. He's my Alpha's best friend. What do you think it'd do to McCall if anything happened to him? So it is my business. It's all our business. What do we even know about this guy? He shows up out of the blue, and suddenly Stilinski is bi, just like that?" He looks like he's about to say something more, but stops himself, shaking his head andpoking Derek right back. "Something is up with that. Might not be as pressing as whatever is coming after Howard, or whatever Jason is up to, but then again, it might. Why take the chance?"
Derek's eyes gleam, and for a second they turn distinctly wolfen...but not exactly. Not the same way they are when he's really shifted. There's something different about him too, something that's not like the way he was before all the...alpha pack business. He bares fangs at Ethan, growling loudly, sharply at him and leaning right at him. "You're supposed to have a brain. Use it!" Shoving the intruding hand out of the way, he remains only for a moment longer, before stalking off. McCall and his stupid pack!
Ethan Carver grunts as he's pushed away, brows drawn together in confusion. "What the hell's that supposed to mean?" he demands, letting out a huff as he follows Derek to the door. "You saying you're not worried about Stilinski?" he calls after the former Alpha. "Because I'm telling you, he's not acting like himself. And Scott, have you seen him lately? He looks like hell. Something is going on, and I think that Hell's Angel is in the middle of it. Or maybe you're right, and it's Jason. Or even Howard. But ignoring it isn't going to make it go away!" Letting out an exasperated sound, he returns to the punching bag and begins whaling on it again.
Ten minutes later, hands bloody from clenching claws into his fists, Ethan suddenly stops. Eyes slowly widen, jaw drops open, and he blurts, “Holy crap! He likes Stilinski!”