Jason locates Derek to pay his final respects to the memory of Talia Hale.
August 15, 2015
Hale House, Beacon Hills
The roads in Derek Hale's life always seem to lead back to Hale House, the scene of the greatest tragedy of his life. It's shaped him as a person, with enough emotional scarring and emotional trauma to last a lifetime. It hasn't quite been teen years yet, but even the passage of a near-decade has done little to diminish the pain of betrayal and the anguish of loss.
Though technically he's not living here at the moment, it's still perfectly livable for him. He knows every nook and cranny, every hidden room and chamber, everything and everywhere about it. Who needs modern conveniences? Not that he dislikes them...just that things have been...weird, lately. Definitely strange, and different from the usual. And the usual is strange enough.
So Derek has taken the time to return to Hale House. Not hanging around outside, but inside. The door is at least not closed, but not exactly hanging open.
Jason Christopher has been looking for Derek Hale. He was leaving the region, in just a few short hours. But, this was a stop he needed to make first. He looked at the ruin of the house. One he had visited in other times. Not so much happier, as that was a emotion he had been numb to when he was here. If anything he actually was finally starting to feel it again now.
But this, brought him no joy. This was a tragedy, and it filled him with a profound sense of loss. He could have used Talia's council now, more than ever. He makes his presense known as he appears with a subtle clearing of his throat.
Derek probably sensed him, before the visitor arrived. He remembered the scent well: it was so different to anyone else's in the area, but so distinctive on its own. "What do you want?" Still bristling a bit, still defensive, the man recalls all too well the landslide of unwelcome and unpleasant memories and topics that came with the day Jason came to town. He would blame McCall and his pack, but he can't quite bring himself to -- he knows that, while it wasn't handled the best, he probably would've handled it worse. And Stiles...well.
He can't really blame Stiles for anything, as much as he'd like to.
Jason Christopher replies quietly, in that same voice as before. But somehow minus the hostility. Less even than that of Derek Hale himself. "I came to pay my respects Derek Hale. She was your mother, but she was also my friend. I weep on the inside for the loss you must feel. I, lost my own mother at a young age as well. I apologize, sincerely for the loss." He looks at the burnt remains of the Hale house, and it takes little real detective work to deduce what had happened. Just a few questions around town really had told the story. But to see it. To actually see it...
Derek rises from where he was crouched, half-hidden in the long shadows of the derelict house. It had never been demolished, its memory never really far from the surface of remembrance, and Derek did his best to make sure of that. There was so much he'd arranged to be in and around the property, too, so that he could live with fair ease for that period of more than a year where this place had served as his den, as it were.
There are so many things recently brimming up that Derek had not wanted to feel. Meeting an actual friend of his mother was one of those things he had never hoped not to happen, but only because he hadn't really thought about it. As he approaches Jason, he lets the words hit his ears and slip into his mind. His stride comes to a stop with a safe distance between the two of them; his tone next reflects a softer, more genuine and less pointed response.
"It was a long time ago," he very nearly whispers, though the silence of the house and the still breeze outside it make it easy to hear and understand. It was softer than he meant. Damned emotions.
Jason Christopher stares fixed at the house, and listens to Derek. Had it been that long? Had it been so long since she welcomed him in. Councilled him to set the hatred aside, and pain. That it was no way for an immortal to live. That it would consume him, and leave nothing left. Damn the woman, she had been so very right. He had left, no he had stormed out, that night. Now when he should be here to tell her...She was right. She was gone. He quietly speaks the words anyway. "You were right Talia Hale. I was a....a fool."
It is a little to close to the feels for Jason as well. He has so few memories of his mother. His memory was flawless, a gift of immortality. But the memories of his mother were seen through the eyes of a very very young child. All he truly recalled were her eyes. Talia had the very same type of eyes. Wise, and kind, reflecting a mother's unconditional love.
When Derek wants to, he can see them. Though he also tends to see them when he'd rather not. They all live on in his memory, and that's enough for him most of the time...they sleep when he needs them to sleep, which is much of the time. He has to put everything aside or he'd never be able to function from day to day. It's a miracle he's able to do as much as he is.
He just listens to what Jason has to say, but he doesn't comment on that. It's not his place. Whatever spirit may listen and hear his response, that's what must accept and take those words to use. Derek lifts his arms to fold over his chest, though not to reflect an unwillingness to listen. It's just one of his resting poses.
Jason Christopher speaks quietly to Derek Hale after a moment. "I feel the strength of her character in you. You don't know me Derek Hale, and I do not know you. But, please know I honor your mother when I say this. Should you ever have need of me. I will be there. I believe had I been less focused on a fool's errand. Had I been less caught up in fighting madness with a different madness. Perhaps I would have known you long before Derek Hale. I have made, errors since coming here. Errors I am seeking to fix as well as I am able."
He turns and looks at Talia's son, he can see her in his face. "I am leaving here soon. Though, I believe I will return again at some point. When I do, I would consider it...It would mean a great deal to me, if you woud join me in a toast to your mother. She was right about me, and about the fool's errand I pursued. I shall never get to tell her that. But I would sit with her son for a time. If he would allow it."
One of Derek's thick, bold brows raises, his reaction to all of this information he's being saddled with. He hasn't exactly taken the time to get to know Jason while he was in town...there were a lot of other things demanding his attention, one of which can be considered a persistent distraction. Now he's feeling like maybe he should have taken a more prominent role...maybe he could've helped prevent some of the misunderstandings.
But, as Stiles would probably point out, it also wasn't really his responsibility either. He had other things to worry about, not the least of which happens to be concerns he's not exactly comfortable sharing with just anyone. "You just got here." It's a little surprising to hear about the imminent departure. "Be careful. Be conscious of the other packs." Here also an implication of being respectful of their membership.
Jason Christopher nods to Derek and looks away to the north. "I have others waiting for me in Washington." He glances to the pocket with his cell phone and smiles ruefully. Impatiently waiting at that. The implication is not lost on him. "I have no desire to take anyone away Derek Hale. I know my demeanor was, poor. My anger at the situation no excuse. Things have come to light that demonstrate both with exceptional clarity." He hazards another faint smile that dies away quickly. "Again, she would have called me an old fool. With that sparkle of humor in her eyes. Again she would have been right. Instead I have seen the error of my ways through the eyes of the young. It is in some ways all the more humbling. But even in the depths of my ignorance and arrogance I told the truth. This I swear, in the presence of the woman who tried to guide me to such a path once before. I truly only wish to help. I only hope I am allowed to now." He approaches Derek and extends a hand. "Until next time Derek Hale. I mean what I say. You seem far to capable to truly require it. But should you need me, I will come."
Derek hesitates for a moment, but soon enough he presents his hand and takes Jason's, pumping it once, gripping a strong, decisive grip with nothing to prove. He doesn't smile -- Derek doesn't, hardly ever, as a rule -- but there's a greater ease in the way he stands. Less defensive, less bristled and edged. "Until next time." Typically reticent, a man of few words, Derek returns the arm to his chest, to watch Jason for another moment. Then he's moved off to busy himself with something else in the house. He came here for a reason, and he doesn't expect his visitor to upset anything. Not that there's very much left to bother.
Jason Christopher stares at the house a moment more, and then slips a hand into his jacket. He leaves a card on the ground with his phone number in a flowing a graceful script. A script appropriate, worthy of, a prince. Even if his actions of late, and for far to long before that, were not. Through the mouth's of babes wisdom. As he turns to leave, he just knows somewhere Talia was chuckling a little at just how long it took him to see. But, he also believed she would approve.