Jason shows off the new K9s. Ethan gets some bad news from home.
August 25, 2015
K9s club, La Push
Jason Christopher was gone the entire night after the reveal about his brother. He showed up back at the yacht late the next morning, covered in dirt and soil. As if he'd been up to some epic gardening. Not that it was likely anyone would notice. But the tree was back, or a tree looking suspiciously like the original at least. For about 15 minutes he showered, just letting the water run over his face and body for much of it. His phone chimed several times while he was in there. He ignored it completely.
Upon leaving the shower he seemed more calm. Perhaps a deception, or just him bottling emotions as he was wont to do. Either way, still wrapped in a towel he checked the messages on his phone and started to get dressed.
Jacob Black pages: Did Ethan make breakfast? If so, what was it?
Long distance to Jacob Black: Ethan Carver is just about to pose, nope. Ethan hasn't come out of his cabin yet.
Ethan Carver spent the rest of the night locked in his cabin, and for a change, he wasn't the first one in the galley the next morning. In fact, he still hasn't emerged by the time Jason returns and starts his shower.
Jacob lets himself into the room, dressed in a dark brown muscle tee and cargo shorts--which, for him, is more clothes than usual--and carrying a small plate of toast and a glass of juice. He's doing his best to look composed and calm, showing a small smile that doesn't quite reach his eyes. Those just radiate concern. But he stands by, waiting for Jason to finish texting, and holds out the meager breakfast he'd pulled together.
Maybe, just maybe, it might be worth learning to cook some things after all.
Embry had thought about offering to make breakfast, but it seemed like something Jacob really wanted--no--needed to do for Jason, so he didn't interfere. He knew the men would need some time together, anyways, so that brings him to the present, leaning against edge of the boat, arms folded, and looking solemnly over the water as a gentle ocean breeze tousels his hair and the edges of his dark baseball shirt.
Jason Christopher glances at the plate Jacob offers. He really isn't hungry. But he can see that look in Jacob's eyes. The need to do something, and this was something. He sets his phone aside, and takes a piece of toast. Taking a bite and chewing slowly, thoughtfully. "Is everyone alright?" He drinks down the juice before Jacob answers. Proceeding then to drop the towel and get dressed. Black European skinny jeans and a button up black dress shirt and shoes. A splash of cologne, expensive watch and gold chain necklace. Slipping on a pair of sunglasses he seemed ready to go... Somewhere?
Jacob never seems to really dress up. He's in the same stuff he always wears, and frankly next to Jason he looks pretty shabby. "Sam's annoyed, but what else is new?" he answers with a shrug. "Ethan's still in bed. Embry's here, too. I think Paul's off on patrol." It's a school day, technically, but he's hardly even thought about that. All his classes are "independent study," anyway. It saves on paperwork. He looks Jason up and down, wanting to ask if he's all right, if he wants to talk, how he feels... but instead he just puts on the most cheerful smile he can muster and asks, "So, um. You going out? Lookin' good."
Embry hasn't moved from his sentry position on the prow of the ship. His heart beat is slow, slower than normal for resting. Jason can probably hear it. It's more the pace of someone... very calm, or someone very at peace with themselves. In fact, it's very similar to Jacob's when he and Jason are together. That tranquil happiness.
Jason Christopher nods to Jacob, in a manner that perhaps suggests he is pleased not to discuss things right now. Sam Uley was annoyed. Well that was likely to only get worse. Other alphas tended to have mixed reactions to him. Sam seemed the type he wouldn't put up with him "meddling" for long. But maybe he would end up a pleasant surprise. Anything was possible. Like his brother not murdering his family. Anything was possible. "Ethan's still in bed?" That was peculiar. "Has anyone checked on him?" Jason starts for the door. He catches Embry's scent as soon as he opens it. Of all the Quileute teens Embry seemed the most centered. Well along with Jacob anyway. Embry was peaceful, it was calming just having him around. A very positive trait in a tribe filled with hormonal teenaged werewolves. Jason heads to Ethan's room and taps lightly at the door.
"It's open," Ethan calls, his voice calm and even. Assuming Jason does open it, Ethan will be found sitting cross-legged on his made bed, dressed in cargo shorts and a muscle shirt. He's apparently been meditating all morning, but he looks alert as he turns his attention to Jason. "Everything all right?"
Jacob follows Jason from the room, hesitates, and then goes up to the deck. Probably, Jason will want to talk to Ethan alone. True, Jake is calm and steady, but he's still troubled right now. In every way possible for him, Jason's pain is his pain, and knowing that Jason's hurting makes it impossible for his calm assuredness to be complete. So he goes up to stand beside Embry, unconsciously letting their shoulders touch. Embry has always been a friend, always dependable, always trusted, but lately--even if he doesn't fully, consciously realize it--Jacob's found his best friend even more stable and comforting to be around, like a pocket of stability in the chaos that usually presses in on his life whenever Jason isn't involved.
If he stopped to think about it, this might make him curious. But he hasn't. Turning to Embry, Jake smiles a little. "Can't believe we haven't had you over here more often," he marvels. "You look so, just... I dunno. Natural here." It's an odd compliment, maybe, but something about Embry peacefully standing on the deck just strikes an odd chord with Jacob's imagination.
With the sound of approaching feet, Embry glances over his shoulder casually. Noticing it's Jacob, he smiles, in the way one would expect a best friend to smile, not moving a mite. Their shoulders touch, and the teen returns to his meditative gaze over the water. He can feel Jason has something to say, so he doesn't interrupt. "Natural?" It is an odd compliment, and it has Embry glancing over his shoulder again, smile amused and cocked just a touch. "I guess I've just always found the water peaceful. Don't you?" Embry gestures with his head towards the gentle surf, maybe to entice Jacob to relax a little. Like Jacob can feel Jason's tension, so Embry can feel his."It just goes on forever. You can keep staring and never see all of it. Take a look."
Jason Christopher nods slowly to Ethan. Meditation. That was good. He even allowed a tight lipped smile to reach his face a moment. "I'm fine." Lies, but so cleverly delivered his heart rate never fluctuates, nor voice shifts. "Are you alright?" The question is sincere, he even approaches and places a hand on Ethan's shoulder. Unless rebuffed anyway.
Ethan Carver tenses at the first touch, but immediately relaxes again, giving Jason a small smile. "I'm fine. Sorry I didn't say anything sooner about...you know. Just wasn't sure how to approach the subject. Not even sure if I believed him or not." He takes a deep breath, giving his head a small shake. "That memory of yours, the thing you planted in me that time. It's one of the few that I really remember with any clarity. And now...I don't know, it's different somehow. I don't know what to do with it."
Jason Christopher nods slowly. "I understand Ethan. I'm not sure what to-" He shakes his head. Clearly not ready to speak of it more. "Get dressed. I need your help with something." Ethan was adapting to life here well. But he wasn't ready to assume he had totally adopted the dress code just yet. Jason heads out onto the deck then as well. He nods to Embry, the closeness between him and Jacob not troubling him. They were best friends, like brothers. Like he and Roberte had been. He grits his teeth and forcibly throws the thought from his conscious mind with an inward snarl. Further food for the Beast.
Jacob does relax a little more as Embry directs him to contemplate the ocean. There's a magnitude, a depth, and a sense of stability to the ocean that he can really relate to. Even when the surface is stormy, the depths are much more vast. And that's a helpful thing to keep in mind. Turning to smile some at Embry, a more easy smile this time, he says, "Look at you, all smart and in touch with your feelings." He gives Em a playful nudge, then turns around, so he's leaning against the railing and facing the deck, half toward Embry. "Eh, it's an imprint thing. It's totally stable, calm... all the good stuff you hear about. But when there's something you know they need, but you just can't do it? It's kind of torture." He flashes the grin again. "But, hey. You'll see. Someday you'll imprint on some nice girl, and... y'know. Storybook love and all that good stuff."
He claps Embry one more on the shoulder, then steps away from his friend and the railing to approach Jason. "He's okay," he says, more of an observation, even a claim, than a question. Then, because from what Jason's said so far, it sounds a bit like it, he asks, "The two of you headed somewhere?" There's a faint twinge of concern, deep down, as he asks, but it's already hardly a ghost of the anxiety he felt the last time Jason left. The imprint's only deepening.
With a quickening of his heart, Embry smiles. That tension melting from Jake is precisely what he'd hoped, and it brings to him a sound satisfaction that he was able help. At the nudge, he says a little shyly, "Well, you know, I listen and stuff." But then the moment passes, and Embry's smile becomes a line more solemn, brows weighing a bit more heavy. "Ah," he says, listening, just like he said he does, quiet and unimposing. "I guess it would be kind of tortuous," he adds, trying not to voice his disappointment. He turns to rest his arms against the railing and look back out to sea. A nice storybook romance? "Yeah, maybe." The teen manages a smile at Jake's shoulderclap, but there's not a lot of enthusiasm in it. He doesn't bother to turn around when Jason and Ethan show up. He needs a moment to himself. His heart rate normalizes.
Ethan Carver slides to the end of the bed and grabs his athletic shoes, one of which conveniently has a clean pair of folded socks stuffed inside, because of course it does. Once he had socks and shoes on, he grabs a lightweight leather jacket and follows Jason up on deck. He may have adopted some of the local pack's standard uniform, but he can't quite go all the way, or at least, not all the time. He nods to Jacob and Embry, then asks Jason, "Where're we headed?"
Jason Christopher wiggles his phone side to side. "Lawyer called. All the paperwork is done. Preliminary clean up and some minimal construction. K9s is mine to do what I'd like with. Let's go take a look." He wasn't pushing for training this morning. That was sure to come, likely later. But he needed his own time to calm down fully first. This was a good opportunity to do so, and provide something to think about aside from impending fights and death for a little while.
Which is what would ultimately lead them all here. To the former bar on Highway 110, K9s. It still needs work to be sure.
Jacob was pleasantly surprised to find that Jason's plans included him and Embry, too, having gotten the idea that it was just a Jason and Ethan outing, probably them returning to Beacon Hills to track down Roberte or similar. But this is much better. As he stands there, he reaches over to lightly brush a hand against Jason's back, just a tiny gesture of support, and says with genuine enthusiasm, though a teasing tone, "I love it. Our first real date. And you're gonna fix it up and run the place?" Jason gets his focus, but his instincts don't let him ignore the others, either. Ethan gets a knowing look, much as he'd gotten a supportive clap on the back earlier, and Embry, who Jake has the oddest feeling may be just slightly down, gets a shoulder squeezed. "Hey, looks like we'll have a new place to hang out, soon. Not bad, huh?"
"Yeah, it's pretty great." Notably, Embry hasn't even looked at the place yet. Maybe he saw the reflection in the water! But at any rate, the shoulder-squeeze does invite him to turn around and at least look. And for Jacob's sake, he tries to seem a bit more enthused, balling a fist and punching it into his palm. "I guess it'll be like fixing up our bikes, just, you know, without the bikes." That was for you, Jake. He even manufactures that shy grin of his. "What's the plan to tackle it, anyways?"
"Now all we need," Ethan says, as he trails along with the others, "is a still that produces something that actually intoxicates us, without killing us. Can you ferment mountain ash...uh, berries? Not sure I've ever actually seen an ash tree. But they have berries, right?"
Jason Christopher surveys the outside of the building before walking in and taking a look around. He snorts a little at what the local crew managed to accomplish. Not exactly the club he had in mind really. "Actually Embry. I'm leaving the design elements up to Ethan. With all of your input." He glances at Ethan and says quietly. "I'm not looking for a redux of that hole in Beacon Hills I found you in. No damn dancing cages. But..." He looks around and sighs. "You are all young. You deserve something more than...Things trying to murder you all the damn time. Or having to kill things yourselves to prevent that. It's not much. But this is a start. Something to do, and somewhere you are safe to just have fun. To be young." He smiles briefly in that tragic sort of sad way. It was something he never experienced. He'd straight up murder anything that tried to take it from all of them. If he could actually help them hold onto it a little longer. Well that was the best thing all of his wealth and power could do. "I absolutely want a dance floor and stage. I'd like to sing occasionally. But otherwise... Whatever you all want it to be. Money is no object..." When was it ever.
Jacob steps inside, looking around with an air of hey, not bad as he takes it all in. "Place has possibilities," he declares, and he nudges Embry again, grinning. "Maybe we should turn it into a biker bar," he jokes, given the reference to fixing up bikes. It's a dumb joke, and he knows it, but then that was the whole point--to amuse Embry. He playfully shoulder-checks Ethan, too, teasing, "Look at that. City boy's gonna have all the creative control. Next thing you know, we'll be ravers swinging around glow-sticks." But then he settles near Jason, just barely restraining himself from reaching out to him. "I think it's awesome," he declares emphatically. "Can't wait to hear you sing in the place. That'll make it feel like home away from home."
Upon entering, Embry looks around, taking in the ambience. It's certainly a fixer-upper, though it's definitely got some character to it. "Ethan, huh?" this time he does actually grin, though Jason beats him to the punch about them city clubs, though: "Wait, they have cages?" Clubs have cages? Weird. "Dude, I wouldn't say no to a bike club, but uh," yeah. City boy. At least Jacob's physical affection appears to be improving his previously dour mood. Not that it was super obvious. Embry dour is Embry ... still being quiet. With just a touch of sarcasm. "This is actually pretty cool, Jason. It's pretty thoughtful of you. So, uh, thanks!" Embry shrugs a little and scratches the back of his head. It's clear he's not accustomed to... accepting things of this nature. "I'm gonna take a look around." And so he does!
Ethan Carver's eyes bug wide at Jason's announcement, and he stands there with his jaw gaping slightly for several seconds. "Wait, me? I don't know anything about designing a club." His wide eyes begin darting around, and it's clear the wheels are starting to turn. "Though the walls could use a coat of paint. Black, I think, with some neon patterns that'll pop in the black light. Gah, definitely need a new bar top, probably something like white Lucite lit from below." He begins walking around, muttering to himself and gesturing now and again. Peeking into the men's room, he shouts, "Is this the best we can do? We'll have a line a block long waiting for a single toilet. I don't even wanna think about the ladies' room."
Jason Christopher still seems somewhat distant. Yet it is clear he is pleased at their reception to it. Stepping back against the wall next to the doorway he cautions. "Just remember your clientele here. Will mostly be your brothers, and sisters." He certainly means it. The exact strain of lycanthropy is unimportant. They are all brothers and sisters. Jason smiles at Embry at grasps his shoulder in a brotherly way as he passes. A unspoken your welcome for the thank you. "Work together. Make it someplace special. That you are all proud of." Pack building 101. Screw school. He'd teach them what they needed to know.
Jacob pulls away a bit when Jason shows no sign of accepting his unspoken offer of closeness. Outwardly, Jacob continues to put on a perfectly upbeat and cheerful front, though inside he's highly preoccupied with what he knows is troubling Jason. He watches Embry wander off to explore, then looks back to Ethan. "I guess suggesting something more like a mellow country bar instead of a big-city rave club is pointless, huh?" he asks, managing a fairly convincingly playful tone, as though heavier things weren't weighing on his mind.
Ethan Carver moves to the middle of the room, rubbing his temples as he wrinkles his nose at Jacob. "Country? Over my dead body. But biker bar, that's a whole different story. Not sure there's room for a pool table, unless we really reduce the number of tables. Or shrink the dance floor. Even then, it's going to be tight. That stage takes up a lot of room. I suppose we could put the pool table on the stage, move it on nights when there's a band or when Jason wants to sing. But move it where?" He's turning in slow circles, looking the place over and shaking his head. "And we'll need a jukebox for nights when there isn't a band. Biker bars don't need deejay booths, so that's one less thing to worry about. Walls still need something though...Maybe redwood plank paneling?"
Jason Christopher sighs inwardly. He needs to control himself better. This lack of control, last night's outburst. They were shameful and unbecoming of his training or station. Closing his eyes he controls his breathing and seeks equilibrium within himself. Balance. Much as one would find in nature, or among the elements. He slowly allows himself to at least paint a veneer of peace over the turbulent undercurrent.
Approaching Jacob he hugs him from behind and kisses his collarbone. "Work, together...Design as you wish. But together."
Surprised, but quite pleasantly so, by Jason's hug, Jacob leans back into it with a now quite genuinely warm smile. "Hey, I think this biker bar thing has potential," he declares. "And we could probably expand the place some. Ethan says it needs bigger bathrooms, so what if we added a pool room, too? That way the main bar's still the way you want it." Reassured, he's much more on board with providing ideas.
Ethan Carver turns back to look at Jason, now wrapped around Jacob, and his brows crease for a few moments. He's more perceptive and empathetic than his brother, so he can sense Jason is still in turmoil from last night, even if he's painted on a layer of cool. "I think it could work," he says, steering away from his thoughts. "Especially with a pool room added. And hey, maybe a small kitchen? Nothing fancy, just somewhere to make wings and sliders, bar food. Everyone likes bar food, right? But then we need a cook, not to mention pretty waitresses in tight skirts. Should probably leave the floor uncarpeted, because there will be plenty of spills. What do you think, Jake?"
There were no shortage of biker werewolves to be sure. "Involve Emily as well. It may be a bit of a peace offering." Plus she might bake. Because damn for a human she baked a damn fine corn muffin! "This will be a place you can all gather besides just the reservation." It's proximity to his retreat was also fortuitous in Jason's mind. He also had an idea of who to contact to watch over the place. she wondered if she would.
"Everyone likes food," Jacob agrees. "And if people can eat here, it'll make it more relaxed." He grins over at Ethan, nodding, and says, "And yeah. Emily's really good at baking." He leans back against Jason, resting hands over the tops of his, as if he's trying to lend his strength and support to his future mate. "Not sure if we need to worry that much about tight skirts, though," he adds with a chuckle.
Ethan Carver gives a shrug of one shoulder. "Tight skirts equal good tips, or so I've been told. But if this is going to be more exclusive to the pack and reservation, where everyone knows everyone else already, probably don't need to worry about that. But baking's good, I like baking. Don't know if we want, like, cakes and cookies, since we're not building a coffee shop. But fresh breads, maybe some savory tidbits, those would go over well, I bet." He turns toward the stage again. "Now if we're going to have live music, we'll need a sound board and lighting rigs, all that stuff. Plenty of bare rafters for rigging lights, but we'll want to bring in a professional to get it all right. And if the back room is as large as this one, we could add two or three pool tables, maybe a second, smaller bar. Does this place have a basement? We're going to need a fair sized storeroom."
Jason Christopher rolls his eyes a bit at Jacob's comment. "I think it's safe to say not everyone in La Push and Forks are imprinted Jacob. Perhaps we can attempt to cater to all demographics." It's light teasing. But beyond that he is allowing them to make the decisions. His phone chimes again, and he frees a hand to look at it. Then damn near chokes at whatever it is he sees there. Actually taking a step back from Jacob as he shakes his head some. He starts speaking again still looking at his phone. "I suppose if the clientele warrants it we can always have another act on weekends. It is likely illegal here though." He shows off a picture on his phone. The sexting craze has come to La Push courtesy of Liam Dunbar. Who appears on the screen in the tightest pair of tighty whities ever painted onto a teenaged boy. There is nothing left to the imagination. You can tell his religion from the picture. And he is quite up and about at the moment too. Gleefully so from the smile. Under the picture it just says Love you! With little hearts and kissy faces.
"Well, I'm just saying, maybe it should be a mix, especially if we want girls to come here, too," Jake explains. And then Jason takes out his phone and shows that photo. And Jacob's eyebrows shoot straight up. "Holy crap," he declares, nearly startled, and then looks to Ethan, his grin slowly expanding to its full wolfish status. "Guess we know what you're always missing, huh?" He can't help but snicker. "Yep, you've got a bad little puppy back home." And then he dissolves into stifled snickering, unable to quite keep it back. It's all just so precious.
Ethan Carver's eyes bug wide, and he chokes on his words, sputtering for a bit. "Wha--...how...wha--...Why is he sending...?" He pulls out his own phone, checking for anything from Liam, then scowls. "Why is my boyfriend sending you almost-nude selfies, when all I get is a tweet about school lunch?!"
Leave it to Liam, he actually makes Jason laugh. "Ethan, why are you asking me that? I'm pleased to see he has started listening and actually eating. It's clearly helping him to, ahh, grow." He can't help but laugh some also then as he quickly types out and sends a reply.
Ethan Carver taps out a furious text message of his own, eyes narrowed to slits now. As if erotic dreams about himself and Jason weren't bad enough, now his boyfriend is sending Jason naked pics and claiming to love him? What's the world coming to?
Jacob's struggling to control himself, leaning back against the bar with tears in his eyes at this point, but he calls over to Ethan, trying to help, "Maybe your friends gave him Jason's number and mixed 'em up? C'mon, man. Your puppy barely even knows Jason!"
Jason Christopher chuckles and slips his phone back into his pocket. "Appears to have been an error. I believe that was meant for you. I believe I know why the 3000 dollar sheets in your room get washed as often as they do too. Puppies." He shakes his head still chuckling faintly.
Ethan Carver's ears color, as he continues to text. "Er. Yeah, mix up." He looks up with a frown, fixing his eyes on Jason. "Why're you checking how often I change my sheets? You did send that dream, didn't you? I knew it! But why?"
Shaking his head, Jacob finally gets it under control and smirks at Ethan. "Oh, c'mon." He looks back to Jason, quirking an eyebrow. "You didn't really send Ethan a wet dream, did you? 'Cause if you're giving him sexy dreams, I better get a turn, too." But his tone makes it clear this is just banter. He obviously doesn't believe Jason's the source of the dream.
Jason Christopher 's grin fades some and he shakes his head. "Honestly? Look me in the eyes and tell me you genuinely believe I did that? When I used that magic on you. A side effect was our memories bleeding over. It's a useful side effect when diagnosing an injury your trying to heal. But sending you dreams. No Ethan. That was all you."
Ethan Carver swallows hard, taking a step back, then another. "No, it couldn't be. Somebody sent it, and if not you...Your father? Trying to unnerve me, get me to run back to Beacon Hills and abandon you?" He glances over to Jacob, fear in his eyes now. "I'm telling you, it wasn't an ordinary dream. It was so real!"
"Ethan, come on," Jacob says, growing more serious now. "Anyone who knew you well enough to plant that dream in your mind would also know that it wouldn't scare you. It did the opposite. What scares you, looks like, is admitting it. We already talked about this, man. You're working on getting more in touch with your spirit, with your power. Why wouldn't that come with an awakening that affects your mind?"
Jason Christopher sighs and closes his eyes. "Think It through Ethan. The fact that it was so real isn't the detail. Its the answer. Who could have placed so realistic a dream in your mind? You've know me some time now. Was I displaying behavior you'd associate as normal to what you know? You had a very realistic dream in which you were the center of it. Jacob is correct. This was your dream. Perhaps your inner wolf seeking to reach out to you."
Ethan Carver suddenly scowls, crossing his arms over his chest and looking between the two. "So you're saying, what? My inner wolf is a horndog that wants me pinned to the tailgate of Jake's truck? Or maybe my subconscious is telling me I'm wasting my time trying to learn all these fighting techniques, that all I'm good for is being the pack's bitch?" He shudders at the thought, clearly horrified and disgusted. "Or is it simpler than that? Am I just missing Liam and transferring my fantasies to the most important man in my life right now, my mentor?"
"That last one sounded like it made sense," Jacob points out. Shaking his head, he says, "Ethan, when are dreams ever literal? They're, like... symbols. So why sex? Well, what's sex mean to you? Why Jason? Maybe because you're having to learn to trust him and let him do things to you that have a big impact. Kind of like I think sex probably does! You've got all these jumbled up symbols, but you're trying to read them all one way. I'm not exactly a tribal elder, y'know, but even I can tell you that's not how dream oracles work."
Well, the brief levity had felt good. But the moment was gone for now. Jason locks eyes with Ethan. "Perhaps it is that simple Ethan. In the end it was a dream. Perhaps there was nothing to learn from it. It can do no more harm than you allow it. For example dwelling on it when you've far more important matters to focus on now." The power of his stare has something like an actual weight for the young beta wolf. That presence again pounding like the surf against him. Jacob is an alpha, and imprinted. He might not feel it in the same way. Maybe others are feeling it when Jason is around. But there is no denying Ethan is. "I believe Jacob has the right of it. He is clearly wise beyond his years. You'd do well to listen to your brother Ethan."
Ethan Carver looks between Jason and Jacob a few times, then slowly nods. "You're probably both right. It was just a dream. A hot, vivid, detailed, highly erotic, hot dream. But nothing more. Let's just focus on...werewolf armies and hordes of vampires and getting this club in shape. I mean, it's not like anything like that will ever actually happen, so no need to dwell on it, right?" It's about that time that his cellphone buzzes, and he looks at the latest text. "It's Stilinski. Something's wrong with Scott."
Jacob grins at Jason, fairly glowing from the praise, and he chuckles again at Ethan's rehashing of the dream... but then Ethan's announcing his text, and Jake goes tense, frowning, and looks to Jason. "That's the Beacon Hills pack?" he asks. "What's wrong?"
Jason Christopher is quite suddenly ALL business. "Explain!" There is no candy coating it. It's an order. He isn't even doing it intentionally. But it is very much an order. Scott McCall was Beacon Hills alpha. A TRUE alpha, which in the strain of lycanthropy Ethan likewise shared, was damn near unheard of. Jason nods to Jacob's question.
Ethan Carver holds up a hand, reading the text, then quickly tapping a reply. "I don't know. He's not hurt, apparently, but he's in a cave, for some reason." His phone buzzes again. "He needs me to text Aiden. Why doesn't he...?" His thumbs fly over the small screen again. "And why bring food and water? Is Scott planning to live in a cave?"
Jacob moves closer, not quite crowding Ethan, but feeling the focus on him, the moment revolving around his information. He can't do anything about it, but on some level he feels Jason's need to know, his interest, and that sends him right toward the source of that information, as if he could deliver it personally.
Jason Christopher looks. Confused. "Bloody fucking hell. That tells us nothing." He's not ready to punch through trees. But Ethan was right earlier. There is a piece of ice laying over some very turbulent emotions. And it is very thin ice yet. Very very thin. "It's a damn phone. I know your generation wants to use it like a telegraph. Fucking call him and let him use that mouth he is so exceptionally gifted with and proud of to TELL you what's going on!" His words are accentuated with slight growls.
"Okay, Aiden just got there," Ethan says, reading the latest text. "Oh." He looks up at Jason, frowning. "Stilinski says not to tell you. Guess it's too late for that now. And I can't call him, because he's busy tending to Scott and texting the rest of the pack. If it's serious...." He lets that drift off as he gets yet another text. And another. And a third. "Okay. Hang on. Aiden says it looks like acute stress reaction. They're taking him to the hospital, but if that's what it is, he'll be fine." He looks up from the screen again. "It's like PTSD, but not as bad, and it usually doesn't last very long."
Jacob gapes. First, Ethan says he wasn't supposed to tell Jason, which prompts the reaction, an annoyed growl, "Clearly 'Stilinski' is an idiot. Jason needs to know about this." And then, when Ethan gives the explanation, he adds an incredulous snort. "Your pack alpha... is in the hospital... because he's too stressed?" His disbelief is a palpable thing, as though he just can't wrap his mind around it at all. But then, where he's from, people tend to stomp off into the woods and punch things when they're upset, not... "have a stress reaction."
Jason Christopher growls, like a serious wolf growl, without shifting. Not. To. Tell. Him? What the actual thrice damned stupid ass insanity was that! His eyes glaze slightly and he spins and stalks towards the door. "I need some air." What the actual fuck! Acute stress reaction! He knew they needed training. Knew they needed to get stronger. But ACCUTE STRESS REACTION!?!?!? We're they going to hide in tree houses and suck their goddamned thumbs when the Volturi came! Roll over and play dead for his Father?!?! ACUTE STRESS REACTION WAS WHAT THEY CAUSED NOT WHAT THEY FUCKING SHOULD BE SUFFERING FROM!!!
Ethan Carver's eyes slowly narrow, a growl building deep in his chest. "Cut him some slack. He never asked for any of this. He wasn't raised in a palace full of werewolves, nor was he told from birth that he'd be a werewolf one day. Some asshole bit him out of the blue, and then the asshole's asshole nephew tried to force him into his lameass pack to fight an Alpha pack -- which I was part of, you might recall -- led by the most asshole Alpha fucker ever, and a fucking crazyass Darach. Both of which Scott defeated, because he's a True Alpha. And because that wasn't stressful enough, he had to turn a freshman, then keep him from going on a killing rampage every full moon while teaching him to control himself, and then some nutjob from Nebraska shows up with Youtube videos of himself in full werewolf mode, followed by a fucking werelion, and then the Prince of Werewolves drops by to lay a bunch of stressful shit about marble-coated vampires and an army of werewolves intent on ruling the world. All while trying to keep all of this shit secret from his small hometown, since he's not lucky enough to live on a fucking reservation where everyone knows about werewolves and vampires, and oh by the way, not flunking out of high school. So cut him some fucking slack, okay?"
Jacob falls quiet as Ethan rants, and he draws a deep sigh. Shaking his head, he says, "So what you're telling me is that human society made him weak? Well, I didn't know from birth I'd be a werewolf. Kind of a rude awakening. And I'm still in high school. And sure, it's nice that people around here know what I am, but..." He just shakes his head. "Look, I don't know your alpha well enough to really judge him, Ethan, but I do know... this proves how much he needs our help. He obviously has the power and the potential. But he's not strong enough. Not disciplined. Really, honestly? I'm worried for the kid."
Jason Christopher doesn't reply. Just walks out the door. Ethan has seen his memories. At least enough of them. Listing the last year or so of hard luck. Talk to him after a few more hundred. Apparently he was overdue punching down a tree. Either way, yes he needs the air. "Work on the club!" The door slams shut behind him.
"Well, so am I!" Ethan shouts, then closes his eyes and clenches his fists, taking several deep breaths in through his nose, blowing them out through his mouth. When he speaks again, his voice is low again. "Yes, he's young and inexperienced. He doesn't have the benefit of generations of werewolves around to teach him, to guide him. His Emissary is off God knows where, and even when he's around, he's more cryptic than helpful. His pack is a helluva lot smaller than yours, Jake. He doesn't have a dozen brothers to lean on, plus the rest of the tribe for support. He's got me, Liam, and that asshole Hale. And his best friend and right hand, who happens to be human. And I left him, weakening both his pack and him. I selfishly ran off to learn from Jason, when I should have been supporting my Alpha." He finally opens his eyes. "I'm going. Tell Jason I'm sorry, but I can't stay here in this nice, safe little haven while my Alpha is holding Beacon Hills together by threads." He starts toward the door, but pauses with his hand on the knob. "And by the way, before judge Scott too harshly for this, you should know, I suffered from acute stress reaction myself. Many times. And I was raised with werewolves, fully aware of what I'd be one day." And then he pulls open the door and steps outside.