The Carver twins discover they have a new superpower.
September 3, 2015
Ethan Carver and Liam Dunbar are curled up together on the couch facing the TV, which is showing some chick flick. They're cuddled close, but fully clothed and not openly groping one another, and the gas fireplace is set to a low flame, just enough to create an extra flicker of light in the otherwise darkened room. It's romantic, but not overly so.
Liam Dunbar looks either tired or sad, or possibly just really really cuddly and vulnerable a state he doesn't usually show to most people. Ethan's really the only one he's gotten the courage to truly show this side of himself to, but he is getting better about not hiding it from Aidan or his brother. He lays his head on Ethan's shoulder and stays quiet.
The door opens and Aiden steps in, but he pulls up short at the scene before him. He looks conflicted for a moment, like he wanted to talk to Ethan but was reluctant to interrupt what appears to be a low-key date night. After hesitating, he leans up against the door frame and just waits for Ethan to notice him. If what he's here to talk about, at least partly, is as real as he thinks it is... then it shouldn't take long for his twin to feel his presence.
Ethan Carver suddenly tenses, his brows drawing together. He narrows his eyes, though they lose all focus for several moments, and then he turns to look toward the doorway. He relaxes at once, offering Aiden a small smile. "Hey, numbnuts. C'mon in and join us. Lurking in doorways isn't really your style."
Liam Dunbar stays quiet something about Aiden's posture, well he thinks he needs to stay here, but he doesn't want to intrude. He simply stays quiet and watches the movie but keeps his ears perked if he thinks he's needed he'll step in. Ethan has been a little off since he decided to stay in La push, and Liam doesn't want to leave his side unless he's needed.
Aiden enters the room, dropping onto the other sofa, and stretches his legs out on it, crossing them at the ankles. He glances at the movie, disinterested, and then looks back at Ethan. "Look, bro. We gotta talk," he says quietly, since speaking in normal tones would seem almost like shouting in this muted setting. "I don't wanna freak out the puppy here, so it's up to you two if he stays, but... yeah. Gotta talk about stuff."
Ethan Carver cocks a brow, tensing again. He looks at his brother for a long moment, then turns to look at Liam. With a frown, he looks to Aiden again. "You're starting to freak me out a little. You're not gonna tell me you're possessed by a Hell's Angel, like Stiles, are you? It would explain why you've been acting different lately." He pulls Liam a little closer. "Whatever it is, you can tell both of us. Unless it's really private, and you want Liam to make himself scarce?"
Aiden shrugs. "He's your loverboy, not mine. I don't care what he knows." He frowns. "I think something happened the other night, after the fight. You know when we all got blasted with... whatever the hell that was? Seemed like all it did was heal me, but..." he shakes his head. "Dude, I can hear you. Feel you. Whatever. It's like having the sappiest chick flick ever playing in my head all the time."
Liam Dunbar turns blood red all of a sudden considering what they had done the night before. Did Aiden feel that. He doesn't say anythign but he looks right at Aiden, and both twins can probably hear his heart beating very rapidly.
Ethan Carver's frown deepens, though his eyes widen a bit. "Wait, you can feel...what I feel?" He closes his eyes, taking several breaths. "Does it go both ways? Is that why I feel so...agitated lately? Because I feel like I'm on edge all the time. Not angry, more...frustrated." His eyes suddenly pop open wide as he glances between Liam and Aiden. "Hold on. Did you feel what we did last night?"
"Not exactly," Aiden says, though he looks grumpy. "I didn't get details. It was more like... just feelings. I don't know what you did." He raises a hand for emphasis, "And I don't want to know. Got it? But I... I kinda think I'm starting to hear Ethan's, like... thoughts sometimes." He seems tense as he says it, as though there's more on his mind. "But maybe that's a good thing. At least if I lose my phone again, maybe we'll still be, like... in contact."
Liam Dunbar caught the significance of that instantly and squeezes Ethan's hand. He doesn't say anything just offers silent support.
Ethan Carver's ears redden, and he quickly lowers his eyes. Normally, he's pretty shameless, as both Aiden and Liam know, but there are those rare times when he can be embarrassed. Suddenly, he looks up, fixing his eyes on his brother's. His expression is one of deep concentration, as though he's trying to push a thought at Aiden.
[Telepathy] Ethan Carver sends: "...an...ear...me?"
Aiden makes kind of a face, as if something had just lightly smacked him in the forehead, but then he leans forward, too, turning to plant both feet on the ground, and stares back at Ethan intently. He sets his jaw, squares his shoulders, and plants one hand on each knee, willing his message to go through clearly!
[Telepathy] Aiden Carver sends: "...are... otally... ...y whippe...!"
Ethan Carver's eyes saucer again, and his breath catches as he sits back, staring at Aiden. Then his face colors as his eyes narrow. "I am so not whipped," he growls playfully. "And I sure as hell ain't pussy-whipped, if that's what you were trying to think at me." He leans forward again and concentrates, lips pressed in a thin line.
[Telepathy] Ethan Carver sends: "I dom...my boy to...uck me up the...and it was...some! His di...ger'n yours!"
Aiden growls right back at what Ethan thinks at him next. "Puppy-whipped," he bites out, scowling. "Puppy. Not pussy. You don't even like pussy!" He clenches his fingers down harder on his knees, sets his jaw again, and once more concentrates hard, locking eyes with his twin across the room. Poor Liam is essentially ignored for now, so it's just as well he's being quiet.
[Telepathy] Aiden Carver sends: "I DON'T WANT TO KNOW!"
Ethan Carver can't help but grin at his brother's spoken words, his eyes lighting with humor. But then he jerks back as if struck, blinking several times at Aiden. "Why...?" He leans forward again and projects a thought, though not quite as hard as Aiden just did.
Aiden looks as startled as Ethan by what he just unleashed, but finesse has never been his strong suit. Ethan's much better at nuance and subtle things. Aiden just tends to blunt force his way through everything. But hey, it works... at least a good portion of the time! "Sorry," he mutters, and then he tries again, squinting some.
[Telepathy] Aiden Carver sends: "I just don't need to know that much about your sex life. And we need to get good at this because I'm leaving Beacon Hills."
Ethan Carver flinches back again, but not in the same way as before. There's shock in his expression, but not the surprise of being able to hear his brother's thoughts. Instead, it's what those thoughts are that has Ethan stunned. "Hold on, what? Leaving for where? You just got here, dude."
[Telepathy] Ethan Carver thinks in a small mental voice, "How can you leave me again? What did I do wrong?"
Aiden looks a bit shocked as he realizes what he sent. That part was unintentional. Maybe it's harder to lie, either on purpose or by omission, through their mental connection. He flushes a bit, shaking his head, and flings himself back against the couch, glowering. "Yer gonna be pissed," he says, instantly grumpy, his body language and tone going defensive.
[Telepathy] Aiden Carver immediately reaches out, more through emotions than words, to disagree with that feeling and try to reassure Ethan. "You didn't do anything. It's my fault. Not yours."
Ethan Carver leans back as well, pulling Liam even closer almost unconsciously. "I'm already pissed," he says, though he doesn't really sound angry. More hurt with a hint of fear. "Where are you going, and why, and how long will you be gone, and if it's so important, why aren't we going together?"
[Telepathy] Ethan Carver tries to build a mental wall to block his own thoughts from escaping, but the pain and fear leak through. The pain of their earlier separation, and the fear of losing his brother forever this time.
Aiden looks down, unable to meet Ethan's gaze now, and looks almost ashamed, almost like when they were younger and being screamed at for some half-imagined misdeed and he were expecting a beating at any second. His whole body nearly screams guilt without any need for psychic abilities at all. "I wanna go up north and find that Jason guy. I wanna learn how to be more powerful from him." He slams a fist, suddenly, down into his thigh so hard that he probably left a hell of a bruise. "I'm so fucking weak, Ethan. We were alphas. We were fucking apex predators. And now, well. You figured it out. You've got a life. You're good at this. Me, I hate it. I hate school. I hate smiling and being nice to people. I hate pretending to be normal. And more'n anything I hate being a goddamned omega. Even if Scott would let me into his pack, I'd basically be the pack bitch, anyway. They all hate me." He lowers his voice, a nearly whispered growl, "I never wanna feel that helpless again. I don't want some chump monster to just come along and kill me. Again."
[Telepathy] Aiden Carver reaches out to practically punch through that wall, the empathic equivalent of grabbing Ethan and shaking him. "This is why I decided. Because I feel you now. Now we'll never be apart again. Not really."
Liam Dunbar wants to help, but knows there's nothing he can say. So instead he simply squeezes Ethan's hand and gives Ethan all the support and love he can, hoping against hope that it will transfer at least a little of it to Aiden.
Ethan Carver feels his mental wall crumble, but instead of all his thoughts and emotions flooding out, he suddenly finds himself overwhelmed by his brother's mind. He doesn't just know what Aiden is feeling -- he feels it. Experiences those horrible feelings of helplessness and frustration. This is why he's been on edge lately, because he's been picking up on his twin's emotions even before the mental link was fully established. "You're not alone, Aiden, and you'll never be any pack's bitch, least of all Scott's. Yeah, you'll have to work at earning his trust. I've been trying myself, and the only reason he's accepted me even a little is because of my relationship with Liam." He rubs Liam's arm, holding him close. "You and me, we complement each other. Yeah, I'm a little better with people sometimes. But you're not weaker by any stretch. You've always been stronger than me. Are...are you really sure you need Jason? Maybe he can teach you to be even more powerful, but there's something you'll never learn from him, Aiden. Compassion. He talks a good game about how much he cares, but when push came to shove, when I told him Scott was in the hospital, he went off to have another fistfight with a tree or something. All he was thinking about was how Scott's perceived weakness interrupted his carefully laid plans, his personal war against vampires and his father. His concern wasn't with how to help Scott. But you know that would have been Scott's first thought, what he could do to help."
Aiden frowns, and the expression quickly deepens into a scowl. He shakes his head, first slowly, and then more firmly. He can feel the emotions rolling back and forth between them, strengthening the bond that seems to have been sparked between their minds by the Nemeton's power. And he doesn't fight it. If anything, his mind reaches out to latch onto it, a lifeline between the two of them in the face of their diverging choices. He sighs heavily, as if stung by Ethan's description of Scott and the pack, and when he speaks again it's with a weary tension in his voice, even in his body. "I'm not like you, Ethan. I'm no good just caring about things. I mean, sure, I care in my own way. But I'd rather be killing something than holding someone's hand. Blunt truth. I'm a fucking wolf. I want to protect my pack, and right now you are my whole pack. But I can't do shit about Scott being sick or whatever. But there are vampires and other nasty shit out there that could kill us. Kill us all. And it's not just them. There's kanima and... who the hell knows what else? What if a bunch of giant freaking killer monsters blew into Beacon Hills next week, and I was too weak to stop 'em? What if they killed you, or your puppy here? I'm s'posed to be okay with that? I'm s'posed to be worried about compassion then?" He sets his jaw once more, shaking his head. "Maybe I'll be ready to learn Scott's love-and-hugs shit someday, but only when I'm sure that if that doesn't work then I can still beat the shit out of whatever's threatening my pack. I've gotta get more powerful. I've gotta be sure I can protect you." He looks up, his eyes pleading, and unspoken words pass between them.
[Telepathy] Aiden Carver sends: "I can't go back to watching you get beat on--or worse--and know I could've done something about it, but didn't. Not again."
Ethan Carver takes several long, deep breaths, keeping his eyes on Aiden's for some time. Thoughts fly back and forth, but finally, Ethan nods. "If this is something you feel you need to do, you know I won't stand in your way. I wouldn't even know how to try, nor would I want to. This new...Vulcan mind-link it easier to accept you not being here physically. I won't say it's going to be easy on either of us, but it'll be a lot easier. I just...Don't drink the Kool Aid, okay? Keep your eyes open up there. He's very charming and very persuasive, and he sucked me in, but he's hiding something. Something big. I dunno what, but keep your eyes open. Be safe, okay? Promise me you'll keep yourself safe?"
"I'm not going up there to be his fuckin' bitch," Aiden says, but he's grinning a little as he says it, maybe able to relax now that things are all in the open. "I'm going to get more powerful. I may owe him, and if I do, I'll square with him, too. But when it's done, I'm coming back. Even if I was thinking of staying away, which I'm not, you really think I'd be able to stay away forever while you were moping around in my stupid brain?" He gives a nod. "So, yeah. I promise. I'll keep safe, and I'll come back. Just keep your puppy from falling in any more holes full of freakin' dynamite until I can get back, or I'll--I'll fuckin' come back and spank both your dumb asses!"
Ethan Carver starts to laugh, but suddenly sucks in a breath, eyes widening again. He blinks a few times at Aiden, then quickly looks away. "Uh, yeah, keep Liam outta holes. That is, keep him from falling in...Yeah." Blushing darker than he likely ever has before (which is barely pink), he steals another glance toward his brother. "When would you be leaving? I know you can't say when you'll be back, because Jason doesn't work that way."
Aiden points at Liam, just leveling his finger, and says in a firm, even tone, "Quiet, puppy. Or daddy spank." Ethan will be able to tell that he's joking--well, 90% joking, anyway--but it's a pretty believable bluff if one doesn't know him quite well. He breaks the stern-face, though, to suddenly cock an eyebrow at Ethan, shaking his head, and mutters, "Perv!" But he's smirking as he says it, clearly not meaning it, at least not in a very judgmental way.
Ethan Carver's eyes suddenly light with wicked amusement, lips curling in a grin. "How about you keep your hands off my puppy's backside, and I don't project my every thought at you next time he and I are having some alone time?" Though from his expression, that's exactly what he plans to do. "Seriously, when are you leaving? Don't sneak out in the middle of the night, man. Let me at least give you a proper going-away dinner or something."
"I'll wait 'til the day after tomorrow," Aiden says, pointedly ignoring the taunt about Liam. He probably didn't mean, at least overtly, to be taken quite that literally. Then he groans a bit and flops back onto the couch. "Anyway. Don't freak, okay? I'm not going away forever, and I'll always come back. Got it? You're stuck with me for life, ass." He smirks a bit, glancing at Liam, who looks to be dozing off. "Just... keep the home fires burning, huh?"
Ethan Carver glances over at Liam, also noting that he seems to have drifted off. He gives his brother a nod then. "You're just as stuck with me, numbnuts. And if I get even a hint in your thoughts that you're thinking about staying up there forever, I'm going to drag your ass back here myself. Just...learn what you need to learn, kill what you need to kill. Get it all out of your system. Then come back here, teach me what you've learned, and I'll do the same. You're not so good with the caring right now, but you're also not as careless as you let on. I know you, brother. You want to be a good person. A good werewolf. Not a mindless killing machine. Don't forget that, okay?"
"Good," Aiden says. He cracks a grin again. "Glad we understand each other. 'Cause that's the plan. That's exactly what I'm gonna do." His expression turns serious, and he shakes his head. "I suck at a lot of the emotional shit, bro. But you know I do care about you. Maybe only you. I'm not a mindless killer, but... c'mon. I'm a killer when I gotta be. I'll do anything I have to if it protects us." He shrugs. "I'm not Scott. I never will be. I've just gotta do what I can do. You know?"
Ethan Carver snorts, giving his head a quick shake. "I'll never be Scott either, and I'll kill when I gotta. I just...think there's merit in not immediately jumping to the killing place, taking the time to explore other, non-fatal options." He shrugs a bit. "Maybe that's why I'll never really fit into Scott's pack, because though I'll try to come up with other options, I won't take killing off the table. It's always a possibility."
Smirking again, Aiden says, "Hey, that's why you're the smart one and I'm the pretty one." He shrugs and laughs a little. "But yeah, I dunno. Guess neither of us is an angel or ever gonna be. But you still fit in better than I do." He shrugs. "And I'm glad you do, y'know? But I've gotta do my own thing. I've gotta figure this out."
Ethan Carver slowly nods. "We've been together since the womb, man. Sometimes, we were so close, we were literally the same person. Inseparable our whole lives. I gotta admit, I like it that way. And I don't like the idea that you're not right there with me all the time, always ready to have my back. That I won't be making you breakfast every morning, kicking your butt out of bed and into the shower so you can get ready for school. It's familiar, comfortable. But maybe that's all the more reason to do this. It'd do us both good to be apart for a time, figure out who we are on our own." He pauses, leaning forward a little. "But only for a time. No matter what our place is in the grand scheme, there's one thing I know for sure: our place will ultimately always be at each other's side."
Grinning a little, Aiden says, "Yeah, but that's kinda part of it, too. How often are you constantly having to do shit for me that I never learned to do for myself?" He shakes his head. "I gotta grow up, bro. I gotta be my own man. Then I can come back, and I'll be your brother again... but not like it used to be." It's sudden, almost shockingly sudden, but he's abruptly kind of choked up. He looks away a bit, trying to get it under control. "If I'd been more responsible when we were kids... you'd have caught a lot less shit. See? I've gotta do this."
Ethan Carver sucks in a breath, a shiver running down his spine. "Bro, don't think like that. We both could have worked our fingers to the bone, and we'd still have caught shit. It wasn't our fault -- it wasn't your fault. It wasn't about what we did or didn't do. We were just the youngest, smallest, weakest targets. But that's not us anymore. We're both strong now, and nobody's ever gonna treat either of us as bitches or punching bags ever again." He grins suddenly. "But if going away means you learn to take care of yourself more? I'm all for it."
Shaking his head again, Aiden says, "It's how I feel. And maybe it's nuts, but I can't change then. I can change now. So it doesn't matter whose fault it was. But I can be a better brother now, okay? Do you get it? I... I'm not who should be. Not who I wanna be. Maybe Jason can help me figure that out. Even if he can't, I need time to try. And worst case, I come home and I still have more work to do." He smiles a little. "But... I'm glad you understand. Seriously."
Ethan Carver nods again, slowly. "I do understand. It's why we separated last month. We're both looking for something, something we've been missing. It's just not the same thing, and we won't find whatever it is in the same place. So I don't like it, but I understand it." He grins again. "And hey, just think about how much we'll save not having to use phones or Skype, right? We can just think to each other. Any time, day or night, we can talk in our heads and always feel close. Just, ya know, not when...." He glances at Liam, who's softly snoring by now. "Guess I tired him out last night. Yep, I still got it."
Aiden chuckles softly, just smirking at his twin. "My brother the puppy-lover," he teases, but there's no venom in it, just banter. "And yeah. I'll be here," he taps his head. "So don't worry, all right?" And then he he gets up. He walks over to bump his fist lightly into Ethan's shoulder. "I'm gonna go grab a shower. Take care if him, huh? He needs you." Then he turns to head out.
Ethan Carver smiles as he watches his brother go, whispering just under his breath, "So do you. No matter how independent you get, you always will." He carefully gathers Liam in his arms -- he's younger and a bit smaller, but due to his puppyish demeanor, it's easy to forget he's actually an athlete himself, with a hard, tight body of muscles, and Ethan grunts at the effort of carrying him up the stairs and into his room. Just before closing his door, he looks down the hall toward Aiden's room and projects one last thought.
[Telepathy] Ethan Carver sends: "I know what you're thinking about when you touch yourself in the shower...perv!"