Ainsley meets with Derek and Stiles in the rain to discuss her newfound lycanthropy.
September 4, 2015
Ainsley decided to text Stiles. Which is weird, she's not the type to text anybody. Not that he would know that, of course. The text: "greenvale park, 7pm, urgent"
When they'd discover her sitting there on bench somewhere secluded, she's got a bunch of medical gauze still on her here and there, and her hands are clasped. The crutches are resting on the side of the bench and even the medical bandage on her leg is still visible. Her glasses, however, are missing, and she's fiddling with her silver chain in her hands. Her posture is stiff and her gaze is focused straight forward. A nearby lamp illuminates her some, making her easy to spot there in the park. It's a slow night here, with nobody wandering into the park at this hour.
She picks her phone out of her pocket and nervously fiddles with it for the fifth time in ten minutes, checking to see if she received any messages, despite having felt no vibration from it.
Mysterious texts from people he doesn't know so well to meet in parks at night, well... those sort of set off red flags for Stiles. So he's not alone. He's bringing Derek, and if Scott had been available, he would have brought him, too. But, a few minutes before 7:00 PM, the Jeep rolls up to park at the edge of the... park... and then Stiles hops out.
"I have no idea what she wants, but... how else are we gonna find out?" He just hopes that the other reason he brought Derek won't be necessary. At least they're a long way off from the next full moon. Still, given the weather, Stiles is quick to put up an umbrella--just seems sensible, after all--and waits for Derek to fall into step with him before he approaches Ainsley. When he spots her, he nods toward her.
"But there she is."
Derek wanted to be there, anyway. He's made that much clear. This whole business with Ainsley being attacked, not to mention her having known about Scott -- still a little tender spot with the renewed alpha -- makes him determined to be there with Stiles. This isn't something he can just go alone. Even if he'd probably deny it if someone asked him, he's fiercely protective of his pack, Scott's pack, and all related personnel.
Which includes Stiles. Not to mention their...interpersonal complications. Because it really is complicated.
Derek exits the jeep, not seeming that concerned at getting wet. "We should've taken my car." For Stiles, of course. Not for him. He's best when his clothes are clingy and semi-transparent.
In the rain, Ainsley looks about as ominous as a potential werewolf can, and it's even worse because she's apparently not wearing a coat or holding an umbrella. She raised her gaze away from her phone to look around, and fixated it on Stiles over there. She stared in that stoic way she tends to do, her jaw clenching a couple of times subtly. Yep, definitely not wearing her glasses, but she can see them through the rain.
The lamp post flickers behind her and, for a second, a faint unnatural shine might be seen in her eyes. After that, she looks over at the lamp post distractedly, reminded that this is bad weather to be sitting around in. She doesn't turn her gaze away from that fixture until they decide to approach her.
Stiles pauses to give Derek a look. "Oh, I get it," he says, sounding mildly put out. "You don't like my driving, do you? Or is this a control thing?" He exaggeratedly rolls his eyes and mutters, "Sourwolf. C'mon!" But, for those paying close attention, his grousing seems more token than anything else. It might even seem oddly affectionate.
Soon enough, he does approach Ainsley with Derek beside him, using the umbrella... well, mostly because he figured Derek might get grumpy otherwise. This turns out to be a bonus, too, since when they draw near he can hold it out to offer Ainsley some shelter, too.
"Nice night," he says in a slightly raised voice, "Very dramatic."
"My car has a better roof." Derek walks along with Stiles, answering him evenly, coolly -- the only way anyone can effectively answer Stiles. Well, unless resorting to more not-suited-to-public-consumption measures, and he's definitely not going to defenestrate anyone right now. He doesn't speak any further though, and when they're close enough to address the woman, he only folds his arms over his chest, standing by and looking very carefully, and very thoroughly, up and down Ainsley's form. Sizing her up.
The umbrella is accepted, and it even gets a small smile out of Ainsley. But she sighs and then pulls up her bandaged leg onto the bench, and removes the bandage and stuffs the cloth into the fanny pack. She rolls up the pantleg as best soaked jeans will allow, and points to the leg. The leg that, not too long ago, looked like a wolf had chomped it. The leg that looks completely fine now. And then she drops her foot back down to the ground and looks up at both of them and...
Well, she can't really say anything, though she does open her mouth for a second like she's trying to. She just looks distraught.
So, she healed. Completely. Already. Crap. Stiles looks at it, looks at Derek, and frowns. He's not really sure what to say, here. So, naturally, he speaks up, anyway. "Well, the good news is... you're probably gonna save a bundle on medical bills in the future. Bad news, you may have some issues with sleep-rampaging for a few nights out of the month, now." And he looks to Derek again. Because, seriously, what the hell do you say to someone in this situation?
Derek just keeps looking -- not quite a glare, but not exactly a friendly gaze -- at Ainsley. It's an often uncomfortable intensity his eyes possess, which isn't exactly helped by the look on his face that led to Stiles deciding his nickname, appropriately, would be "Sourwolf".
At least he's not going full sour right now. He just looks impassive and not particularly indicative of his emotional state pertaining to this revelation. Maybe he's thinking about it.
'Sleep-rampaging' is not the best thing for him to say right then.
Ainsley frowns up at Stiles, but the way her body starts to shake and her face scrunches... and then she just drops her face into her hands that were held out almost pleadingly for a moment. There's not much time to really say much about it, and then she straightens and she tells Stiles in a snap, "How can you joke like that!?"
She clenches her jaw and squeezes her eyes shut, putting her hands on her head. "I'm sorry, I just... What do I do...?" she whimper. She looks like she's containing a very tightly-wound ball of stress, and that's exactly the worst thing in a werewolf, especially one that won't have any control.
She doesn't cry, but there's the impression that she might start, by the way she starts staring at their shoes, watching the water ripple in nearby puddles.
Stiles looks at first taken aback, then suitably abashed, shaking his head a little. "It's... I..." He reaches up, slicking a hand back through his wet hair, and grimaces. Shrugging both shoulders, he says sheepishly, "Sorry. Defense mechanism. I joke when I'm stressed out or... y'know. Worried."
He looks over to Derek again. making fierce Come on, help me out here! face. Aloud, he says, "You... find someone to help you out. You learn to control it. And then you live a pretty normal life. Mostly." He shrugs again, helplessly, and clearly doesn't feel that he's got much to say.
But then, he's the only one here who's not a werewolf.
"Stiles is right." Derek speaks up, voice a little gruffer and deeper than simple conversational tones that he would use. But only Stiles would know that, of course; he hasn't met Ainsley properly before, just helped her to the hospital and waited for a while. "Laugh. Stop working yourself up or you'll cause a shift and learn the hard way. So look."
Reaching a powerful, broad hand over, Derek places it on top of Stiles's head. "Learn. I can teach you. Stiles, back me up." He may not have been the best instructor for Scott, but Scott turned out okay anyway. He managed to protect his pack, too, and brought two packs together to fight giant scary sharp iron golems, and nobody died. Definitely a plus. Especially since he has his alpha mojo again.
When Ainsley is told that she'll shift if she doesn't calm down, it... doesn't make it better, but it does focus her on the problem. She straightens and looks shocked at Derek for a second. She starts breathing to herself, and takes it slowly and carefully. Finally, she looks between the both of them, and back up at Derek. "Alright," she answers. "I... yeah. Alright," she repeats, and she gathers up the crutches.
She stares at them for a moment.
"All of this happened so quickly and I don't... I don't really have many friends out here," she admits to both of them. "I'll learn from you, and I promise to repay both of you... and Scott... and Melissa... everyone." She sets her face in a determined way, as best she can manage. She's still shorter than either of them, so she's directing it up at them, from this distance. She's soaked to the bone, clearly emotionally drained but able to put on a brave face at the very least.
"Sorry for dragging you both out here." She looks over her shoulder to indicate the park around them, and then back at them. "It wasn't raining when I got here, and it's somewhere I like to jog sometimes. I just happened to be here most of the day."
Stiles relaxes a little when Derek rests the hand on his head, though they're both getting pretty soaked by the rain at this point. But when Ainsley agrees to train, he relaxes even more. "He's right," he says quietly, keeping his tone serious for Ainsley's sake. "He's your best shot. And he'll teach you what you need." He nods at the umbrella. "Take it. You can bring it back sometime. Sounds like we'll be seeing more of each other, right?" He offers a little smile, shrugging off the apology, and then reaches over to lightly slap Derek's chest, the wet t-shirt making a soft splatting noise. "We love getting caught in train. Also piña coladas." He pauses to raise his eyebrows, wiping a sheet of water from his face, and says, "It'll be okay. You'll see."
Derek shifts his eyes to look at Stiles at the slap followed by a song reference, but he just as quickly turns his attention back to Ainsley. "You'll repay us by learning. Less suffering that way. Stiles can give you my number." He turns, just slightly, to look up at the sky. Such hard rain, come on so quickly and with such an intensity. And still going at it. "We need to start as soon as you can manage. You have to be ready when the full moon comes."
The umbrella offering is accepted, but only after Ainsley give Stiles a concerned frown. "Only if you're sure," she says, only smiling weakly after he tries to reassure her again. She looks up to Derek, and his words seem to help a lot more. The firm tone he takes has her nod at him slowly, indicating that she's listening to him. "How about tomorrow? If not tonight," she says, "I have a lighter work load because they think this is still healing," she says, pointing down at her leg. "It should be easy to for me to manage."
Stiles shoots Derek a Work it out, okay? sort of look, and then he turns to trudge back to the Jeep in the rain. He gives Ainsley a last wave, then opens up the car, climbing in despite being sopping wet, and starts the engine. The lights and wipers flick on, and he waits for Derek to finish up and join him.
Derek nods to Ainsley. "Tomorrow's good. Take tonight to get your mind ready. Call me and we'll meet up." He is terse, as a rule, but not in a rude or hostile way. It's just his manner: efficiency, a purposed eschewing of excess. "Now get out of the rain. Do you need a ride?"
With a nod to Stiles, Ainsley focused her attention more on the terse demeanor that Derek put out. It seemed to focus her like nothing else could, and she nodded once at his instructions. And then she shook her head when asked if she needed a ride. "I have a car, thanks," she says. Then she checks to see if she's forgetting anything, tucking the crutches under her arm. She starts walking to where she parked her car, though her pace is slow. She's tired. Very tired.