Derek starts training Ainsley and (as a surprise) Stiles in fighting as part of a pack.
September 5, 2015
The majesty of Hale House has given away to a sad, gutted emptiness, although today it's not quite so empty. It wasn't empty just a short time ago either. But while Stiles will know that, Ainsley may not; it may be a mystery as to why they'd go through the woods to a house sitting derelict among the trees, a modern ruin that most would not dare to risk entering. It's the kind of house that has a reputation for being haunted, that schoolchildren dare each other to approach.
But once inside, it's at least a little more livable. There's a table here, a few chairs around. It's not really decorated, certainly not exactly repaired, but there are...things in it. Things and places cleared out, like someone decided it would be a good place to setup as a workshop, on the side.
Probably Derek, who leads the two in and turns back to make sure they follow him.
Stiles glances around and immediately has to suppress the temptation to make a joke. Not here. Maybe a year ago he would have snarkily commented something to the effect of Love what you've done with the place, very cozy, now he just inwardly grimaces at the state of Derek's childhood home and keeps the wise-ass comments to himself. If anything, for just a moment, he looks a bit pained. And he follows Derek in, setting his backpack down on the table, and looks between teacher and student. He's not quite sure how he'll be useful here, but he knew Derek wanted him along... so he came. It was as simple as that.
It's not a place that Ainsley had ever visited or heard about. When they arrived there, it felt like a strange place to visit. Her eyes lifted, and scanned details in a sort of reserved manner. Her head momentarily turned and she caught onto the strain this put onto Stiles... the sort of strain that he didn't show a lot, she got the impression he wasn't the type to look like that. Her brows lifted only a moment, while her gaze turned away to expertly look at the rest of her surroundings, as if something had caught her hearing somewhere in the distance.
Once inside, she looked around with a vacant curiosity, simply soaking in the environment they were at. It was a bit far away, there was not a lot in here, it already seemed run down or, at the very least, abandoned.
Ainsley focused her gaze on Derek and silently watched. Her head did a very slight tilt, and a clueless smile showed on her face. Questioning him with a look.
"Do some stretches." Derek commands, looking between Ainsley and Stiles. If Stiles thought he wasn't here to actually train as well, he must have forgotten the conversation he had with Derek only a few days before. Sure, that had been during the whole Nemeton crisis (which seems to be an ongoing saga), but Derek remembered. He settles his gaze expectantly upon Stiles, slowly raising his brows.
Stiles looks a bit startled, blinking at Derek, and his eyebrows also shoot up, even as his mouth drops open, and for just a moment it looks like he'll protest. Instead, he catches himself and manages a sort of wobbly, "O-oh. Sure." He sheds his flannel shirt, folding it over a chair, which leaves him in just his "Jawsome" t-shirt, jeans, and a pair of bright red sneakers. "If I'd known that was the plan," he points out, "I would've worn something more... y'know. To work out in." But he's not arguing, and he shows this by going into a series of stretches that they use before lacrosse practice. Snarky and dorky, Stiles might be... but he's also a pretty good athlete! He can do this part!
First, Ainsley does two things: She removes her fanny pack, which sounds like it just has the general stuff a purse might have when she sets it down somewhere against a wall, on the floor... and then she pulls up her shirt a bit to remove the concealed carry holster and drop it on top of the fanny pack. She doesn't even think about it, she just leaves it there, picks a nice clear spot, and starts doing stretches like it was the most normal thing in the world. The way she goes about it is like a machine, and she doesn't skip any particular part of her if she can help it.
Derek observes, an expression of approval on his face, though mild like always. He's not a particularly expressive man, at least not in terms of face or words. It's more postures, subtle things, little details. Stiles will know. Ainsley will learn, he's sure.
Stiles just setting to and demonstrating his athleticism is impressive to Derek. Ainsley's weaponry does make him think for a moment -- he doesn't let any detail escape him -- but she's more or less family now. She's going to have to at least be trusted to learn. And to be honest, he can't resent someone for taking precautions to protect themselves, although he's well aware of the time that it would take to get a permit for such a thing. She probably already had it, he reasons thus, and that's a point he files away.
Once they've done what he figures is enough stretching, he motions and leads into one of the larger rooms, emptied aside from a dummy and a punching bag. Neither are particularly new or particularly good, but they're enough to serve their purposes. They're more towards one side of the room. Derek, meanwhile, stands on the opposite end than either of his students. "Attack me. Don't hold back."
Stiles balks at that. He quirks an eyebrow at Derek and asks warily, "Uh... any particular preference how? 'Cause you know for a fact I'm not gonna be good at that. You're... y'know. Way beyond me in that department." And that's not even considering the wolf powers and such. Stiles just isn't in Derek's weight class, so to speak, so he hesitates, clearly lacking the confidence to press the attack against Derek, who he knows to be a vastly superior opponent.
If anything makes Ainsley hesitate, it's that. She stares at Derek for a solid twenty seconds, processing that. She flexes her hands while she does that, and then she begins to approach Derek. She's tentative, not sure about all of this. She stops a short distance away from him, about five feet... and then she lunges forward once with a single untrained punch. It's not a concentrated effort, it's just testing the waters, but she finds herself watching him closely while she does this. Studious.
"Use what you've got," Derek replies to Stiles. And there are various things around the room: wood planks, maybe a hammer or something. Then he finds himself under attack, and he dodges pretty easily. But he doesn't react to do anything in return to Ainsley. Not yet, at least. He's letting her get used to him -- maybe hoping that she's doing exactly what she's trying to do. He's very able in a fight, obviously, and has tremendous control over his body, with those muscles of his...not hampered at all by his build. It's not just for show.
Stiles sighs a bit. He doesn't like this part. It's Derek, and he doesn't want to hurt Derek, even if he could. So he doesn't go with his instinctive desire for a bat. He doesn't grab a weapon. He just puts up his hands in a vaguely boxer-like stance, then draws near, letting Ainsley draw Derek's attention a bit. Then he darts in from one side, aiming a quick jab--amateurish, but still a solid punch with decent form--to try to catch Derek in the rib cage.
Suddenly, "It's complicated" doesn't seem to really quite capture the full reality of the situation.
Dodging is one of three things Ainsley expected to happen. She breathes a little sigh to herself through her nose, eyes momentarily turning toward Stiles in a flick of movement. She quirks a corner of her mouth uncertainly, and then sets her face into a frown... and approaches with aggression when Stiles moves in, trying to aim for right after Derek would avoid or block the attempt. She tries something she saw in a movie once, going for a body blow. It's not really well-trained, her footing is all wrong and anyone with training could throw her off her feet, but it's a good try. Similarly to Stiles, she ends up in a rough boxer stance.
Derek steps more or less right into the punch from Stiles. It doesn't hurt him, but he does notice it. "Good. Do better." Reaching over, he hauls Stiles along to pitch him at Ainsley. It won't be a hard or damaging impact if they collide. But that also means he takes Ainsley's body blow. "Good! Be fierce!"
The powerful alpha steps back, spreading his arms and leaning forward, legs slightly bent in a half-crouch, muscles tense and ready. They're just getting started. He's prepared to take a few hits. He's definitely sturdier than the dummy across the room, which looks like it might collapse in a particularly strong gust of wind.
"Focus your anger. Focus any strong emotion. Learn to control it." Derek glances over. "You too, Stiles. And stop holding back. Pretend like..." he trails off for a moment, then seems to get an idea. "Pretend like some bad guy has me under mind control or something and you have to beat me up to save me." It's goofy, he knows, but it strikes him as fairly close to Stiles's tastes in stories. He likes Star Wars! This is Star Wars! Sort of.
Stiles feels a flash of triumph at landing the blow. This doesn't last long, as a moment later he's reeling across the room to stumble toward Ainsley, a look of (probably comical) surprise crossing his face, and he cries out in mild protest, stumbling before he catches himself and hopefully doesn't crash into Ainsley too badly. Catching himself on a wall to restore his balance, he glares a bit at Derek. "If that's what happened, I'd want to go after the bad guy, not beat on you!" But, since Derek seems to want it, Stiles grabs a nearby length of board, hefting it, and charges in with it held high, like he's going to swing it like a bat at Derek's shoulder level, but instead he goes for more of a golf swing, trying to sweep Derek's leg instead. It's a slightly clumsy maneuver in terms of technique, but Stiles is trying to fight smart since he's not really the best at fighting hard.
Catching Stiles was easy. Easy enough that Ainsley seems startled by how quickly and simply she can set the body upright and move back to the task at hand. When told to focus her anger, she focuses on Derek, and she follows his instructions: She focuses her anger toward him, and tries to control it. This probably doesn't turn out the way he was intending, because when she comes in for another punch, it's with force that would bruise the hell out of even the toughest of mortal men and knock unbalanced people on their ass. With an outlet for her apparently bottled-up aggression, she makes one firm punch and moves with a sudden speed that pretty much confirms she's got a supernatural nature.
Which seems to be manifesting even without any visible werewolf tells, right this second.
"Fight or die!!" Derek barks at Stiles, trying to coax him on for a more powerful attack. He wants them to fight him. He can't let them be injured the same way Erica and Boyd were. He can't hold back too much, or else they'll just be beaten within an inch of their lives by someone that doesn't care about them, or who wants them to actually suffer. It's not easy for him! Does Stiles think it's easy? His keen eyes shift to look at the approaching younger man, and it's enough to bring a grin to Derek's lips. A toothy, wicked grin.
His Big Bad Wolf grin.
However, that means Derek isn't expecting Ainsley's exceptional punch. He felt that! He felt it!! It makes him stumble back, surprised, and Stiles hits with the board. It shatters the board, but it also makes Derek fall back to the ground, surprise on his face.
He's quick to his feet again though, dusting his legs off. He reaches over to lightly swat the side of Stiles's head, though it's affectionate, immediately followed by a ruffling of his hair. "Good. Keep doing that, both of you." Stepping back again, moving slightly around them to give them more room to approach, he nods with resolve. "More! Now!"
Stiles stumbles back in surprise when the board not only connects but shatters, and then Derek swats his head like that, and he wobbles slightly. Glaring, he grabs another scrap of wood and charges forward again, this time swinging low but sweeping it up high, hoping to pull the reverse of his previous trick: make it look like a fake-out but not be a fake-out. Stiles is no great fighter, and he knows little about real tactics, but the best he can manage is trying to be creative and resourceful, trying to show that he can at least keep his head in a fight. He doesn't have a whole lot else to work with, practically speaking, in a fight against a supernatural opponent. If he connects, he'll dart backwards this time, hoping to avoid the riposte smacking. If not, he'll try to spin off to one side. This isn't exactly like lacrosse, but he's hoping to use some of those skills and that athleticism to help him out and balance his lack of fighting experience.
Actually knocking Derek back at with her hit was not what Ainsley was expecting. It stuns her, the resonance of her own hit going through her own body and telling her, 'Yes. You are a werewolf now. This is your power.' Simultaneously exhilirating and terrifying, she's brought out of a brief haze when she reflexively steps out of the way for Stiles, having sensed his general positioning based on hearing him move alone. Her eyes follow him, and the look on her face is like the change in perception is suddenly sickening to her, a grimace displaying on her face.
Boiling aggression runs over. She moves for Derek again, her posture going from simply sloppy, to some facsimile of the instinctual hunched werewolf stance, trying to weave in behind the recovery of Stiles' latest attempt and shoulder tackle Derek right in the stomach, but mostly in an attempt to knock him off balance again. Because that felt good, despite how awful she feels for actually hitting someone.
Derek reacts with some surprise to Stiles glaring at him, but it vanishes from his features almost as soon as it appeared. Suddenly they're getting serious. Good. Good! He looks very happy about it suddenly, far more than he usually expresses. He blocks the swing, and the wood is mostly kept in one piece. Maybe that's what he was trying for, since there's only so much sitting around on the floor. It does connect though, and he gives a grunt and nod of approval.
Ainsley's attempted tackle is good, but with Derek moving after the just previous attack, he manages to avoid most of it, reaching out to sweep with his leg and, ideally, send Ainsley into Stiles this time. "Keep coming!!" He shouts at them.
Stiles half-expected that Derek would grapple one of them this time, since he's noticed the pattern of engage-repel-attack, so when his blow is blocked he changes tactics. Instead of keeping on trajectory, he drops low, planting his feet, and swings his makeshift cudgel at Derek's ankles, as hard as he can, before pushing off with all the strength of his legs to leap to one side, and if he manages it will land in a roll. It leaves him on the ground and in a compromised position, but if it works he'll at least have a little distance between them, which he hopes Ainsley will fill by distracting Derek with her own attack.
Knocking Ainsley off her balance results in her staggering but quickly recovering, her breath sucking in from her surprise and her visible effort to avoid slamming into Stiles. Since she's starting to get "in the zone" alongside Stiles, she takes advantage of openings where she can find them, and the strength she's discovered just now. She moves in for another hit, but this one's a feint, trying to get Derek to retaliate, and then she would try to duck back away from him for Stiles to take the role of retaliation, a quick sidestep giving room for the ankle shot. She's not that accurate or powerful or experienced, but she's putting thought into it and paying attention to wherever Stiles ends up in the fray so they don't get slammed into eachother with one of those tosses or a misstep.
Ooh, both of them being so ferocious! Derek has to step up his game a little more now. They're getting it. They're doing what he told them, and that satisfies him more than anything. And he does try to swat back at Ainsley, though of course he holds back with his strength, not wanting to hurt Stiles or Ainsley either one. That, naturally, leaves him wide open for the ankle assault by Stiles, which makes him stumble to the side, looking to Stiles with sharp surprise in his eyes...surprise and utter delight.
With Ainsley taking the opening, without even having to communicate, Stiles is able to hop back to his feet, showing that when he's not over-thinking things he really can be quite athletic and capable. He wields his not-quite-a-bat, circling around Derek's side while Ainsley has him frontally engaged, and he tries another feint, telegraphing like he's going to step into another full-power baseball swing but intentionally pulling it short, then swinging the cudgel around to one side, then whipping it up to try to catch Derek square in the ribs, up from underneath, to strike the same place where he punched him before. True, it's not likely that the previous strike even left a mark, but he understands the theory of concentrating on a place repeatedly to try to injure the enemy and then exploit that injury. It's all very solid in a conceptual, hypothetical sense. Practically speaking, well, it's quite good for someone who barely knows what he's doing, but... well. He's still obviously an amateur fighter.
Thump! Ainsley momentarily feels sour embarrassment, having gotten clipped by Derek reaching out and hitting her in a way that jarred her out of her senses. Her face would turn red, if she wasn't already showing effort from focusing on the spar itself. She closes the gape again, taking the opening and trying to time it right after Derek's recovery with Stiles, so that he has a harder time retaliating. She growls -- it sounds like a wolf, like a rumble -- from the added effort and harries his other side with two separate punches, a bit wild and still untrained.
Derek maintains this dance with them, making sure each has some opportunity, but doesn't get away completely unscathed when he can give them something to keep them on their toes. It's a while going, easily about a solid half-hour plus a few minutes, and then Derek holds his hands up and gives a rather enthusiastic nod.
"Good. How do you both feel?" Derek looks between them. He's sweating a little, but not really as much as he probably should be. Still, he's more used to this. He's been training intensely lately, especially before the golem incident.
Once Derek calls a halt, Stiles drops down to a high crouch, resting his elbows on his knees. He'd lost the stick at some point, and he's soaked with sweat. Even his hair has gone from its usually wild vertical style to lying lank and plastered to his forehead. Looking up at Derek with a weary grimace (quite the comical expression, really), he says, "How do we feel?" He steals a glance at Ainsley, panting a bit, and then looks back up at Derek like he'd grown a second and third head. "I feel like I'm about to fall over, fall apart, and possibly fall asleep... dunno... but I think there's a whole, general, falling motif at work." He draws a deep breath. "Why? How do you feel?"
Meanwhile, Ainsley takes this opportunity to sit on the floor, her own hair a mess and her own body dripping with sweat. Because while she is a werewolf, she's sparring with a far superior werewolf. She has to take a breather. "I'm with him. Fast, strong, but not, uh... not full of lupine vigor, I guess," she says, and then she coughs and reaches up to pull her hair back and fix the ponytail that got undone over the course of their spar. "Oof..." She just lays back against the floor and continues catching her breath.
"Great!" Derek beams in response to Stiles. That's his answer. He feels super! "You did good. Both of you. We'll do more of this. The potential is there," he continues, with eager energy. Their attacks have invigorated him, pleased him, made him feel even better. If only he could share that through...lupine osmosis, or something!
Derek's eyes are practically sparkling, his expression still more subdued than most, but brimming with pride. Stiles can tell! "You worked together. You fought hard, and you fought dirty. That's what you need to do to survive."
Stiles raises his eyebrows in surprise, but after a moment he nods his head in that Okay, fair, you've got a point. Then he straightens, pressing his hands into the small of his back, and heaves a sigh. "Okay, well... at least we didn't totally suck, then," he says, managing a little grin. "Dude. You're practically glowing." But he smiles, even flushing slightly at the praise, and says, "Well, at least we didn't screw it all up." He flashes Ainsley a grin. "Guess we did good!"
"I feel like I'm training for a war," Ainsley points out in her ordinary, mellow tone of voice, after having caught her breath. She pushes herself up, propping her arms behind her in a lazy posture so she can look at Derek. Her brows lift at him a moment, because of his comparitively cheerful demeanor, especially surprised because Stiles confirms how happy the guy is. "Is this supposed to help me control myself when the lunar cycle rolls around?" she wonders at him, regarding Derek with a mild, even good-natured skepticism.
"You felt it." Derek answers Ainsley simply, evenly, but still with that very different, almost effusive way the session seems to have brought out in him. "You can focus it. You can bring out parts of it. Focus on calming yourself before we do this again." He looks between the two students. "Next time, shifting. Stiles, I know you can't shift. Don't say it." He's been around Stiles enough to tell when his jaw muscles are going to open that mouth to say something smart-assed. "You both need to train hard for this. Because it can turn into a war, and when it does, it's too late to wish you'd done better before."
Stiles gives Derek his own sour look for once, having his smart-ass answer cut off before he can even attempt it. So he just shrugs. "Got it. You're basically Coach only hotter, harsher, and you'll probably literally kick my ass if I slack off." He tosses off a snarky little salute, and says, "Well, mein kommandant, I'm on it. I'll continue to work my ass off." He holds up one hand, forefinger extended, "But when my ass literally falls off, no complaining from you."
Ainsley pressing her tongue against the inside of her cheek for a second, making a thoughtful 'hmm' sound to herself. "That's something you can just teach me to do?" she wonders, straightening her posture and pulling her legs up to sit crosslegged there before him. "Like... I put on my 'grrr' face and suddenly I'm fuzzier and pointier? Could you explain how that's supposed to work? I was under the impression that werew... that WE could only do that during the full moon until not too long ago." A beat. "Like do all wolves have the same shape? And what about the one that attacked me? It was huge! What..." She gives Derek an uncertain look. "What do YOU look like, shifted?"
"Don't worry. It won't." Derek's grin returns, more wicked wolf than ever. "I know all about the limits of working an ass. Even a smart ass like yours." He must be feeling good. When the playful ribbing comes out, especially like that and not all growly and smack-Stiles-into-the-dashboard-y, it's a sure sign that the tough alpha is satisfied. For once in a very long time.
When Ainsley voices her questions, though, he turns his attention to her. Grin fading to a smirk, he concentrates for a fraction of a second and then -- suddenly, he's wolfed out, as Stiles might say: bestial eyes, gleaming ruby red, a little more fuzz around the face and a bit on the body, and denser muscle, clearly...and claws. Claws on his fingers. "That answer your question?"
Derek Hale phases to his wolfman form.
Stiles shakes his head a bit, smirking to himself, and turns to walk back into the other room. He breaks out a few things from his backpack, returning with bottles of water for everyone. "Well, gotta stay hydrated," he offers, passing them around. Then he leans up against the wall, quietly watching the exchange between the others and sipping on his own water.
The way that Ainsley reacts isn't with shock, it's with a ... well, appropriately, a puppy-like excitement, her smile shining on her face. "The eyes are a nice touch," she mentions, "Wouldn't seem nearly as scary without the eyes." As if she were providing a critique on a piece of art! She accepts the water bottle and she's quick to guzzle down the contents. She coughs once and then gives Derek a careful look again. She touches her own face, trying to imagine what she'd look like, if she shifted in a similar way. "Thanks," she says to him, her features brightening in the most warm and expressive way he would've seen from her.
"The one that attacked me didn't look anything like that, for the record," she points out. "It was huge. Like a modern movie monster."
"Right," Derek half-growls. His voice has changed a little bit in the shift. He takes a moment to shift back, before taking the bottle of water from Stiles and gulping it down in just a few seconds. He must have worked up more of a thirst than he let on, but then he is the master of self-control and restraint from what he's presented to them. "I've found out recently that...sometimes that happens. I need more information. And we'll see what happens on the full moon. That's why we need to train you before then. It can cause a shift if you're not ready. That needs to not happen."
Derek Hale phases to his human form.
Stiles just wearily leans up against the wall, not used to pushing himself so hard. And he just tried to keep up with two werewolves! He's visibly fatigued, even beginning to show circles under his eyes. Clearly this has taken a lot out of him, and he really did give it his all. He smiles tiredly, nodding to the others, but he's clearly given most of what he has to give for the moment.
Ainsley shakes her head slowly after that, and slowly pulls herself up to a stand. "It would be very bad if I shifted into something like that where people could see me," she observes out, "There's no explaining that away, I'd get turned into someone's throw rug the next week." Her eyes fall on Stiles, focusing for a little bit. She steps over to him and, with her trained nurse-like demeanor, she speaks to him in a softer tone, "Hey... are you alright? Do you need to rest?" She ALMOST touches his shoulder, but decides to keep her hand to herself.
"That's why we're doing this," Derek replies to Ainsley. "If you get yourself better disciplined, you'll be fine. And we're a pack. We don't end up as throw rugs." Derek claps Ainsley on the shoulder, firm but gentle. He knows she'll probably be a little sore from the mauling of the other day, to say nothing of moving around so much today. When she shows concern for Stiles, though, he moves to his side and does throw an arm around his shoulders. "He needs a rest. I'll handle it." Because after all, he's the L'il Pup of the pack! And Derek is very concerned with his leisure and well-being.