That damn cat.
Stiles finally makes it to La Push, where he
La Push, Jason's Yacht
Three Days...Three days after an unspeakable loss.
Jason Christopher never cried. The tears were there but they couldn't fall. Where he went with the body, well he didn't say. But he wasn't speaking much then. He returned though with a thick pasty salve that he used on Embry's remaining injuries, as well as any Jacob might still have had. Part of the druidic magics he occasionally employed. It occurred to him as he tried to replenish the ingredients to make more that it might serve them to have another that understood the principles of how to create the potions and tinctures he knew. To that end he started to teach Embry. Adding it to his training, perhaps at the expense of some of the more physical demands which he heaped even more of on the others.
Three days of exceptionally challenging runs and phasing challenges. The nights filled with lore, teaching the tribe and Aiden Carver of the history of the werewolves of the world. Meditation and reflection to better help them join with their own wolf. An irony really, as the Beast inside of him was so very close to the surface routinely now.
When at night he did sleep, for a scant few hours. He fought back the dreams that came. Dreams of other times. Other places. Of those he had lost. With dark skies encroaching from all around. A dark presence hovering so near now, so very near.
The morning finds Jason looking at an old map. A map older than even Jacob's father Billy Black, by a number of decades. A map of Romania, tattered and aged. With a wolf's face in a mountain in a dark woods. With a river passing by it. His fists are so tightly clenched as he stares at it. That he has yet to notice he has dug his abnormally long nails into his palms. Droplets of blood plop onto the table as he stares at it.
The morning also finds Jacob out on the beach, down at the obstacle course, getting in some extra training with Aiden, whom he feels needs much more discipline, especially when it comes to controlling his temper. Embry is invited to these sessions if he wants to come, of course, but he's certainly not required to attend... and Jake has also emphasized that he wants Embry to find time to be around Jason when he can, help make sure that he has what he needs and isn't left entirely alone too much--because as much as Jacob wants to be there all the time for him, right now he just can't. So he's doing what leaders learn to do, and trying to delegate to someone he trusts.
It's also on this morning that an older model of Jeep, blue, pulls up to park at the dock outside. The door opens and one Stiles Stilinski emerges, dressed in jeans and that red hoodie of his. He'd driven since just past dawn to get here from northern Oregon, and he looks visibly fatigued. He's carrying a folder in one hand as he cautiously climbs the gangplank, calling out so that anyone aboard should be able to hear him.
"Hey, ahoy or... whatever! People on the boat, I'm comin' aboard. Got some stuff for you, and I'd really appreciate not being mauled to death today." Especially when he basically got the same thing last night, but he's hoping they won't notice. He hasn't been able to get a shower, but he'd changed his clothes and sprayed on a bit too much cologne, hoping that would cover the evidence.
Jason Christopher is a moment, still staring at the map, before he rolls it up and slides it into an equally aged looking scroll tube. He recognizes the voice, and is somewhat surprised really. Of course three nights ago he saw a vampire doctor, covered in blood and not react to it. That was somewhat surprising too. Three nights ago...the blood...
Jason shakes off the thought, as the Beast within delights. Walking out onto the deck he nods slowly to Stiles Stilinski. "Stiles. This is, unexpected. Is everything alright in Beacon Hills? Is Scott alright?" Scott had been ill recently, and Stiles hadn't wanted him to know. "After all I am sure you wouldn't hesitate to contact me if anything was wrong. So to what do I owe the pleasure." He grimaces as the scent of the cologne washes over him. Making his eyes virtually water. . o 0 (Gods and monsters that is a lot of cologne...) His eyes narrow and he takes a reluctant deeper breath through his nose. It was the first thing someone did when they wanted to HIDE a scent. Try and disguise it with something stronger.
Small waves lap quietly against the sides of the boat.
Stiles puts on a hopefully winning and completely insincere smile as he greets Jason. "Well, if it isn't Darth Badass himself. 'Course you know I'd tell you if anything was wrong. I'm very trusting-and-also-sociable that way. Certainly I'm not the type to keep things to myself because it seems strategically sound. Nah!" And, nearly as heavily bathed in sarcasm as he is in cologne, he makes to come fully aboard. He holds up the folder. "Speaking of my generous nature and free sharing of information, I brought you something," he says, extending it toward Jason.
Who knows? He may even pull this off without arousing suspicion. As long as Jason doesn't smell werewolf on him through the cologne. Or recognize the scent of blood on the clothes in the Jeep. Or--god, this plan was just more upsetting the more he thought about it.
Jason Christopher closes his eyes and takes a deep breath through his nose. Slowly walking around Stiles as he does. His voice is quiet, but at the moment it doesn't feel like danger. It feels like...like...
"Stiles. The next time something is actually wrong with Scott...With Derek Hale. With Liam or one of the twins...With any werewolf in Beacon Hills. I expect to hear it from you. From YOU, Stiles. Because you are the smart one. The one that above all others how foolish it is to hide the truth...from...me..."
Jason Christopher's eyes fly open and they are glowing yellow. He still has not taken the folder as he lunges at Stiles. In a voice that is forced calm he asks quickly and quietly. "Did. He. Bite. You? Stiles did he fucking bite you?!?" Looks like the wolf is out of the bag.
Stiles' expression of moderate-to-strong panic may be satisfying--or not--but he certainly isn't drenched in sarcasm anymore. The folder tumbles from his fingers, scattering scanned-and-printed documents across the deck, and Stiles all but leaps back to avoid any possible violence from Jason. Oh, it's not that he really thinks he could escape, but those fight-or-flight reflexes are a bitch to ignore.
And he had no intention whatsoever of trying to fight Jason.
"Who, Scott?" he answers weakly, trying to keep his cool and play it off. It doesn't work very well. "Of course Scott didn't bite me. He wouldn't do that--it could kill me. It's--it's a stupid and pointless risk." That Derek offered him if he really asked for it. That they agreed would be a bad choice. That for all the right, rational reasons wasn't even to be considered.
God, how he wished it had been one of them.
Jason Christopher stares hard at Stiles, but there isn't a look of anger in his eyes. It isn't exactly fear or panic either. It is almost desperation. No Stiles and Jason are not close. But Stiles IS a member of Scott's pack and Jason has come to respect the human. He can't lose another one so soon. "Stiles. Tell me the truth...If you don't I swear to...Stiles I will carry you into my room, strip you naked and look for myself. I will do it Stiles." He leans down, gathering the papers as he continues. "I can't try and help you, unless you can tell me the truth. I want to help..."
Stiles nearly bristles with indignation, and given the non-violent nature of the threat, perhaps he feels emboldened. He flings his arms out wide to his sides, raising his eyebrows, and says, "Okay, go for it. Drag me downstairs. Strip me naked. Know what you'll find? Nothing. Because I don't have a bite mark on me. Anywhere. I don't even have a freakin' hickey right now. So whatever the hell you expect to find, you're not gonna find it!" This doesn't seem like a lie, not overtly, though it's still not hard to tell he's hiding something. And as the ocean wind shifts, the smell of blood from the Jeep certainly doesn't do much to lend credence to his story.
Jason Christopher moves with a speed somewhat faster than that which is humanly possible. And he does just as he threatened. With the folder in one hand he makes to scoop Stiles up fireman style and carry him into his room. The scent of the blood reaches him making him redouble his efforts to get him someplace he can check on him. Particularly since he smells it on that red hoodie too. "If that is what it takes to hear the truth Stiles, so be it."
Stiles gives a shout--more than a yelp, not quite a scream--as he's suddenly hauled downstairs at great speed and unceremoniously divested of his clothing. He soon gives up even trying to resist, though he's clearly frustrated as hell by it. And then here's there, standing there wearing nothing but what Nature gave him, and...
He's uninjured. Completely without even a single scratch on him. That, in and of itself, might be some cause for surprise... even suspicion. But he certainly isn't showing a bite.
"Are you happy now?" he grumbles, trying to salvage some vestiges of his dignity. Or, at least, modesty. Let's be honest: His dignity went out the window before Jason even got him undressed.
The ship's cat sprawls at the stern, observing the deck with idle interest.
The sad thing is...this is likely not the weirdest thing Stiles has had to endure in the recent past. Jason starts sniffing at his hoodie, finding the blood easily and quickly. Then he sniffs at Stiles where the original bite was. His voice is quiet as he touches where the bite wound had been. "It was here, wasn't it Stiles. I can still smell his scent on you." Again not threatening, just a note of genuine sadness.
"How long ago Stiles. How long ago were you bit. There is no sense in lying to me now." He is standing exceptionally close, close enough that his breath is hot on the back of Stile's neck. "Just please...stop with the misdirection, and just tell me the truth..."
Stiles looks defiant for a moment, like he'd stick to his lie--and then he just suddenly folds, falling back to sit on Jason's bed as though his strings had been cut. His elbows hit his knees, his head falling into his hands, and he just stares at the floor. He's shaking, now, as he finally lets go of the pretense and confronts what happened to him.
"Last night. Around midnight. I was driving up--stopped for gas. He came out of nowhere and just... bit me, right there where you said. All across my collarbone and shoulder. It was... there was a lot of blood, I guess, but my clothes mostly soaked it up. I didn't wake up until early this morning, and then I drove here as fast as I could. Pretty sure I broke every speed limit known to man."
He draws a deep, slow, shuddering breath, and raises his head, dropping his hands so his arms just dangle before him, across his knees. Looking at Jason with an expression of now unmasked pain, he says, "I could have asked Derek. Even Scott, probably. But I thought I knew better, and... now this. Do you know who it was?" He gnaws his lip, betraying just how anxious he is. Then, his voice suddenly raw, he asks, "Do you know what... this is gonna do to me?"
The ship's cat prowls along the vessel's starboard side.
Jason Christopher kneels in front of Stiles, looking at the floor for a moment. The fact that the teen is naked isn't really a big deal to him. This is La Push after all. Naked is pretty much a daily...hourly. Pretty much an hourly event. Finally with a sigh he looks up into Stile's face. "The werewolf that attacked you was one of my kind. He may have served Valeri Lupus, my older brother. Three nights ago he attacked us here. He--" Jason swallows hard, audibly. "He killed someone, a very old friend of mine."
Stiles stares at the clothes. He wants to ask why he's being told to change, but... probably his clothes smell. Probably they'll give it away. He swallows hard and takes the offered clothing, holding it in front of him and staring down at it. "Nobody," he finally says, his voice sounding more raw than ever. "I haven't told anyone at all. I was gonna tell Scott, I guess. I didn't even want to tell you." He shivers, his whole body shaking slightly. "I'm... sorry. About your friend," he manages, still clearly having a hard time thinking through everything. Then he looks up. "So, uh. Now we wait and see if I change? If I turn into a wolf or... a monster or something?" He gives a flash of his usual self, snorting, and shakes his head. "I swear to god if I end up a kanima, I'm going to personally find your brother and climb up his asshole until one us dies." He's shaking, now, with a mixture of anger and fear.
Jason Christopher sits on the bed next to Stiles. It has been a few weeks since they have seen one another. Since they have talked really at all. Jason puts an arm around Stiles shoulders, in a supportive way. "You have to call Scott. You have to tell him Stiles. He isn't just the alpha of your pack....He is your friend. That's part of why you didn't want me to know he was sick. You thought, what? That I'd think less of him?" Jason sighs and shakes his head. "No...None of you deserve this life."
He is distant a moment and then takes a breath. "My kind only create werewolves Stiles. We should know in a few days if the bite took. If it did...I'll teach you to control it Stiles. You, you have my word. He must have meant to turn you...otherwise that bite would have been fatal." After a moment he glances at the file folder and says quietly. "What was so important that you were coming here alone?"
"Scott's on his way," Stiles says quietly, voice still rough, ragged. "He was supposed to be with me, but he got hung up." He shudders, shaking his head. "God. He might be dead if he'd been with me. Or... I don't know what. But, yeah. I'll... I'll tell him when he gets here." The next question, about why he didn't want to admit weakness to Jason before, is answered with a helpless shrug. "I wasn't really thinking too much. At the time, Scott collapsed. We didn't know if he was dying or... what. I didn't want things spreading before we knew what was going on, if anything. I was just... trying to keep the situation contained."
He draws another slow breath. "Thanks," he says, just as kind of a blanket statement, and then he remembers why he is here. "Oh. I wanted to talk, and... I had some information for you. I figured we could... work out something. I show you I can be useful, you maybe clue us in and... treat Scott more like an ally instead of giving his pack a place to ditch out to when they want to whenever things are rough at home." Clearly, Stiles doesn't have the best idea what all is going on up here.
Jason Christopher chuckles softly, a small sound of humor. Likely the first one he has made of late. "I do think of Scot as an ally...I think of all of you as allies....Allies help one another. That's what I was trying to do here. To train....to help. But I suppose I can understand how it might have appeared otherwise." Jason removes his hand from Stiles' shoulder and starts to page through the folder. "I'll make sure there are rooms set up for you both here on the yacht. So you are comfortable for...a few days." Of course, it could be much longer if that bite took. Something neither of them are discussing.
"You mind if I... use your shower?" Stiles asks, still a bit shaky. "I haven't had one since... it happened." He stands, clutching the borrowed clothes, and waits for Jason's answer. As for the files, well, those will likely draw his attention. It's information about his family, information that Stiles got somewhat by accident, weeks after the fact, from tapping the friend of a friend of a contact he found through the college. It's surprisingly in-depth, having come from an obsessive academic in Spain who does shockingly thorough work.
And it all traces back to Jason's mother.
Jason Christopher stands up so quickly it is hard to follow. He is staring at the folder like. Like it was something holy. His hands shaking ever so slightly. For several long moments he says nothing, just staring at the folder and all the information it contains. When he does speak again his voice is almost hollow. Haunted. "Yes. Yes please. Feel. Feel free." After a moment he tears his eyes away from the folder and looks at Stiles. "I need to step out. I will be calling ahead to Jacob Black. He will look after you until I return later..." He reaches over to give Stiles shoulder a gentle, reassuring pat. "We will work this through Stiles. You have my word." Then he stands up and looks at the folder again. "And, thank you...for this." Then he strides purposefully out the door.
[Text] Jason Christopher texts: We have another visitor from Beacon Hills. Stiles. He is showering now. Please watch him. Valeri bit him en route here. Keep other pack members close. I will return by tonight (to Jacob Black)
[Text] Jacob Black texts: Damn it. On our way now. (to Jason Christopher)
Stiles somewhat dazedly watches Jason go. Well. Guess that's one part of the plan that worked. He'll probably be more interested in talking to Scott now, or so Stiles hopes. The rest, well... he's still trying really damn hard not to think about that. Meeting Jacob should be... frankly, another pain in the ass to deal with, but... what's one more? Stiles shakes his head, groaning silently, and trudges into the bathroom.
He really needs a damned shower.
Jason Christopher is gone like a ghost, bounding over the rail of the ship and to the docks. Then vanishing into the forest and lost to sight...He needed someplace quiet...to think, to read, to try and maintain control over the raging, tumultuous emotions that were crashing against him like waves. Inside of him, the Beast, it danced. It danced to a song of freedom.