Stiles fills Ainsley in on the details of how to possibly save the alpha who bit her from the mystic brand that's been driving him mad.
The library was the only sanctuary that Ainsley really had left, and she was spending her time there researching things that would make her look like a lunatic to anyone with a sane grip on reality. The look she received from the librarian when she grabbed the recent set of books was something approaching befuddlement, prompting a sour mood in the new werewolf without any ill intent on the librarian's part. If it were possible to angrily read, then that is what Ainsley is doing, glaring down at a set of pages full of information on types of werewolf that definitely are not the kind that she is.
She probably didn't actually seek out Stiles' attention this time. This is just naturally where she's found most days, so it's likely to stumble across her here. It looks like she's not in much of a mood to be talking to anyone.
Stiles just kind of turns up. He comes walking up at not quite a jog, sliding into the chair opposite Ainsley at her table. He's got a couple of books, but most notably he has a stack of printed pages, which he's heavily annotated in red, yellow, green, and blue pen. Sliding the papers toward her, he lifts a bit out of his chair and just starts to talk.
"So, the symbol turned out to be old, really old, from Europe, back way before there were national borders or anything. It's probably Norse, but it might also have some Gallic influences." He pauses, shrugs, and then leans over the papers again, spreading them out, and tapping at key points as he speaks.
"Anyway, looks like the brand was used--with a special tool and a specific ritual--to force shifters to assume their true form, which seems to mean their main non-human shape, and then locks them into it, so they can't leave it. But it's pretty much torture, and the agony of it just... tears away at their sanity over time."
He idly taps his pen against the tabletop, frowning. "I'm still waiting for a couple of emails back about possible ways to fix it, but I have a few leads. So we might be able to save him."
Her eyes lift as if she were about to stab someone when Stiles abruptly sets the papers in front of her. When it turns out it's him, her fury slowly melts away to replaced with a tired frown as he begins to explain. She's got a stoic stare at him the whole time, but the word 'agony' makes her face twitch subtly, and the next part is...
Ainsley reaches to grab one of the papers to start looking through the notes that Stiles had accrued. Her stern-looking face starts to seem sad as she reads what was found. "Who would do this? Why?" Her face scrunches, fury boiling up. She sets the paper down and her eyes close while she slowly regains her composure, reminding her inner beast who the boss here is.
"Whoever is responsible for the brand might be indirectly responsible for what happened to me," she points out, "It's scary to think that someone out there has the power to do this at all. Could be a hunter...?" Her eyes twitch and move in that thoughtful way of someone trying to imagine a horrible motive, her gaze focused vaguely at the papers.
"And fixing him... is there anything about what that would do? Does it heal the mind at all?"
She's seems hopeful, but... all signs have pointed to 'no' in the research, and have generally avoided the subject of what happens after the brand is removed.
Stiles frowns. "I'll know more about the cure when the emails come back. Might not be until Monday, but we'll see." He tap, tap, taps his pen against the papers, resting his chin on the palm of his other hand, elbow to the tabletop. "But who'd do it? Hunters might. The whole Gallic thing... made me think. The Argents... well, there's a family called that. They're hunters. They come from an old French family. Maybe... there's a connection. What if this is a different branch of the same old family? Maybe an older and... more..." he swallows, hard, and just says, "...more barbaric kinda old school, like... pre-Argents?"
Ainsley punches the bridge of her nose, the notion that it could be someone worse than people who've already been a problem not sitting right with her. "They brand the wolf and... what, let him go?" she goes on, waving her hand in a vague gesture as she speaks to keep her own energy and flow going. "Let's assume they didn't put the brand there for the fun of it. If it had some sort of purpose, maybe they knew a desperate wolf would head here, to a pocket of activity." She means Beacon Hills and the local wolves. "If it's not for tracking, it could be a punishment. If he did something really, really bad..." She shakes her head slowly.
"I can't imagine people that could justify this."
She starts rubbing the bridge of her nose more worriedly.
Shaking his head, Stiles sighs. "Yeah. Cliché or not, humans can be pretty much the worst monsters." He pauses, frowning, and then adds, more softly, "Except when the monsters are monsters... but that's kind of getting... meta." His phone beeps, then, and he raises his eyebrows. "...Huh. Got a hit back." He taps it a few times, loading email, and then he sits up straighter quite suddenly. "Dude, really?" He looks up, eyes widening. "We can fix it. It may not be easy, but... we can. You'll just... have to restrain him... and then actually burn off the brand." He grimaces. "Definitely not easy. But... that's supposed to break the spell."
The idea of having to do something so painful to someone that's already in pain prompts Ainsley to nearly slam her hand on the table. She stops herself just in time, because that would both be really loud, and risk actually damaging the table with angry werewolf strength. So she hesitates for a second, and just lays her hand against the surface. "Right... Right," she breathes out. "Right," she repeats, "It's better than nothing. I'll just think of it as ... as a corrective medical procedure. Yeah."
A big sigh later, and she's fussing with her ponytail to make sure the basic braid she did is still intact. "I hope whoever did this never runs into me," she murmurs vaguely, but with a cool certainty, as if what she means is that she may kill them. "Thank you, Stiles," she says, her tension melting away to that emotionally exhausted appearance that she's frequently had around town. "You have all of my gratitude."
Grinning a bit crookedly, Stiles says, "Hey, this is kinda my thing. 'Researcher to the werewolves' or something. The book-whispererer." Then his smile fades, and he shakes his head. "But," he says in a low, soft voice, "I'm there with you. I ever find out who did this... and..." He shakes his head. "I honestly don't know what I'd do. But it might involve letting Derek--or you--or someone, anyway--rip their face off." He scowls, clearly feeling disgust, even pain, at such a barbarically cruel thing to inflict on anyone. Especially a werewolf. Stiles has a soft spot for those.
After that, Ainsley idly rubs the part of her brow where she got hit by those claws. Tracing a scar that isn't actually there. "They could be coming here. They might never show up, though," she murmurs, "Part of me wants to find them first. The predatory part." She shuffles the papers in front of her so she can read something specific that caught her eye. "I read that people would get called werewolves in the same way that witches would get called out." A beat. "Are witches real, too? Hmm."
"Yeee-ah," Stiles says in a drawn-out tone that basically says You have nooo idea. "Witches are a thing. Definitely." He frowns a bit. "But... yeah. You don't like someone, accuse them of being a werewolf... put the hex on 'em. Like I said: People suck." He starts to rock back in his chair, remembers last time, and stops, settling back down with a sheepish expression.