Ethan decides that Stiles needs to talk. Stiles opens up about his recent werewolf attack. Also, there's ice cream.
Beacon Hills, Stilinksi Home
Ethan Carver buys two half-gallons of the richest, creamiest ice cream available in Beacon Hills, made with genuine cream, real sugar, and actual flavoring ingredients, none of that artificial stuff. For himself, he got vanilla, with bits of real vanilla bean visible, and for Stiles, whichever flavor he likes best. He doesn't push Stiles to talk until they reach the house, and after making sure the Sheriff isn't home, Ethan leans against the kitchen counter, grabbing a clean spoon from the dish drainer and popping open his ice cream container. "Okay, so...spill?"
Stiles can be fickle when it comes to favorite ice cream flavors, but today he's settled on a classic rocky road. As they gather in the kitchen, stiles climbs up onto the counter nearby, sitting on it and letting his legs hang down, and he too snags a spoon. Raising his eyebrows a little at Ethan as he opens up his carton, he says, "You do realize that this is open bribery. And since I don't have a magical wolf-metabolism like some people, you are probably contributing to the delinquency of my ass." Not that he takes this risk seriously enough not to dip a spoon directly into the carton and take a big mouthful. He lets it melt on his tongue, swallowing, and then releases a slow sigh.
"Well, what exactly do you want to know, anyway?"
Ethan Carver jabs the spoon into his ice cream a few times, shrugging one shoulder. "Your ass looks fine to me. Not that I make a habit of checking out your...." He closes his eyes, sighing softly. "What's going on, Stiles? You've been...distant lately. Distracted. Out there just now, facing that unknown, cursed Alpha, you seemed a million miles away. That's not like you. At all."
That actually makes Stiles laugh, just a kind of a light chortle that makes him grin and his shoulders shake with amusement. "Ha, you like my ass. I'm so telling Liam," he says, but it's clearly a joke. (Besides, he already knew Ethan liked his ass, and come on, that's flattering when your ego is as jittery as Stiles' can be.) He grows more serious, though, as he considers his answer, poking at the ice cream with his spoon. After a bit he frowns, shrugging, and says, "Well, long story short? I went up to La Push to see Jason on some business. Along the way, I got attacked and bitten by a werewolf. It... freaked me out pretty bad."
Ethan Carver had just put a spoonful of ice cream into his mouth, and he has to force himself to swallow, rather than spit it out in shock. "You what?!" he says, quickly leaning closer to take a good, long sniff of Stiles's shoulder. Frowning, he backs off a bit, lips pressed in a thin line. "Does Scott know? What about Derek? You smell...different, but not really wolfy. How do you feel? Where's the bite? I wanna see it. Is it healing all right? Was it an Alpha that bit you?" He finally runs out of air, so the barrage of questions pauses long enough for him to take a deep breath.
Taking a deep breath, Stiles says, "I haven't told anyone here yet. It's... not really something to explain over a text, y'know? And things have been so crazy, I just... haven't." He reaches up to rub the heel of one hand over his eyes, then shakes his head. "Thing is, it... healed. Like, fast. But even Jason didn't think I was turning. You can probably tell I don't smell wolfy. Maybe I'll turn into something else that has less of an obvious scent, but... we just dunno." He grimaces some, then breaks into a little smile. "Personally, I'm pulling for were-Jedi." He waggles his eyebrows, managing a bit of a grin.
Ethan Carver's frown deepens as he studies Stiles for a long moment. Finally, he lets out a long breath, then suddenly dives forward, pressing his nose into the other teen's armpit for an even deeper sniff, before stepping back again. Putting on a small grin of his own, he says, "Well, you still smell like a nerd, so were-Jedi's a possibility. Do you hafta wear so much deodorant though? Really messes with your natural scent." He rubs his nose a few times, then wrinkles it bunny-like several times. "There's another possibility, one I know you don't want to think about. Remember Jackson Whittemore?"
Stiles nearly drops his ice cream when Ethan dives into his armpit like that, and he gives a yelp of surprise, lightly swatting at the top of Ethan's head. "Warn a guy when you're gonna do that pit-sniffing thing, dammit!" he says, but there's still humor in his voice. But it fades when Jackson is mentioned, and he gives a slow sigh. "Yeah. Trust me, I've thought of him plenty in the last couple of days." He digs his spoon into the carton again, almost savagely, and shoves a giant lump of ice cream into his mouth.
Ethan Carver chuckles a bit, giving his brows a quick waggle. "Wouldn't be half as much fun if you were expecting it." He takes another, smaller bite of his own ice cream, leaning against the counter again. "Seriously though, we need to find out for sure. Have you considered maybe setting up a video camera in your bedroom? I know Jackson tried that, but...well, it's worth a shot, right?" He pauses for a moment, fiddling with his spoon. "Or ya know, having someone sit up watching you all night. You've got a boyfriend or two, right? And not for nothing, but you really need to tell them. And Scott."
Stiles is about to argue, but then the brain freeze kicks in. He grumbles, doing that trick with his tongue to make it go away, and eventually swallows. Giving Ethan a slightly sour look, he says, "I've hardly been alone the whole time since. Trust me, if I was turning into a kanima or even a freakin' ferret, someone would have seen by now." He pokes idly at the ice cream and sighs, shaking his head. "But nah. It looks like I'm not shifting or anything. Yet, anyway. We've got time before the full moon, still."
Ethan Carver quirks a brow, head tipping slightly to one side. "Ferret, seriously? Lions and bears I get, but were-ferrets, is that a thing?" He rolls his eyes heavenward, shaking his head. "Okay, so far, you seem to be holding it all together pretty well, all things considered. Not sure how the fast healing fits into things, that's usually a pretty good indicator that something major has changed about your physiology. Have you noticed any other changes at all? Hair growing faster than normal, maybe? Oh hey, how about other injuries, do they heal faster?"
"Dude," Stiles says with mild exasperation, "I'm not sure. There's stories of were-almost-anythings." He stabs his spoon into the ice cream a few more times, shaking his head. "And... I haven't really gotten hurt since that day. Lance has been watching my ass like..." he pauses to smirk. "Like he was watching my ass. If y'know what I mean." He spoons up another bit of ice cream, then, and says, "I haven't noticed anything else. I feel pretty much exactly like always." He pops the bite into his mouth.
Ethan Carver puts his carton on the counter, then cracks his knuckles. "Really only one way to know for sure, right?" With a playfully wicked grin, he balls up his fist and says, "Brace yourself." And without waiting for a reply, he suddenly slugs Stiles in the upper arm, just below the shoulder. He doesn't put as much strength behind the punch as he could, nowhere near werewolf-level, but it'll still leave a bruise.
Stiles has time to put down his ice cream and, as instructed, brace himself by clamping his hands down on the counter next to him, but he screws up his face in pain anyway at the punch, his jaw dropping open, and he grimaces in only mild exaggeration. "Dude," he groans, "That hurt!" But he's already shedding his flannel topshirt, tossing it over onto the kitchen table, and then pushes up his sleeve to show his arm where Ethan punched him...
And there's no bruise evident at all.
Ethan Carver frowns, leaning close to look at the exposed arm. "Sorry," he mutters, though he sounds sincere. "Had to be sure though. Damn, it's not bruising at all." He pokes at Stiles a few times, gently this time, then shakes his head. "Something's going on, Stiles. I don't know if it's good or bad, but it's something. It hurt though, right? You're not just saying that because you expected it to hurt?"
Frowning, Stiles says, "No, it... hurt. But, hell, I don't know!" He glares at his arm, as though it had offended him somehow by not showing a bruise. Then he throws up his hands, slowly letting them drift back down to tuck behind his head. "Just... freakin' hell, man. Promise me you guys won't let me pull a Jackson, got it? I refuse to be a repeat of that whole mess."
Ethan Carver places a hand on Stiles's shoulder, giving a soft squeeze. "Hey, we're not gonna let anything happen to you, man. You know that, right? Whatever this is, we'll figure it out. Actually, you'll probably figure it out long before the rest of us, 'cuz you're a helluva lot smarter. You guys cured Jackson, right? So you already know what to do to fix a kanima problem. I've never actually smelled a kanima, so I dunno if that's what you're becoming, but I somehow doubt it. But whatever it is, you know we're here for you. We've got your back, Stiles. Always."
Dropping his hands again, Stiles reaches over to clap Ethan on the shoulder, smiling a little. "Well, good," he says in a more normal tone. "'Cause I'm too busy having everyone else's back, half the time I forget I have one." It's a lame joke, but... hey, at least he's trying. Then he picks up the ice cream again, spooning up some more, and says, "But, hey, bright side. I got mauled by a werewolf, and I didn't die!" He grins a little, trying to keep things from getting too broody. There's been too much of that lately.
Ethan Carver gives the shoulder one last squeeze, then steps back to retrieve his own ice cream. "Not many people can say that, ya know. Did you get a good look at this guy? He wasn't the one we worked on out in the forest, was he? Because that guy's going to have to give us some answers, once he's well enough to talk. Where'd this happen again, up in La Push? Did you see Aiden while you were up there? 'Cuz if there's a rogue wolf running around mauling people, we should let Aiden know to be on the lookout."
"I'm pretty sure that Derek and Lance have that part covered," Stiles says quietly, looking away. "It happened in some nowhere little town in Oregon. And I know they were tracking him. I'd never seen him before, but... he looked more like the... man-wolf form. Like the big shape that Jason takes." He smiles a little. "I didn't see Aiden much. He seems pretty obsessed with training, but from what I heard he's getting stronger and better at... whatever they do up there."
Ethan Carver nods slowly, eating some more ice cream. "So it definitely wasn't one of our breed, more like the Hollywood movie monster. That's something to go on anyway. You're really lucky to be alive though. Jason can be pretty vicious when his temper's riled. I saw him shred an entire tree like a wood chipper in a matter of minutes. Not some little sapling either, but a big ol' tree that'd be standing there for a couple hundred years." He frowns suddenly, brows drawing together. "That wolf didn't leave you alive without a reason. This could have been a message. A warning, maybe."
Which isn't ominous, or anything...