Scott and Ethan discuss recent events.
Quileute Oceanside Resort, La Push, WA
September 26, 2015
The cabin seems too small for Scott, despite being bigger than his house back home, in terms of square footage. It's late night and he's returned from Jason's house and is now pacing the floor with a predatory, nervous energy that he can't seem to shake. On one level, he's horrified at what he's done but on another, thanks to the side effects of his request, it feels good and right. He can vaguely sense Jake, also awake, but that telepathic bond is slowly, slowly becoming to become less intense. Less like living in the other young man's head. With Liam asleep in the bedroom he shares with his boyfriend and Stiles still out, Scott's only company is Ethan. He looks to the beta and says, not for the first time, "This wasn't what I planned."
Ethan Carver sits on the edge of the counter at the edge of the kitchen, watching Scott pace while slowly taking long, deep breaths. When his Alpha finally speaks, Ethan says softly, "Do you think it's too late to undo it? I don't...I don't think you realize just how deep this thing goes. You've pretty much cursed yourself, Scott. For, like, ever. Maybe if you talk to the fairy queen, she'll undo this for you."
Scott isn't aware that his eyes have gone that burning red of his alpha power as he turns his head to look at Ethan and half growls, "No!" And then, softer, his eyes going back to their normal deep brown, "It's ... not a curse. It's different, yeah. And unexpected. And weird. But you don't understand the good things about it, too. I'm ...." He shakes his head and says, "It doesn't matter, it's done. And the guys who know about this fairy stuff are telling me that if I try to break it, it would offend Mab worse than just throwing away the whistle would have." His expression changes to one of thoughtful wonder as he lets his mind range towards Jacob, feeling the power and potential between the two. "Besides, I think it worked."
Ethan Carver flinches back from the initial growl, quickly lowering his eyes. "Scott," he says softly. "You're imprinted on Jacob, aren't you? That's forever, man. If what they told me is true, you're going to become whatever Jacob wants you to become. You're...." He shudders, dropping his gaze again. "You're going to be in love with him, whether you want to or not. Even though he's imprinted on Jason and can never return your feelings. And you'll never be able to fall in love with anyone else. Ever. You're going to spend the rest of your life psychically linked to someone you can never be with, to the exclusion of anyone and everyone else. Make no mistake, this is a curse, Scott."
Scrubbing his hands back through his hair, Scott says, quietly, "It doesn't feel like a curse. And yeah, I get that he's a dude. And that he can't feel about me the same way I feel about him. But that... doesn't matter, does it? I mean, I can feel him in my mind, Ethan. I know he doesn't feel the same way about me that I do about him, but that's okay. There's room for something to grow. And even if it doesn't, you know what I don't feel, now? I don't feel lonely. I don't feel like anybody I'm with is going to get killed for being with me. He's strong and can defend himself. Him and Jason both are going to be fine, no matter what happens to me. And I can't say that about ANYBODY else in my life."
Ethan Carver takes another long, deep breath, then lets it out slowly. "Scott, you're seventeen. I mean, look, I'm in love with Liam. I'm absolutely crazy about him. But I'm not naive enough to think it's gonna last forever. We're teenagers, we barely have any clue what love really is. We're gonna grow older, and we're gonna grow apart, and that's just how it is. But you...You're stuck now, forever. You could meet the most perfect woman in the world for you next week or next month or next year, a woman who's just as strong and determined as you are, a woman who'd be your perfect match in every way...And you'll never be able to love her, because you'll always be imprinted on a guy you barely know, who's supernaturally bonded to another. Is that what you really want?"
Scott McCall looks at Ethan and just shrugs. "Dude, do you seriously think 'forever' is going to be that long? Look at the way my life has been going. The threats are getting bigger, tougher and harder constantly. I've been lucky so far. But you're not like Stiles or Liam. You KNOW what the world is really like. And as much as I hate it, I have to accept that too. I can't be sheltered. Or lie to myself. I'm probably going to die trying to do the right thing. Probably pretty early. This is ... this is actually a good thing, in a weird way. I can love. I can feel that love. But if I die, Jacob and Jason are probably going to be sad, but they'll get over it. It won't ruin their lives. And this keeps me from inflicting that damage on somebody else." He shrugs and says, "And it's done. There isn't anything we can do about it."
Ethan Carver lets out another long breath, shaking his head slowly. "You're my Alpha, and I'll follow you anywhere. You know that, right? I just wish you'd talked to me before doing this. Talked to all of us. When Stiles finds out...." His head shakes again. "I'm here for you, Scott. Anything you need, any time, day or night. And you hafta know, I'll fight to my last breath to keep you alive. So if you die, it's only because I'm already dead. You can count on that from Liam too, whether you like it or not. Aiden...I can't speak for Aiden right now. He's...distant. Our link, it's muddy right now. I can't explain it. I still feel him, still get a sense of this thoughts and emotion, but it's not as clear as before. I dunno why, or if it's gonna change in the future."
Reaching out to put a hand on Ethan's shoulder, Scott says, "Hey, you're not going to die. It's my job to keep you alive. And Liam. And Stiles. And Aiden. And bring Aiden home." He grins that uneven smile of his and shrugs, "And if I'd talked about it before hand, you all would have said it was a bad idea and I would have done it anyway. Which would have made me a jerk. This way I'm just an idiot." He shrugs and says, "But like I said, I think it worked at least part of the way I wanted to work. I can feel the difference. I think I may have the power I need to keep us safe."
Ethan Carver gives a weak little smile. "Scott, you don't need power to keep us safe. You've never needed power. That was Deucalion's mistake, thinking power meant strength. Your strength comes from here." He lightly pokes a finger at the center of Scott's chest. "You've got my strength, and Liam's, and most of all, you've got Stilinski's brains. But none of that holds a candle to your biggest strength, Scott: your compassion. Your desire, your need to do the right thing, to keep people safe. All the super-powers in the world are worthless without that. Look at Jason. He's got all that power, all those forms, all that Druid magic, he commands an army of Quileute wolves...and all he seeks is more power. That's what he fights for. But you, you fight for others. You fight for those who can't fend for themselves. That's your power, Scott."
Scott blushes faintly. He says, "I appreciate all of you. And I need all of you. But if I can do something that helps keep you guys safe, I should, shouldn't I?" He sits down on the back of the sofa, facing Ethan and says, "Believe me, I didn't do this lightly. And I'm not trying to Deucalion. Or even Jason. I don't care about power. I care about all of you. And Mom. And Deaton. And everybody in Beacon Hills who can't fight this stuff for themselves." He shrugs and sighs. "BUT, if this makes me go wrong, go ... bad, I'm going to make arrangements for the pack." He glances sideways at Ethan and asks, "How much do you trust me? Really trust me? Even now?"
Ethan Carver places a hand on Scott's shoulder, giving a light squeeze. "Completely, Scott. You know that. Just promise me something? I know this can't be undone, and you did it for all the right reasons. But next time you think about exchanging your soul for something you think you need to keep the rest of us safe? Don't, okay? I've been down that road, Scott. Deucalion had me convinced that the only way to defeat the Darach was to make ourselves stronger. More powerful. But all that power did was get most of us killed...after we'd slaughtered our own packs, or own families. You didn't need any of that though. You had the power inside you all along, because you're already a True Alpha. It's been less than two years since you were turned, and you've already defeated a threat so great, five Alphas couldn't stand against it. I know you're scared right now, there's no shame in that. We've seen vampires and fairies, werewolves with immense powers we can't begin to fathom. But you're already strong enough to face all the challenges that we face, strong enough to lead us. And as a True Alpha, your powers are only going to grow as you mature. Just let it happen, okay? Don't try and take any more shortcuts. We've all got your back, man."
Scott McCall can't help but grin at Ethan as he says, "Can I get you to give that speech to my mom the next time I forget to take out the trash?" He sighs and says, "I get what you are saying and you're not wrong. I am scared. Or I was. But I honestly believe this is going to buy us time. If nothing else, it will gain us help when we need it. Even if they don't feel the same way about me, Jacob and Jason aren't going to let us down if we need them, I'm sure of that." He pauses and says, "BUT, if everything does go wrong, I want to talk to Derek about taking you guys as his betas. He's strong. And down deep he's a great guy. Smarter than me. And tougher. He'd be good for Liam and do everything he can to keep you all safe." Scott clears his throat. "I don't expect anything to happen to me. But if it does, it would make happy to know that you helped Liam settle in with Derek and that you all have him looking out for you."
Ethan Carver sucks a breath in through is teeth, fists clenching for a moment. But he relaxes again, nodding. "Yeah, okay. I can't say Derek's my favorite person, but I will admit he's changed lately. He's...better. Becoming a true leader, which he wasn't before. You've been a good influence on him, Scott. If for some reason, we can't follow you...We could do a lot worse than following Derek. And you never have to worry about Liam. Even after our teen romance has burned itself out, I'm always going to watch out for him. You have my word on that."
Sighing a breath of relief, Scott says, "Thanks, dude. That means a lot to me." He grins and says, "And don't let Liam hear you say that." Scott tilts his head as he catches another random sense of Jacob's emotional state and he sighs. "Man, this link thing is going to take some getting used to if it doesn't go away soon." He shakes his head and looks back at Ethan. "How are you holding up? I know things are at least as crazy for you as they are for me, right now. Have you had any time to get together with Aiden?"
Ethan Carver shakes his head, quickly looking away. "Nah, he's been busy. You know, training and whatever. That obstacle course is pretty brutal. I've still got a few aches from the last time I tried it. Tell you what though, when we finally get home, I think we should all talk to Coach Bryant about maybe doing a little training with him. Don't get me wrong, he's a douche, but you hafta admit, he's in pretty good shape. Just because cats and dogs don't get along doesn't mean we can't learn something from him, right?"
Scott winces and says, "Would it help if I talked to him about making time?" And at the mention of Brock, he looks a bit sheepish and says, "Yeah, I know. We should. He is kind of an ass. But I think the reason I've kept him at a distance is because he's an alpha. And a pretty cocky, dominant one. He kinda reminds me of what I'm not, yet." The confession rankles a little, but he's grown more and more comfortable with Ethan. It's easy to talk to the beta. Strange, given they used to be enemies. But he's also living proof that killing one's enemies is a (heh) dead-end street. But in time and with patience, even enemies might be friends. "But he does know how to fight. And he'd be good to have on our side."
Ethan Carver shudders a bit. "Yeah, but you don't need to be a cocky, dominant Alpha. We don't follow you because you can beat the snot outta us. We follow you because you don't. Plus all cats are cocky, right? And lions, they're the worst of the bunch. It's no coincidence a pack of lions is called a pride. And another name for 'pride' is 'vanity'." He flashes a small grin, eyes suddenly sparkling with mirth. "You're way better looking than him any day. Plus when you talk, people know what the heck you're saying." He runs a hand over his hair, giving a small shrug. "If you can get through to Aiden, that'd be great. See if you can convince him to come home with us, maybe. I thought for sure he'd have all this outta his system by now."
Snickering at that assessment of werelions and Brock, Scott nods his agreement but he doesn't dwell on it. They can learn from Brock so they'll have to learn to put up with him. Besides, maybe he's a better guy than he seems on the surface. It's possible. Not likely, but possible. He says, "I don't want to beat up on anybody." A pause, "Well, maybe if Jackson were still here. A little. Once in a while." He's joking, of course. "And I don't know about good looking. I feel like a hobbit next to him." He nods to Ethan and says, "First chance I get, I'll get some time with him and ask him to come home with us. I think that's the key with Aiden. He's, well, not happy about not being an alpha. And not having as much control over his life as he wants." The young alpha shrugs. "But I'm sure he misses you. That and pointing out that the two of you will make a huge difference in Beacon Hills might do the trick."
Ethan Carver lets out a small sigh, nodding. "Aiden liked the power. It wasn't about...hurting others. He's not a bully, not really. It was more about being able to defend himself...and me. When we were growing up, all we had was each other. We took care of each other as best we could. For me, that meant becoming all domestic, with the cooking and cleaning, making sure there was never any reason for us to get beaten. But of course, there was always a reason, and that's where Aiden came in. He took my beatings whenever he could, tried to shield me from the worst of it. But he could never completely protect me, the way he felt he should. That's why he's up here, learning from...well, from everyone. Trying to make himself stronger, more able to protect me. Protect all of us." He leans forward a little. "But deep down, what he really wants is what we all want: to belong. To be part of a pack, to feel that he's really contributing. To be accepted and, ya know, loved. It's not being an Alpha he misses so much as being strong enough to be needed." He leans back again with a grin. "Of course, if you tell him I said that, he's not only gonna deny it, he's gonna club me but good."
Scott doesn't wince. He doesn't want Ethan to see how much that insight into the twins' history bothers him. How sorry he feels about it. No matter how bad his life has been in places, he's always had the love and protection of his mother. He leans in to lightly swat Ethan on the shoulder and say, "You're safe. I know how to keep a secret." He grins and says, "But yeah, I'll talk to him and we'll get it fixed. He belongs with you. And with us. In our pack." And then, standing, he stretches and says, "Well, we're awake and I may be cursed, but I'm hungry. Want to go in on pizza together?"
Ethan Carver's eyes light up, and he slides off the counter and onto his feet. "Hey, if it means I don't have to cook, I'll gladly pay for the pizza. Think we can get one delivered out here to the boondocks? I should probably wake Liam though. He's always hungry."