Role-Play Log

Archived Log

Emitter: Ainsley D'Cruze




Unknown werewolf



Derek Hale's Pack, Scott McCall's Pack


The rogue werewolf is found and the curse-brand is cured.

September 13, 2015
Forest Preserve, Beacon Hills

The moment of truth. The solution they needed was collected, and Ainsley made sure to send a message to the others so they're all informed before they arrive. The message states: "The wolf is under a curse. The brand is forcing him to stay shifted and driving him mad. We have to burn it off. I bought a torch for one of us to do that, but he is not going to let us touch him or get near him, and so we need to force him to hold still. This means we need to restrain his limbs, and that requires all the help we can get. As many as possible. And at least one person to actually burn it off." In the span of time they've spent tracking him, she managed to get a decent picture of the brand and attached it to the email, from one of the moments where the plague wolf stood around steadily losing his mind further.

People looking for her would be directed to a spot near a shack out in the middle of the wildlife preserve, near the edge of it, away from many of the roads. It's pretty late. They would discover a six foot tall fully transformed fuzzy werewolf with a calm face and vibrant yellow eyes, which clearly isn't the wolf they're looking for, for those not in the know, and clearly IS Ainsley for those that have seen this form before. She's holding the small gas-powered torch in one of her hands, hefting it a few times while she waits for a volunteer for the job of burning the brand off, because she's likely to be busy with holding down the poor wolf while the cure is performed.

Tracking her by scent is trivially easy. She's the most obviously werewolf-y scent short of Scott McCall or the plague wolf over there in the abandoned storage structure, with how her phased form manifested.

Tad Bailey's...well...he's hunting Ainsley separately. Her scent, already familiar to him from the bar, is easy enough to follow. He also smells another wolf. Padding along the trail in bear form, he pursues that scent, unaware of the plague wolf or the overall situation - at least until somebody bothers to tell him these things. Leaving paw prints that will later trouble hikers, the big male moves around some trees. His pace is methodical, but occasionally he lifts his snout to scent the air. Thaddeus Bailey phases to his bear form.

Ethan Carver trudges along through the forest, grumbling softly to himself as he leads Liam and Grey, pausing to sniff every now and then to pick up Ainsley's scent. "I dunno about this. Seems like a bad idea, burning some strange wolf with a blowtorch." He suddenly pauses, holding up a hand to stop the other, as he sniffs at the air. "Liam, can you smell that? It's...a bear, I think. What's a bear doing out here?"

Liam Dunbar can smell the bear however he's not shifting. He's not going to shift until he has to. He still can't shift at will, or rather he can but he doesn't always stay in control when he does. So by preference he only shifts in an active fight. He follows his boyfriend through the woods and is focusing on sound listening to the heartbeats and following. He's not entirely sure what's going on... but it beats homework right?

Grey Dunbar raises a hand, "I can smell something, not well enough to know it's a bear but, animal, preditory-ey", not planning on shifting just yet either he follows behind Liam and Ethan, "So another wolf want help to burn a brand off a bigger wolf?", he's really not sure whats going on... maybe should've stayed home and done his homework.

"Don't look at me," Stiles grumbles. "I smell... the woods. And it smells mostly like... the woods." He's walking along with them, his steel bat resting over one shoulder, and glancing around warily. "But Ethan, I'm pretty sure about the 'fire' thing. It's... well, it's the best answer we've got. And if it heals him... it's worth it, right? That's what we're about. Helping people, that kinda thing." He glances at Ethan with a slightly raised eyebrow, as if to remind him that, yeah, Stiles remembers that Ethan's on the "good guys" side now, and he's glad of it.

Ainsley's big pointed ears perk when they mention a bear, and she starts sniffing the air for the scent. She discovers the familiar smell, and rumbles out the word, "Tad..." She waves vaguely at the others with her free hand in a placating way, "Ally. Checking on me." Her deep and grumbly wolf voice makes her pretty terse just by necessity. Without offering much explanation beyond that, she considers those present, and lets out a soft huff noise. Then she sticks the blowtorch in her mouth and holds it with her teeth so her hands are free. She'll use it, then... she's the one with the medical background here!

She turns to the unhinged doors of the storage shack and attempts to open it. This proves to be a hazardous decision for her.

The mangy-looking BIG werewolf slams through the doors and is already on top of her, biting into one of her arms!! She makes a lupine YELP noise and jams her claws in the big wolf's maw, and fights to try to get him off of her and prevent him from breaking her arm off! She manages it, but it's like she's fighting a huge supernatural honey badger, with claws and teeth and horrific angry wolf noises. This moment is a display of power between the two of them as she struggles for purchase and gets SLAMMED through the abandoned shack, shattering the old structure to pieces under their competing powers.

The only mercy here is that the plague wolf here is too deranged and weakened to hurt her in a way she can't prevent with her novice werewolf form understanding. She's going to need help, just like she said, because she can't burn the brand off herself, or hold him down by herself.

MULTIPLE wolves. The bear shakes his head, separating off the scents. Ainsley. Ainsley's scent is the one he's most concerned about, and there's another wolf scent right on top of it. The bear breaks into a lope. He's not as fast as the wolves, but he's heading right towards the scene. Ears swivel, picking up the noises of a wolf fight, and he pushes himself even further. He's probably at least as well equipped to break this up as any wolf. But his route is going to take him right across the pack's path.

"You're on a first name basis with the local wildlife?" Ethan asks skeptically, glancing around for any sign of the bear. But then the doors slam open, and Ainsley is struggling with the biting plague wolf. "Crap!" Ethan shouts, looking toward his twin...who isn't there, of course. He's really not used to going into battle with out Aiden. "C'mon, Liam!" He takes off running toward the grappling pair, letting out a loud growl. He's so focused on the diseased creature, he almost misses seeing the loping bear. He pulls up short, turning to face Thad as a potential threat.

Liam Dunbar isn't Ethan's twin, but they're close and where Aiden should be there was Liam. He jumped in at the same time though he keeps going mid shift into the Fray, phasing himself and grabbing the wolves body and holding him flat. He hwols as he gets slashes by flailing claws. But Liam is a strong little thing. And now that He's engaged its going to take a LOT to get him off the other wolf. Liam Dunbar phases to his werewolf form.

Grey Dunbar frowns when he sees Ainsley, why does that wolf look diff..." then the big wolf is smashing though the place and attacking, follwsing behind the rest he goes into demon mode and while snarling as he's clawed and slash tries to help Liam by pinning down the wolf's front paws, the cuts across his chest and arms making it much harder than it looks and it looks pretty damn hard.

Stiles... hangs back a moment, not sure what to do. A week ago, he might have charged in blindly with bat swinging, but right now he holds back, clutching the bat and looking... mostly frustrated. Conflicted. He wants to help, but his mind's eye is filled with the looming memory of the werewolf--so like this alpha, if not mangy and crazed--who attacked him only a few days ago. For all he wants to leap in and help, he hangs back.

And, just a little, he hates himself for it.

Though a little late to the gathering -- for reasons best understood to himself -- Derek at last makes the scene, wolfed out and ready to go. Most of those assembled won't be too seriously hurt, even by some pretty fierce swipes. But Grey might, and Stiles definitely will. He thinks. He's pretty sure about that. So he slides in front, approaching the wolf, and raises his voice in very near a roar that will certainly get the attention of most. But it's intended for this ailing wolf, this diseased member of their kind. His alpha voice! To command respect and, hopefully, a standing down.

It's a godsend that so many have come to help, but this is a creature that can force moving cars off the road that they're dealing with right now, and it's not something that's easy to hold down. It comes with a lot of bleeding and a lot of noises of pain and anger from Ainsley herself as she clambers for a limb to hold it down. She tries to wrap both arms around the huge wolf's primary arm. She pats around in the dirt and tries to find the torch, but she can't afford to locate it with the frothing beast struggling and giving every single wolf in the pack trouble (and Grey). When Derek shows up to do the Alpha roar—

Even Ainsley's eyes widen and her ears pin back, startled by the power behind it and every instinct struggling both with that arresting bellow and the task of restraining this wolf. Unfortunately, the wolf that they're trying to hold down is an Alpha, and it has a diminished effect. Fortunately, he's working entirely on broken instinct, and puts up less effort as if stunned. This gives Ainsley the time to snatch the torch up from the dirt and fiddle with it.

Then she applies it to the brand with a loud hissing noise of fire against flesh and a bright light like welding a metal sheet.

An agonized howl rips through the forest as this goes on, the creature shuddering and almost convulsing as she makes sure to burn away every last sign of the brand. The last red glow of its mark fades with a loud metallic whine, and then the mad wolf just...

Goes limp in their arms, unconscious but alive, and shifts into a human form. The burn slowly starts to heal itself already, and fur starts to heal back into place, color returning to his eyes. The telltale color of red, the Alpha's eyes, a red that slowly fades until it turns into a dim yellow, the ordeal having taken its toll. His eyes remain half-open, vacantly peering into the air. He doesn't return to human form just yet.

The bear is...well...helping. As he leaps towards the wolves, he shifts into an intermediate form, but it's clear who his target is - the crazed wolf that's attacking somebody he rather likes. But he's not trying to kill the other wolf. Just to, well, pin him down. The alpha howl doesn't seem to phase him particularly, although his ears do twitch at it. Hold it. Whatever they're trying to do, though? It seems to be working as the strange wolf goes limp, unconscious but clearly alive.

Ethan Carver casts a quick glance toward Stiles, but once he sees that not only is the human safely out of harm's way, but Derek has put himself between the slavering, diseased wolf (as well as the unknown bear), Ethan leaps onto the ill Alpha, using his bulk to pin the werewolf's legs. "Liam, Grey, get his arms, give Ainsley room to work!" His nose wrinkles, a low growl building in his chest, as the scent of burning flesh fills the air. When the wolf goes limp, Ethan doesn't relax, remaining tense and alert, in case this is a feint. Not that seems likely, but better safe than sorry.

Liam Dunbar hasn't dealt with the alpha roar much, Scott's only had to use it on him once, okay maybe twice, but the second time he was just running around howling himself, it wasn't like he was hurting anyone! Anyway he doesn't have much experience with such roars so he ends up falling over at it. Yep he's definitely a beta. However it was a good thing as second later the bear comes in and pins the wolf down, and if he'd still been there he'd be squished. So he shakes his head and helps his brother with the arms basically sitting on the arm and holding it tight, and is relieved when the wolf appears to stop fighting. HE doesn't lower his guard though.

Stiles gives a small start as Derek appears--both a little shocked and immensely relieved to see him--and then gives a small sigh of relief. And then he ends up nearly jumping out of his skin at that roar. If he ever doubted his dual pack membership, he doesn't know. Because he feels that roar, deep in his bones, and his entire being is paying close attention. Who would have thought that a non-werewolf would feel it so strongly? Well, at least he doesn't fall over like Liam. ...Poor Liam.

Grey Dunbar is fighting furiously to pin down the wolf's front paws dispite the wounds he's recieved, the alpha roar is easily ignored, he's not a wereanything after all, he digs his nails into the wolf's front lags and doesn't let go even as it goes limp, still he's not attempting to rip the things throat out with his teeth which somewhere deep down he was considering.

Derek positions himself to help with the struggle, but the others seem to have it well in hand. He hangs back, in case he's needed and in case this is indeed a feint. But he doesn't think so; the other wolf looks like the matter is resolved, at least in large part, and everyone else dogpiled on him mean that it's not likely there will be much movement, especially as he's apparently exhausted from the ordeal of having the brand burned away. At least now it might heal.

Derek takes a few steps closer to Stiles and sniffs at him, looks him over. There's something different in his eyes, but they're still full of concern. Once he's satisfied that Stiles is unharmed, he looks to the others to appraise their wounds. They might need a little patching up at Hale House. But everyone's alive, even the afflicted wolf they came to address.

There's a few moments where Ainsley holding the healing werewolf that turned her. Her eyes go to the yellow eyes of the other wolf, the eyes that had the powerful red just a moment ago. That side effect wasn't in the books... She huffs and releases the wolf as he shifts back to his human form, a man in about his 40s with long brown hair. It's impossible to identify him the way he is now.

Ainsley gets up and steps away to retrieve a blanket she brought for covering the man up after they got done getting rid of the brand. A look of silent gratitude is trained on each and every person for two seconds each... except Stiles. Stiles is given a fixed and almost piercing stare right toward the eyes. It's concern, the way her brow scrunches like that. She doesn't make any indications of wolf-like anger, after all.

Thaddeus' presence is given a gruff, "Hey, Tad." Yep, this is the bear ally she pointed out earlier.

Stiles almost staggers back under Ainsley's look, to say nothing of Derek's attention, looking puzzled and unsure what to do or say. His bat falls slack at his side, only loosely grasped in his fingers. He looks away, a bit confused--and oddly seeming as if he feels guilty about something--but he doesn't go to leave or anything. He just stands there, silent, waiting to see what will happen.

A moment of hesitation, then the bear slowly shrinks, shifting down into a man in his thirties with dark skin and red hair. "Hey, Ainsley." He looks down at the unconscious were. "I haven't seen a curse brand like that before, although I've heard of them." His tone sounds serious. He glances at them and sniffs. Three wolves, a demon, and a normal human...a friend of the wolves, he supposes, who hasn't chosen to be turned. It says something about this pack. Something Tad likes. He shakes himself once more. "Is everyone alright?"

Ethan Carver relaxes once the unknown Alpha shifts, sitting back on his heels and taking several long breaths. "Liam, you okay?" he asks, voice sounding hoarse for some reason, but filled with concern. He glances between Liam and Grey, then focuses on Ainsley. "What about you? You took a nasty bite right outta the gate." His own t-shirt is a bit shredded, but the wounds themselves have already healed. One more glance toward Derek and Stiles, and then Ethan turns slightly narrowed eyes on bear-shifted-to-human. "And uh, who're you?" His tone is curious, but with a note that's almost accusatory, as he scrutinizes Thaddeus.

Liam Dunbar was shirtless. Why was Liam shirtless? It probably happened in the fight. Yep we'll go with that. Anyway Liam was shirtless and heavily perspiring but okay, he helps his brother up, gives his boyfriend a hug with his cute blush, to let Ethan know he's okay. Then he walks over to Stiles. He was concerned too? Since when didn't stiles run into a fight he had no chance of winning. He walks over and puts his arm lightly on the human's shoulder, and also just happens to interpose himself between stiles, and the bear. The bear doesn't seem like a bad guy, but Stiles was already looking tense enough.

Grey Dunbar stays where he is, his shirt is shredded, he's bleeding and there are claw marks all over his torso and arms, he continues pinning the now human wolf down with his nail dug in baring his fangs everything else currently ignored, he's not dropping his guard.

Stiles glances over at Liam when that hand rests on his shoulder, and he flashes a wry little smile and pats Liam on the back. "Good work tonight, Pup," he tells him with a flash of his usual humor, using the nickname that seemed to just so naturally fit Liam. Who even thought of it? Stiles really had no idea, but it did seem appropriate. "Freaky stuff, huh? You okay?" The big bear guy gets a long, thoughtful glance and a polite nod, and even Grey gets a little smile. As for Ethan, Stiles gives him a long, meaningful look that might not make much sense at first, but there's something quietly approving, even grateful about it. And Derek--where'd Derek get to? Stiles looks around for the alpha. It's all happened so fast for a human's senses to keep up with.

"I can probably help." Derek calls to Ainsley, motioning to the wounded, previously branded wolf that has become such a focal point lately. He has that whole pain-relief-healing sort of thing. But Thaddeus does get a nod of friendly enough acknowledgement, and he draws closer to the unconscious one lying on the ground, now covered thanks to Ainsley. There's a glance back at Stiles, then to Ainsley. Stiles gets to explain a little more. But then Derek's attention turns to Grey. "He'll be fine. Relax. You need to heal."

Concern directed at Ainsley results in her looking down at... She looks at her heavily bleeding arm, and her shaky hand. Severed nerves, torn muscle... even if she heals quickly, the shock of the sudden attack and her desperate struggle for survival started give way to pain. She makes a keening whine noise, and looks down at the blood she covered the blanket it. Her wound IS healing, she can feel it, but it was a bit almost to the bone. A close call... she almost lost her arm.

She looks up at Derek, and reaches to place her intact arm on top of the blanket-covered wolf. She nods up at him She then looks to Grey and carefully reaches to touch one of his forearms.

Yellow eyes focus on Grey's face meaningfully while she urges him with her touch to get him to release the prone, unconscious werewolf. "C-calm," she suggests, shakily. It's not supernaturally compelling, just the best soft nurse voice she can manage as a big monster wolf thing. Even when her arm burns from her own healing process.

Ethan Carver pushes himself to his feet, returning Liam's brief hug, then stepping back to allow Derek to take the pain from the injured Alpha and Ainsley as well. He places a hand on Grey's shoulder, nodding slightly. "It's okay, you can let go now," he says, glancing over to Liam and Stiles. "Anyone know who this guy is? I don't recognize him."

Liam Dunbar shakes his head, but after making sure that Stiles was okay, he walks back over and does something that is both stupid, and very Liam. He puts one hand on Grey and the other on Ainsley, and tries to take a little of the pain from both. Of course this is his first time doing this, and he has no idea what, he's doing really. The strange black vein effect happens on each hand and he starts to whimper. Okay maybe he hadn't thought this through. He just thought Derek's time and much stronger powers should be focused on the former alpha not lesser injuries that someone else could help with. He doesn't hear the question, about the former alpha, but he wouldn't know him anyway.

Grey Dunbar growls at both Derek and Ainsley and is about to do the same thing to Ethan when he feels what Liam's doing and hears him wimper, in a swift movement he lets go of the former alpha and then will attempt to push Liam to the floor and hold him down to prevent what he's trying to do, "Do not!", adrenalin seems to be keeping the cuts from bothering him too much and they are healing, just slower than the wolves.

Stiles shakes his head a little. "I don't know him, either," he admits with a frown. And then he sees what Liam is up to, and Stiles actually crosses over to grab Liam by the shoulders and attempt to pull him back from Grey and Ainsley. "Hey," he growls, "What the hell do you think you're doing?! Do you even know how that works yet?" Even after everything, he's still quite protective of Liam.

Derek is quick to act too -- the rest are there before he is, but just a moment later he gives another alpha roar, though this one's softer than before. It should be enough to interrupt Liam and make it easier for the others to handle him. "You don't do that!" Definitely not alone. That's Alpha territory, and it's dangerous even then.

The pain transference was something Ainsley was already aware of. When several people stop Liam from doing this, she recoils in surprise. Then she lets a little 'hrfh' noise, and turns to pick up the unconscious werewolf in the blanket. She looks around at all of the others for several seconds. It's a pointed look. 'This is my job,' it says, to pre-empt. It IS the one that turned her...

She starts walking off to gather up a duffle bag filled with her clothing by crouching and scooping it up with one finger, and go to find where she had parked her car. She's had a long night, and she's going to have a longer one still explaining to a hospital that she found this guy in the woods when she went out jogging. The blood alone is going to require a lot of clean-up.

Ethan Carver moves to Liam, wrapping him in his arms and holding him close. "Shhh, settle down, babe," he says softly, soothingly. "You're not ready to be sucking pain out of people yet. That's advanced stuff, and you've just barely mastered controlling your shifts." He kisses the top of Liam's head affectionately, rubbing a hand up and down the teen's back. "Your heart's in the right place. Scott would be proud of you for the thought. But let Derek handle this. He's got the experience, and there's plenty of time for you to learn later. Okay?"

Liam Dunbar glares at people cause Scott told him it was no big deal. Deaton taught him the trick pretty early on. He glares some more even while he's cuddling Ethan. He doesn't fight thought or anything just treats everyone to a lot or petulant puppy glares. He's ofcourse back to human by now and slowly the glaring gives way to pouting.

Grey Dunbar growls and gets to his feet, looks around at those presant then starts walking off away from the group, blood dripping from his clenched fists as his nails cut into them.

Stiles continues to hang back, now that Liam's taken care of, and just stays out of the way. That second alpha roar, even more quietly, from Derek made him shiver again... and he's just going to let the werewolves handle this one. Though silent, he takes it all in, observing, cataloguing... adding new little colored strings to his mental cork board.

Derek's brow flattens as Ainsley tries to go it alone. He breaks from the others, since they seem to have it sorted out, to go after Ainsley. Because that is his problem. "Ainsley. Don't be a lone wolf." Half-snarling, he hurries along, and with greater speed than he'd casually use. "You're greener than Liam. I won't let you put yourself in this kind of position."

The look that Ainsley gives to Derek is... empty. She looks through him, in a way that just feels wrong on a supernatural level. Broken. The bond there is fractured, she has a hard time really registering what he's trying to tell her. And after a few seconds of standing there, bloodied, holding an unconscious form in her arms in a way that makes it look easy... her mind catches up with her. Her eyes flick in a frantic way, her head slowly shaking.

Nothing feels right here. Getting ordered feels alien, but he's an Alpha. The person that turned her is right here in her claws, and she doesn't know whether to feel anger or sadness. At who? At him? At the person who branded him? At the circumstances that brought him to Beacon Hills and turned her?

She sits there in the dirt in her wolf form and tries not to think about it. It doesn't work. Her life may as well be destroyed. She has tried to accept it all. She stepped through it like a dream, and tried to see it as a blessing. But the pain in her isn't just physical.

She would scream... but instead she lets out a soft howl that carries on for a long time, unless someone shushes her.

Ethan Carver's brows draw together as he shifts back to his human form as well, arms still holding Liam closer. "Go after him," he says softly, kissing Liam's temple this time, before releasing his hold entirely. "Make sure he's okay, see if you can calm him down." His eyes follow Derek, following Ainsley, and then he steps toward Stiles. "You were right about the fire," he admits, looking Stiles up and down. "So what's going on with you? You seem...different somehow."

Liam Dunbar goes to follow his brother... and finds him, however he knows that Grey has about as much control over his form as Liam does over the wolf. So he stays back, "You okay?" About that time is when Ainsley howls. And he can't help but respond he might not howl as well. In fact he doesn't, but it does make his eyes glow, and he WANTS to howl... only the fast he's trying to help his bro stops him.

Stiles stares after Derek and Ainsley, clearly deeply worried--but then Ethan's there, and Stiles blinks at him a few times in surprise. "Oh, hey," he says, seeming a bit spaced out. "Nice work tonight. Scott'd be proud." Then, at the question, he reaches up to rub the back of his neck, grimacing. "It's kind of... involved. Maybe this isn't the best place to talk about things. Let's just say, uh... I've had a really long, long weekend."

Derek's been trying to do his best for not only his own pack, but Scott's too. He's tried so hard, been run to exhaustion from Beacon Hills and all of the tumultuous happenings of late. He takes in a breath at Ainsley's howl, and it's not something he can resist. After a few seconds of it, he throws his head back and joins her with his own doleful voice, committed to the moon and the night sky.

There has been too much on him recently, too. It's weighed heavy on the soul of Derek Hale. And he expresses it in the richest, most vivid way a wolf can. It's haunting, crushingly sorrowful, and all of the anguish and conflict of the past half-year pour into every slightest mournful sound.

Grey Dunbar growls, "Go back to the pack Liam, you need to stay back", he doesn't look round worried he may attack Liam if he does, "Go look after Stiles, Ethan and the other wolves", he gestures at the howls before taking off in a run, he needs... something.

Yeah right like he's going to leave his brother alone covered in blood and a demon, he is soo not letting bro hurt someone or be hurt himself. Liam pulls out his phone to text Ethan and stiles with, "Grey Ran off worried about Demon. Am chasing." Then he does so not getting too close to his brother unless he hears someone else around, but staying close enough to make sure Grey doesn't hurt anyone before he calms down.

The howls mix together, and soon Ainsley's lowering her head. She doesn't seem as strong now. She looks like she doesn't want to move at all from her spot, until she looks up at Derek and stares up at him with shining eyes. Those big pointed ears droop and she questions with her gaze.

Soon her body twitched with a start, her gaze lowering down at the shaky hand of the wolf she's holding. His eyes water... and then he falls asleep, into real sleep, and the revelation of a real emotion in the person that had attacked her jars her back to what she is and who she is.

"Help?" she asks of Derek.

Ethan Carver reaches out and places a hand on Stiles's shoulder, brows drawn together in concern. But before he can say anything more, Derek's howl joins Ainsley's, and it's just too hard to resist. Ethan throw back his head and joins his voice to the others', his howl long and deep, eyes glowing blue. When the others stop howling, his own tapers off as well, and he gives his head a quick shake, as if to clear it. With a frown, he looks over toward Derek, Ainsley, and the unconscious wolf, the back to Stiles. "Wanna go somewhere and talk about it?" His cellphone beeps, and he digs it out of a pocket to read the message from Liam, frowning again.

Stiles shivers even more than before at all that howling, and... when Ethan asks, he just gives a nod. "I think Derek and Ainsley need, y'know... some time. And... I think I really do need to get away from this right now. It's... kind of a lot for me." Cryptic, odd, but apparently true. He checks his phone, too, texting back a quick answer, but he still seems out of it, as if on auto-pilot.

Derek's filled with emotion, the howl bringing out much more than what he would normally let go. But everything has been so hard, so demanding, and so traumatic. A couple of tears actually run down the sides of his face, coursing along his keen jawline, through the forest of stubble, and dripping off into faintest memory. All the feelings come out then -- his pack needs him.

Derek's howl fades with Ainsley's, and he takes another deep breath, nodding once to her, resolute, and moving at once to help her up and to support the ailing wolf she aims to help. Just like he told her -- the pack takes care of its own. He isn't about to let her down on this. It's his duty as Alpha, and not just any Alpha, but her Alpha, to be there and do everything he can to care for these things that are a part of her life and, because of that, a part of his own.

Ethan Carver slides an arm around Stiles's shoulders, nodding. His free hand holds his phone, thumb tapping out a quick reply, before he stuffs the phone into his pocket again. "Let's get something to eat. I could eat a whole herd of horses right now." He tosses another look toward Derek and Ainsley, apparently satisfied that they're both okay for the moment, then starts trying to guide Stiles back toward his Jeep. "Or hey, you know what would really be good right now? Ice cream. I know where we can get the best in Beacon Hills."

Nodding in an unfocused way, Stiles says, "Sure. Ice cream's good." He lets Ethan steer him, though as they reach the Jeep he seems to snap out of it a little. He opens it up, climbing in, and says, "So, how do we get there?" Going out for ice cream, perhaps to no surprise, has never been one of Stiles' big choices for an outing.