Stiles laughs. “Derek’s got personality, it’s just all grr. I’m glad you’re not totally out of touch with the concept of having emotions, though. It makes life easier for everybody.”
She laughs because he does, because it’s infectious, and also because she does know a little bit about Derek Hale. Not much, but enough to know a basic assessment of his personality, and she can apply it to someone else she knows. Julian’s little brother, Tiberius. Once Emma sobers, she pushes her blonde hair out of her face. “I may come off as tough skinned, but you just have to get beneath the exterior, if you’re interested.” She wasn’t speaking about him directly, just in a general sense, but she shrugs anyways. “Stiles, I’d like you to know that if your pack ever needs help, I’d like to do so. I know that I’m an outsider but if I can offer any assistance, please, don’t be afraid to ask.”
He arched his head downward so he could peer down at her, cocking a brow at his parabatai . “Sissy? You did not just call me a sissy.” He said trying to sound offended but he knew he didn’t, not really. Not with Emma. “You were not going easy on me. You get better every day. He plucked up one of her arms tracing his fingers over her arm. Even though there was no reason for their secret language. The mood had just sort of struck him.
He smiled faintly at her before pushing himself to a seated position grinning down at her. “Thanks.” He said though he didn’t have to. He never did.
“Whatever you say,” she laughed as she allowed him to take hold of one of her arms, writing his message with his finger on it and she smiled at him, nodding. “Yeah, let’s go raid the fridge before the kids decide t beat us to it.” She purposely looked over at Livia and Ty, the two of them training together as they always did, and smiled gently. There were times when Emma worried about Ty; he was formidable.
The blonde stood from her place on the mat, nudged Julian with her elbow, and skirted around him so she could get to the fridge first.
“You’re slowin’ down there, my friend,” she teased. “to many late night trips to the Dive?”
He tries so hard to pay attention. He really does. Stiles watches Emma’s face first, and then lets his eyes trail off of her to nothing at all. His mind struggles under the task of listening to everything she says, because focus isn’t something Stiles is naturally good at and there’s just so much coming at him all at once. He takes a while with the donut.
When she finally tries to convince him to stand up, Stiles sighs, scrubbing powdered sugar off of his hands and onto his pants. He’s so classy. “Uh. I think…actually I don’t think you explained what a parabatai is to me, or if you did I forgot. Can we tangent for a second for that?”
He has no idea how tender the topic might be. Instead, he inches his way out into the beam again, muttering to himself, “I must be freakin’ suicidal, why did I agree to this?”
“You’re fine, Stiles,” she said gently. On an impulse, Emma moved her hand up and curled her index finger beneath his chin to raise his face to hers, leveling her gaze on his. “Look at my eyes and focus on me.”
She doesn’t let her own blue eyes leave his whiskey colored ones as they begin to move along the beam once more, her hands holding to his lightly until he’s formed his own sense of balance once more, and she sighs slightly. Emma knew that he would at some point ask about parabatai, but she had been hoping to steer clear of it, even if it was no way to handle her own internal pain. Besides, she had offered him all of this information and it didn’t seem fair to hold out on him because she was too emotionally stunted to deal with it.
“Whither thou goest, I will go;
Where thou diest, will I die,
and there will I be buried:
The Angels do so to me, and more also,
If aught but death part thee and me.”
“It’s the oath of the parabatai,” she said after reciting the vow. The tradition started back with Jonathan Shadowhunter, when he took David, his companion, and forged a bond. They were inspired by their biblical namesakes.” She pauses only long enough to make sure Stiles manages to turn around without falling. “And it came to pass…, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.”
Yes, Emma had practically memorized the entire Codex.
“To become parabatai, it must be done in childhood, and it’s very rare. We recite the oath in front of the Council and Mark each other with the runes of the parabatai to bind us. We’re meant to fight together as a team, to draw on each other’s strength through the parabatai runes, and to lay down our lives for the other,” Emma continued to explain. “It doesn’t matter the gender of parabatai; it can be two men, two women, or a man and woman. The only bond forbidden between parabatai is that of romantic love. No one really knows for sure what happens when two parabatai fall in love but it’s said to cause a magical catastrophe.”
His body wants to tremble for a while, somehow, with the realization that he just trudged across the beam all by himself, so Stiles clambers off of it onto the landing so that it can do just that. His knees give out a little and he gives a surprised bubble of sound, trying to turn it into non-chalantly sitting on the landing in the harness. He doesn’t really make it look intentional, but that’s the story of Stiles’ life.
"I’ll be sure to bring bacon next time." He wheezes, reaching into the bag to try and salvage one of the donuts once she’s handed it to him. He doesn’t seem to mind much that she’s scolding him for having sugary food with him, because he’s going to eat it anyway. It’s just how Stiles rolls. He doesn’t tear pieces out of the donut, but takes a huge bite of it like it’s some kind of sandwich. nomf.
He has to chew through that before he can answer, eyebrows furrowing down until he can pull up the memory. “Uh. Somebody named…Wayland getting murdered and his kid getting sent to New York after some other guy was a psycho and fed his kids all sorts of terrible demon and-or angel blood?”
"Oh yes, of course," Emma nods, settling in for the next installment of her tale. "So Michael’s son, Jonathan, was sent to live with Robert and Maryse Lightwood, who ran the New York Institute. You see, Robert and Maryse were also part of Valentine’s Circle and it was with incredible luck that they Clave didn’t strip them of their Marks and leave them for mundane. Instead, they banished them to New York, and they were only ever allowed to return to Idris on official business. They were quite close with Michael, in fact, he was Robert’s parabatai. By this time, the Lightwoods had three children: Alec, Isabelle and Max. The last child being no more than a baby. Jace was…he was a card for them, because he was damaged, but somehow, Alec got through to him. The two of them became parabatai.”
She pauses for a moment to breathe. “Jace was an angry child, and with good reason, because he saw his father murdered in front of him, or so he thought. He worked extremely hard to become on of the best Shadowhunters of our age. He was fast, fierce and deadly. It was like Jace was nearly completely untouchable where his heart was concerned. Even Alec could barely scrape the surface, but that would change when he met Clary, because she was able to reach him on such a level. I won’t go into great detail about their romance because honestly, it’s like one of those cheesy mundane films that are put out. It’s boring. All that you really need to know is that Clary Fray, otherwise known as Clarissa Fairchild, was the daughter of Valentine. They found out together that Valentine was still very much alive and in possession of the Mortal Cup. Not only that, but Jace was led to believe that Valentine was truly his father, instead of Michael Wayland. He believed that he was Clary’s brother which was awful because he’d fallen in love with her. But if you remember what I’d told you at the beginning of this, Jace Wayland is actually Jace Herondale, cut from the womb of his mother, Celine.”
"Valentine kidnapped Clary’s mother, Jocelyn, who had put herself into a coma via warlock magic. She did this in hopes that Valentine would never find Clary, but Valentine whisked his estranged wife away. It was by luck that Clary and Jace, along with Alec and Isabelle, were able to find her mother but they couldn’t wake her from the coma. When they realized this, they understood that they were going to have to chase down a warlock by the name of Ragnor Fell for a cure, because it was Ragnor that gave Jocelyn the potion. Jace had not wanted Clary to follow him but she did because she’s quite stubborn. Also, I believe that he wished to spend time way from her because they still believed they were siblings and clearly, that meant for some rather awkward feelings. Still, she as hellbent on finding the cure for her mother herself, and not just allowing Jace to do so and I can’t say that I blame her. Jocelyn was the only family that Clary had left."
Emma stood from the edge of the landing, waiting for Stiles to finish the donut before gesturing to the beam again. “Come on,” she smiles. Easily, she lifts herself onto the beam, crouching like a graceful cat and waiting for him. “It was in Idris that Clary would meet the boy that was truly her brother, posing as a Shadowhunter by the name of Sebastian Verlac, which was a cousin to the family in which the Lightwoods were staying with. He was truly Jonathan Morgentstern and the child that Valentine had been poisoning with demon’s blood. At first, it seemed as though Sebastian and Valentine were on the same page. Rid the world of Downworlders and make Nephilim the superior race. Valentine wouldn’t actually live to see his vision fulfilled. Jace killed him on the shore of Lake Lyn and nearly died himself but the angel Raziel allowed Clary one favor and one only. She chose to save Jace’s life. Unfortunately, Jonathan fled and wasn’t to be found until several months later.”
Once he had joined her on the beam, she takes a few steps backwards, gesturing for him to follow. “Shall I go on or would you like to wait until another time to hear the rest?”
Stiles laughs, then, suddenly and without much explanation. “You’re so like Derek. Are you sure you aren’t actually a Hale?” It’s mostly a joke, but he seems proud of himself for making it, even if it’s an inside joke that only he knows the inside of. “And…yeah, I guess that makes sense. Needing to be in control, that is.”
"Definitely not, and I’d like to think that I’ve more personality than he does. At least I know how to smile and can do so without the concern that my face might crack." Emma rolls her eyes faintly. "Yes, needing to be in control. Weakness gets you killed but when you’re not on the battlefield, I can be a little freer with them."
Stiles makes a sardonic sound, starting to shake his head before he thinks better of the motion while he’s on the beam and precariously keeping his balance. “I don’t…no? Not really? I mean, yeah, but I’m not sure like that? I don’t…know. Really. She spent eight years as a coyote, she doesn’t really think about things the way people do. I think she thinks she’s attracted to somebody and maybe that’s the whole end of it, like she doesn’t care about anything else but I kind of…need an emotional attachment and she keeps telling me she’d abandon or eat my friends which is a little off-putting…but since I’m half the reason she’s stuck being a human I kind of figure I owe her at least helping her be more human than coyote…it’s complicated. I guess. Is my point.”
He’s rambling now, he’s well aware that he’s rambling, but he can’t quite stop himself, letting his mind wander on the topic of his words than fixate on what the hell is he doing up here? “Dances are overrated anyway.” He notes, before Stiles lifts his head a little bit.
He only just realizes he’s crossed the beam without holding on to Emma for help. His mouth tries to frown and smile at the same time. “Oh my God, you let go and you didn’t even tell me, you sneaky—”
"Well, I can’t say that I know if they’re overrated. I’ve never been to one. Granted, I don’t know how I’d hide weapons in a dress but…" She lets the statement trail off as Stiles finally realizes that he’s been walking the beam all this time without her help. She laughs, her blue eyes sparkling faintly with mischief, and maybe a little bit of pride. "I think what you mean to say is that I’m brilliant. It’s okay, I know that’s exactly what you were getting at."
Emma hops down from the beam and onto the landing below, gesturing for Stiles to join her, smiling up at him faintly. “Come on and take a few minutes; let your heart return to a normal speed and then we’ll go again.” She moves to sit on the edge of the wooden bridge, her arms resting on the bar in front of her. She even hands him the bag of donuts once he joins her. “I was being serious about needing to eat healthier before you come for training. Sugar only gives you a boost for a little while, so you might want to look more into things with protein, shakes or something. Something that’s not full of preservatives.” She’s much more gentle when she speaks about it this time. “I just don’t want you crashing to the ground or anything on my watch and breaking anything. Your alpha may not like me very much for that.”
She rests her chin on her arms, watching him for a moment, but then her eyes trail away because she doesn’t want to appear rude. There’s so much about him that reminds her of Julian and she knows she needs to compartmentalize her life in Los Angeles, and the one here, because Stiles isn’t Julian. “So, did you want to hear more about the Dark War? Where did we leave off?”
The information about the runes seems to make sense. It’s a little disappointing, if he’s honest; Stiles found there was something appealing about the idea that magic could be something that could be effected on a body with enough determination and effort. He’s never lacked for those, even if he lacks for any other source of power in a very powerful supernatural world. He listens, trying to focus on moving his feet in a sensible way that won’t result in him careening off of the beam. He’s there for everything she says until Emma suckerpunches him with i rather enjoy your face.
At which point, Stiles’ eyes bug a little, and his left foot does some kind of spasmic jerk as he tries to put his weight on it, and the poor boy almost goes over as he compensates too far to the right with a yelp. He only manages not to fall because Emma is stabilizing him, causing a full stop of their progress before he can find his balance again. “Uhhhhhhh well usually it’s traditional for the guy to ask the girl but..uh. Sure, Sure, we can—I mean that’s a punishment that nobody should really be forced to endure but if you hate yourself we…”
Look at her eyes. Okay. Focus. He can do that. Except where he can’t. He tries anyway, turning once she’s turned with an expression like he seems to think that his entire world is going to fall down while he does it. She’s quoting poetry? It’s hard for him to focus on both moving and the poetry, feeling like he’s scooting inch by tiny inch along the beam and hardly making any progress at all.
It isn’t so much the words she wants him to focus on as much as it is the sound of her voice, something to focus on other than he fact that they’re fifty feet in the air, and he’s trembling faintly. Emma can feel it in his hands and she almost feels sorry for him, but not enough to give him a free pass of this. He needs the training if he’s going to be able to take control of his body. She keeps her eyes level with his because she doesn’t want him looking anywhere that might throw him into a tail spin. Even though he’s secure in the harness, there’s going to come a point where he won’t have that security blanket. “I didn’t mean to assume anything about your love life,” she says then. “I was under the impression that you and the werecoyote were close, but perhaps I misinterpreted that, it happens sometimes.”
By the time they’ve reached the opposite side of the beam and turned back, Stiles doesn’t even realize that she’s let go of his hands, and that he’s walking the beam alone even if she is still close enough to take hold of him should he slip. “I’m also aware of what traditions are…kind of, I don’t know, maybe not. We don’t exactly go to school with mundanes so things like sports and dances aren’t part of our lives.” Emma purposely doesn’t let his attention shift to the fact that she’s no longer holding his hands. At least not until they’re back where they started.
"Good job," she says with a grin and holds her hands up for him to see. "You’ve done the last round all by yourself, Stiles. I’m proud of you."
Stiles grumbles, abandoning any extra accoutrements on the ground as he trundles up the stairs. He legitimately manages to trip on one of the stairs and only just catches himself on the banister, hauling his body up to the actual landing. “This is going to be such a disaster. Also, uh. I don’t really…I don’t have a lady. But, sure. I’m sure after I get out of the hospital from breaking my freaking neck, I’ll impress all the girls. God this seems high up, does it always seem this high up?”
The harness is at least familiar from the climbing wall at school. Stiles goes through the same pre-game stretching routine that he goes through at school, which is to say a completely ridiculous and ineffective one. “Why can’t my body bear runes? I mean you just drew them on yourself with your … uh, what did you call it? Stele? Is it something that you can only do if you’ve got angel blood?”
She makes it look so simple, a flawless execution of being able to creep along the beam as if it’s the most natural thing in the world. “Oh God, Oh my God, oh God.” Stiles finds himself chanting, looking down at his Converse, looking back up to Emma, swallowing heavily—and trying to step confidently on the beam all the while hoping his knees don’t go out on him. “You, uh. Haven’t seen me dance. Yet.”
"We’re going to have to get you better shoes for this," she comments. "Not that I don’t think that Converse shoes are very…cool, but you need something with a better grip on them." Emma watches his face, noting the apprehension and even the fear in his expression, and she doesn’t blame him. He’s not at all used to doing such things like she is. "You can’t bear runes because you’re human. They would cause you an immense amount of pain and be completely useless. Once or twice wouldn’t leave any permanent damage, but we have what are called the Forsaken. Valentine once used them as an army, and they’re humans that have been forced to take Marks, and it drove them insane, as well as morphing them into hideous creatures. Quite frankly, I rather enjoy your face."
Emma’s hold tightly to his hands but his grip on her is far stronger. Marks are drawn over her bare arms, some permanent and some not, the angelic rune standing out bright on her chest. She’s chosen to wear a tank top and yoga pants for comfort and she isn’t self-conscious about the fact that Stiles can plainly see the runes. She’s comfortable with him for some reason. A small laugh escapes her and she nods. “Well then maybe you can take me to the next school dance and I can see just how you dance. If you want to that is.”
Once they’ve reached the end of the beam, Emma makes quick work to step around him, moving as gracefully as a cat might. “Look at my eyes, Stiles.” It’s a command but her voice is gently. “Focus on that and the sound of my voice and walk with me.”
"Black for hunting through the night
For death and mourning the color’s white
Gold for a bride in her wedding gown
And red to call enchantment down.
White silk when our bodies burn,
Blue banners when the lost return.
Flame for the birth of a Nephilim,
And to wash away our sins.
Gray for knowledge best untold,
Bone for those who don’t grow old.
Saffron lights the victory march,
Green will mend our broken hearts.
Silver for the demon towers,
And bronze to summon wicked powers.”
"Jesus, what the hell is wrong with you, I almost…” Stiles doesn’t finish what he almost did, because he’s staring up at the rafters a second later, his mouth curling in on itself in a nervous purse. “…You want me to climb up there? Like up there in the actual rafters? And not die?”
He’s looking down a few moments later, clearly not sharing the confidence that Emma is feeling. The mention of stabbing himself in the leg makes his good humor fade even further, and he mutters quietly, “Yeah…I held a crossbow once, for like…twenty seconds. Almost shot my best friend in the head. Super good times, this’ll go great, why did I agree to this.”
The commentary about the donuts causes him to frown fully, eyes flicking down towards the bad. “…well they’ve never made be puke before. Wait—wait, am I not getting the harness before I have to go up and risk breaking my neck?”
"You don’t need a harness for the landing!" Emma sighs in exasperation, leaning over the rail so she can watch him. "You can have it when you get up here and before you get on the beam. Now come on. We have a lot of work to do to get you in shape. Oh and by the way, perhaps you should keep this a secret for now, so that you can surprise your lady love with how much you’ve learned."
She smirks faintly and waits for him to join her on the landing before helping him with the harness. “As I was saying, if you can’t learn to center your gravity and control your body, you can’t handle a weapon. I know you’re not a Shadowhunter, which means this isn’t going to come as naturally to you as it would myself or another, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It is unfortunate that you’re body can’t bear runes but we can work around that.” Emma secures him into the harness before climbing onto the beam.
She reaches to take his hand, encouraging him to join her and standing close to him in case he falls, and she takes his other hand as well. “Walk with me…” Her voice is soft but firm, moving one foot behind her other to move backwards on the beam so he can follow. “Imagine it like a dance.”
Why does everything always happen at hellishly early? Why couldn’t be there training sessions at sensibly post-noon? No. No. Nothing was ever that convenient. Everything was always hellishly early.
He makes it there, maybe ten or fifteen minutes late, but Stiles may not actually be awake. His eyes are not quite open, his hair is a riot of dark activity over his pale skin, his clothes are rumpled and he’s holding a bag of something that smells like donuts in one hand. Coffee was too much of a challenge, apparently, because the teenager doesn’t have any of that in hand.
For a few moments, Stiles is milling around the bottom of the warehouse, seemingly trying to find where the voice is coming from. Eventually, he looks up, blinking slowly and clearly trying to get his head into gear. “Ar—”
And then she’s falling at him.
It’s reflex, he can’t help it; Stiles drops the bag he’s holding and immediately rushes forward, like he thinks he’s going to catch Emma. He’s all of the best intentions and none of the competency he needs to follow through, instead getting into place a few seconds after she hits the ground. “—WHAT!”
Emma lands gracefully on her feet, just inches in front of him, and she looks up at him inquisitively at his stunned look. Granted, her fall was reigned in by the cord of the harness, but she’s still amused. Though behind her expression there’s a hint of a smile because she knows what she’s done. She knows she’s probably startled him to the point that his pulse is racing and if he wasn’t wide awake before, he was now. “Good morning to you as well, Sunshine. It’s going to be a glorious day and you are going to learn how to center your body, balancing on the beams overhead.”
She points towards the ceiling of the warehouse, to where another harness and cord is waiting, and the beams are moving back and forth above them. “We have to start with that because if you can’t manage that, then I can’t move your training along. I won’t let you handle a weapon unless I feel confident that you aren’t going to stab yourself in the leg.” Though Emma has confidence in him. She doesn’t know why, but she does.
The hunter notices the bag that he’d dropped, bending to pick it up, she hands it back to him. “Breakfast, hm? Probably you should try eating less sugary or more protein filled before training. If you throw up from eating this crap too often then God help you. Come on.” She moves over towards the stairs, climbing them back up to the landing, and she pulls herself onto the beam to wait for him.