Stiles and Lance try to rent movies. A pair of hunters, after Lance, find them--and Stiles has a baseball bat.
July 31, 2015
Video 2*C, Beacon Hills
Beacon Hills is a place with many mysteries and hidden secrets. It also has a place to go for multimedia! Mainly videos and memorabilia, but also things like snacks commonly associated with theaters or movies: popcorn, candy in boxes, the works. Presently, it also has a certain Knight of Hell and one Stiles Stilinski, in the horror section. The end display is a selection of a certain type of film: Prince of Darkness, The Exorcist, The Omen, Rosemary's Baby, and The Prophecy all sit around an almost surreal candy variety that seems to be mostly gummi fare.
Lance's face takes on a combination of emotions that he doesn't outright express at first, and then he shrugs his shoulders casually. "Just pick out whatever you want, and I'll go grab the popcorn. 'kay?" So he sets off to do that, trying to find his way to where they keep the popcorn for popping, rather than the popcorn that's already popped, which is by the front door and the registers. He picks up a box of microwave popcorn, reading the back...there are plenty of gaps in the shelves, like they're restocking. And there's the door to the back, to the stock.
"Are you looking for a certain kind of popcorn?" One of the workers is in the back, unloading a box. It's a little dark in there, but at least everything's visible enough. "You can come see if the kind you want's back here! I'm just about to put it out...saves me some time and work!" And he laughs, good-naturedly.
So Lance smiles and sets his box down, a little off-kilter from the others, and walks through the door into the stock area. But as soon as he's through the door, practically, the man with the popcorn box dives away and one who was apparently behind the door itself shuts it. And Lance, much to his chagrin, is trapped in a small but effective devil's trap.
Stiles has no idea, of course. He's just enjoying the extremely cool irony--is it irony, technically?--of looking at fictional demon stories with an actual demon. After a lot of dithering, during which he very firmly rejects Rosemary's Baby, he finally settles on The Prophecy and quite a hearty supply of gummy fruit snacks. Because you can never have too many gummy fruit snacks. Pleased with his purchases, he makes his way back up toward the front...
Lance should have known it, he reflects. Wearing his leathers, which are really more like his battle clothes. He breathes in and then sighs out. "Congratulations," he tells the two. "You've done a great job of separating yourselves and annoying me. Whatever will you do for an encore?" And of course, this means he's at the back, and nowhere near the front of the store...which should set off some at least nagging warning bells for Stiles. How long could it take to grab some popcorn? Definitely not as long as it took Stiles to decide on a movie.
The two would-be hunters seem not to have thought about this: the one at the door can't actually get to the other one unless he goes through the devil's trap, which was fairly stupidly put in the hallway before the storage area opens up. If it didn't have boxes of popcorn packages stacked on one side, he might be able...but that still puts him very close to Lance if he tries. The one on the other side, in the stock area, opens a book and starts reading. Latin. The exorcism rites.
"Oh for fuck's sake," Lance mumbles.
It may be fortunate that Stiles has a suspicious sort of nature. Suddenly no clerk, no Lance? Something didn't feel right. So, a moment later, Stiles seems to be gone. His armload of snacks and the movie are left, abandoned, on the front counter, and the front door chime sounds. It would be easy to assume that he's just taken off and left.
Of course, that's exactly what the two geniuses in the back do. The one at the door sighs in relief, apparently not having accounted for having to deal with Stiles too. "Looks like your buddy left. We'll get him later."
That's just about enough for Lance, who closes his eyes and opens them solid black. "I'm going to give you a freebie here and warn you before you try anything really stupid: if you touch a hair on his head, I will make you bleed from orifices you didn't know could bleed. Are we clear?"
That rattles the one reading, or attempting to read, the exorcism. But he clears his throat and stammers through another line. The one at the door, though, seems to have sucked up his fear since Stiles left. "Yeah, big talk. You're stuck in that devil's trap. And we're gonna send you back to hell and maybe that'll be one less problem for this little town."
Since the time Stiles clocked a giant werewolf in the head with a wooden bat and the bat exploded into splinters, he never goes anywhere without a steel bat handy anymore. He went and fetched it from the jeep on a sudden impulse, some echo of certainty that there was trouble, thanks to his bond to Lance. When he sneaks back in, he ducks low to avoid setting off the invisible light beam sensor that will set off the door chime and creeps up slowly on the scene. Hearing the funky Latin, he's sure something's up, so when he rounds the corner, he's playing for serious.
From the perspective of those inside, they just suddenly see: Stiles rounds the corner, steel bat in hand, and gives what's either a war cry or a very failed attempt at a banshee's wail. Either way, he swings the bat down hard against the back of the neck of the guy near him, just near the shoulder--he won't mind if the guy gets a broken collarbone, but the hope is this puts him down without causing permanent harm. As he completes his swing, he calls out, "Lance! What the hell is this?"
The one reading from the book completely fumbles it, drops it, and then he's gone. He didn't teleport or anything. He just runs for the hills or, more accurately, for the delivery door. The one closer to the door takes the bat like a champ, which is to say he screams like a small girl and hits the wall. He's down, but not out.
"Heh, what the hell is it?" Lance gives that familiar goofy grin, then seems to come back to the here and now, and he holds both hands up in front of him. "Stiles! Don't step into this design on the floor. Use that bat...disrupt the lines. Okay? Very carefully. But don't put your body inside it. It's dangerous."
Nodding, Stiles steps up close to the lines of the trap, hoists his bat, and then does his best golf-swing, scraping away several sections of line (and a few chips of tile) with several pointed swings. He's angry enough that he wants to hit something, and better he hit the floor than that guy over there. Once he's done, Stiles steps back, looking up. "That good?" he asks, then shoots a look over to the guy he put down. "Yeah, buddy, you're gonna wanna stay down." He looks back to Lance. "Should I call my dad? I bet the cops'd love to have a nice long talk with this asshole."
"I don't think that'll be necessary." Lance smiles to Stiles and he's off like a shot into the stockroom. The back door hangs open. Did that other guy get away? As he turns back, the guy shouts his own battle cry and opens fire. Two hit Lance squarely, but that's all he gets the chance to do, because that's when Lance opens his mouth and lets out...a shout that seems to echo in ways nothing should ever be able to. Thunder rolls outside. Did the ground tremble, just a little? Because the would-be hunter fumbles his pistol to the floor and collapses with his hands over his ears. Lance strides over, bullets dropping out of his body and clinking on the ground, and sweeps a hand down to hoist his attacker against a nearby wall.
Stiles, meanwhile, has his taken care of...or so he thinks. Busted collarbones or not, he still launches himself at Stiles, intent to take him down. "So that's how they're doing it. Demons in the cops!"
Stiles would love to claim that it was keen instincts that came to his aid, or nerves of steel. Instead? He frankly panics. And he's holding a bat. So without even thinking, he swings the bat as hard as he can, right at chest level, toward the guy charging him. His heroic battle cry may leave something to be desired: "Ohshitholycrap!"
Stiles takes his down like a sack of potatoes. The guy can't handle a smack in the chest with a steel bat. And Lance's can't handle the full brunt of demonic power either: he opens his mouth and breathes black smoke that glides like a snake through water into the hunter's. Then it returns to his own, and he breathes deeply, filling his lungs. "Stiles, you okay?" Lance calls back, over the distance. "They've got the real workers tied up in the front office."
"I'm good!" Stiles calls back, wincing a bit at the guy he's put down. Again. "Chuckles here might have a few cracked ribs, though. What the hell are we gonna do with these asshats if we don't call the cops?" He smirks a bit. "Trust me, if I tell my dad that crazy cultists attacked my friend and me... he'll make sure they throw all of the books at these guys."
"You sure?" Lance lowers the one in his hand and then just drags him back to the door, through the devil's trap, and tosses him against the wall with his friend. Actually, into his friend, and none too gently. Probably more than a few cracked ribs. "I might need to not be here, though. That one got me twice with his little pea-shooter, but it's still on the floor back there."
"So get rid of the bullets!" Stiles declares. "Trust me, if my dad hears there was a gun involved... again, with me... these two are boned." He shakes his head. "Besides, it's not like we have any other choice! This isn't, like, 'chop off heads and bury people in the desert' country. We're not in Vegas or any--" he cuts off, frowning. "You do know we're not killing them, right?"
Lance gives Stiles a look, but it's clear he's trying very hard not to laugh. "Aww! But I thought you wanted to experience new, kinky things? We could feast on their hearts together..." He winks, leaning closer, lowering his voice to almost a whisper. "They're at their most delicious when they're fresh. Still beating. You know." Despite this attempt, he can't stop himself from a tiny chuckle, slipping away to collect those bullets. He heard them hit the floor, so he knows they're there somewhere.
Stiles gives Lance a look that basically translates to Seriously?, mingled with disgust. "Okay, we can skip the popcorn now, 'cause I think I just changed my plans about food. Ever again. Yuck." Then, shaking that off, he puts a note of halfhearted authority into his voice (which, oddly, sort of works for him). "Okay! Resolved: No eating of hearts. Yes calling the cops. I'm doing that now--and you!" He glances to the downed hunters, then to lance, pointing at them. "Behave!" And he steps out, pulling out his phone to call his dad.
Lance pockets the bullets after examining them. Just as he thought: silver. These aren't the best hunters out there. In fact, they're probably not really hunters at all, but they were motivated by the free information they found on the internet. It was worth every penny. He has to give them credit; they did make a good devil's trap. Not that they planned it particularly well. He strolls casually back to the two, scuffing through the design on the floor as he goes. That can't be distorted enough. In fact...turning back to it, he takes a foot and smears, smudges, and damages it until the really important parts are no longer legible or copyable. It's still obviously some sort of freaky sigil or symbol, and it's easy to believe they're crazed cultists...but he doesn't need anyone else locally picking up on devil's trap design.
A moment later, Stiles returns. "Yep, Dad's on his way, and no small number of dire threats have been laid upon me if I 'do anything stupid.'" He flashes a grin, shrugging, "Don't worry. This part's boring, but easy." He edges closer, then, and says to Lance in a low voice, raising one hand to scratch his nose. "But, ah... we are definitely going to have to have a talk about the whole... eating human hearts... thing." Again, an expression of vague discomfort--as in, stomach discomfort--crosses his face. Shaking his head, he murmurs, "Gross. So gross."
Lance steps away from the two against the wall. One's unconscious, the other might as well be. Once he's drawn near, he leans closer to Stiles. "That was a joke, dearest." He glances back, and sliding an arm around Stiles, leads him a little ways away, keeping his voice quiet. The other hand slips into his pocket, and he holds up the two bullets. "These two aren't really much of a threat. Apparently, they thought silver bullets would work against me. That wouldn't even work against a regular demon. The one I took down -- I had a look at his memories. They found this stuff on the internet. Cobbled it together and...whatever's going on, whatever this big happening is lately...that's what prompted them to start their little crusade."
Stiles almost visibly deflates. He leans against Lance, letting out a slow breath, and murmurs, "Thank... god. I was so not ready for that conversation." His mood visibly improves, though, and he hops up to sit on a crate of popcorn, stowing the bat beside him, and says, "Oh, hey!" He hops down, vanishing again. When he returns, he says, "I released the employees. They're taking care of the front, and..." He holds up a bag of Gummi Bears, giving it a little shake, and grins. "They gave me candy." Once again, he hops up on the crate of popcorn, then offers Lance a chewy fruit bear.
Lance naturally supports Stiles, keeping him sturdy. He does chuckle a little more, though. "I do remember how you looked when I told you that was what was in the bag. You nearly ran us off the road." Keeping it as quiet as possible, so as not to be overheard, he waits for Stiles when he so suddenly runs off and then comes back. By that time, he's pocketed the bullets again. "Stiles." Then he takes the gummi bear and chews on it. "Something's going down that's bigger than I thought--hey! Hey, this is really good. Gimme another one." With a gulp, he swallows the first and leans up, mouth open wide.
Stiles just drops another into Lance's mouth, grinning openly at his clear enjoyment of the treat. He turns more serious, though, as he considers Lance's other statement. "Big, huh? Like we talked about before... it's more than just the Nemeton. There really is something crazy brewing out there..." He frowns, getting that faraway "Stiles is thinking look," and it's certain that behind his eyes, all is being reduce to lengths of red string--and maybe the occasional blue one, just 'cause it's pretty--but mostly red, for red string mean unsolved mysteries.
Lance chews happily. So many things he's found he enjoys to eat, ever since he's met Stiles. But when he swallows this time, he suddenly takes a very serious look. For a moment it might even seem like it's gone down the wrong way, but then he speaks to explain. "Stiles. Your...father's not coming, is he? He's just sending some of his people to pick up these clowns, right?"
"Well... uh, probably," Stiles says, uncertainly. "But if he's not able to come himself, you do know they're gonna drag me straight back to see him, right?" He swallows a bit harder than normal, looking concerned. "Why? Did I miss something? I mean, it's not like I'm not allowed to have friends or anything!"
Lance wrings his hands, looking a bit nervous now. "Uh...I really don't want this to be the first time your father meets me. First impressions are important, yeah? I don't want the first impression to associate me with 'crazy cult attack'." He blinks, restoring his eyes to their more human look, rather than the solid black they had been for so long. "He's gonna notice bullet holes in my jacket. It's not exactly something he's not geared to spot."
Nodding a bit, Stiles sighs and then smiles. "Fine. Fine! Go ahead and bail. I'll stay here and face the music, tell the cops what they need to know." He raises a hand, one finger outstretched. "But if my dad decides this means it's not safe and locks me in my room until my birthday, just know that this is entirely your own doing!"
Lance groans, rolling his eyes. He heaves a sigh and drapes his arms softly around Stiles's shoulders. "Fine. I'll stay. I'll just...can you run my jacket out to your car? Maybe...out of sight, out of mind?" He wiggles his eyebows at the other boy. "Promise me this isn't going to make him feel weird?"
"I make no promises," Stiles says, shaking his head. "And, yeah, hang on." He takes the jacket, tosses Lance the bag of gummies, and then heads out to hide the jacket in his jeep. He returns a few moments later, speaking briefly with the staff in front, and then returns to hop back up onto the popcorn boxes. "Should be here any time. Ready to face the music?"
By the time Stiles returns, the bag is nearly empty and Lance is chewing. Stress eating? Maybe that's it. He looks up like a raccoon caught in a garbage can. "Mmmhmmm." That's about as good as it'll get for a moment. Soon, however, he follows that up. "You're enjoying this, you little sadist." His lips curl at the corners. "You could be a demon yet."
"And you could be a teenager, Captain Sweet Tooth," Stiles teases. "Anyway, is it so weird that I want my dad to meet you? It's not like we're gonna tell him everything, just... that I have this new friend. Right?" He smiles, clapping Lance on the shoulder. "It'll be good!" And then the sounds of sirens can clearly be heard, as the sheriff's department cars pull up. "Here we go," Stiles murmurs, looking in that direction.
"He's going to be able to tell." Lance holds out the bag of gummies, with all of six or so still in it, and licks his lips, now self-conscious. "Here. Uh. Yeah, uh." He clears his throat and fidgets. "It's just...it's different from the other day, when we reaaaallly didn't want to make a first impression at all."
"That's because the other day we were having sex on his dining roo--" Stiles starts to say, then cuts off abruptly as the door opens, and excited voices fill the air. A moment later, armed deputies appear, and soon enough they're dragging off the unconscious would-be hunters.
And then Sheriff Stilinski himself appears, his longsuffering expression managing to be somehow carefully patient and exasperated at the same time. "Right," he says, resting his hands on his belt and looking between Stiles and Lance. "So, who wants to let me in on this one?"
Lance just looks pointedly at Stiles. He is not having the first words he says to Stiles's father be talking about some idiots attacking them while they were out trying to pick out a video and popcorn! He absolutely refuses. Besides...Stiles will know how to talk to his father better.
"Hey, Dad," Stiles greets, offering his most disarming grin--which, of course, has minimal impact on the sheriff's Stiles, you've got some 'splaining to do expression. This leads Stiles to hold up both hands in pantomimed surrender, then press one open palm against a closed fist, tapping his fingers absently. Another of those nervous gestures. "Well, uh--first of all, this is Lance. He's kinda new in town, and we've been hangin' out." He glances at Lance with a say hi, Lance sort of look on his face.
My, but Lance does fill out that t-shirt nicely, with its "Better The Devil You Know" and the little cartoony devil on it. Of course, Stiles knows every inch of muscle. Intimately. And Lance tries his best to come off as nonchalant and absolutely not banging the sheriff's son. "Hi." He gives his brightest smile, looking for the most part quite respectable. "I've heard so much about you! I was hoping to meet you under better circumstances, honestly. Are...crazed cultists like...a thing around here?" Playing clueless. It might work.
The sheriff gives Lance a long, thoughtful look, but all he says is, "We get our share of crazies. Parrish'll be in in a minute to take your official statement, but--you're all right? Both of you?" He glances meaningfully to Stiles.
"Yeah, hey! We're good," Stiles answers, and he lifts up his bat. "Totally came in handy. They were holding a gun on Lance, so I..." he trails off, his grin fading, at the expression on his father's face.
Stilinski looks to Lance again. "Please just stay right here, Lance. I need to have a word with my son... in private." He gives Stiles a right now sort of look, then heads for the office.
Wincing, Stiles says, "I'll be back. Hopefully even in one piece. Just... play it cool, tell Parrish what happened, and... be glad that they're on our side." He winks at Lance, hops down from the boxes, and trails after the sheriff.
"Of course. Thank you." Lance keeps smiling to the sheriff. He knows it's the best way to make a good impression, even if this absolutely wasn't the first impression he wanted to make -- that much was true. "Stiles was so brave. Honestly, it was like one of those hero moments you see in movies or something, I'm just...a little overwhelmed." He sighs out, looking awfully pleasant anyway, and leans against the wall, raising a hand to his forehead and giving a soft nod as the Stilinskis make their way towards the office. Oh, so naughty. Even when he's being good.
Well, he is a demon... it's to be forgiven. Now, if Stiles can just talk his way out of being put into protective custody, maybe they can actually have that movie night.
They should be so lucky.