"Get out," Derek says the very moment Jennifer crosses the threshold. She ignores him.
"I need a favor." She smiles and tries to be charming, which is incredibly difficult when the man you're interested in is refusing to look at you. Instead he's sorting through what look to be official, highly classified police files. She wonders how many deputies are currently turning the station upside down looking for them.
"Considering how the last favor you asked me for panned out…" He pauses a beat to let her remember, as if she could forget the night her throat was slashed not once but twice. "I think I'll pass."
She keeps the table between them more for his benefit than hers. "I promise this won't involve killing or fighting - maybe a little bit of intimidating," she adds with a smile.
His head may still be turned down but she can see his eyes dart in her direction. She's got his interest.
"It'll help Scott." It's a mistake to bring up Scott. She should have known that.
He starts closing files, not to give her any more attention but so he can walk away. "You know, I feel like we've been here before."
She rounds the table, barring his escape and she can see him trying to choose between the many options. His hands flex like he's considering physically moving her and probably the only thing stopping him is the requirement of actually touching her. She doubts he'll do it. He's barely looked at her since she showed up in the ER claiming to have a near miss with the town serial killer. (Which she did, even if his murders were pinned on Kate Argent.)
"All right, fine," she says, holding her hands up in a gesture that's as much to stop him as it is a sign of surrender. "This is one hundred percent for me, okay? And all you have to do is stand there and look - well, like yourself."
He raises an eyebrow and manages to look even more intimidating for it.
"Yes. Just like that."
She reaches into her pocket and he falls back half a step, his claws coming out between them. She only quirks a brow at him and holds up a folded sheet of paper between two fingers. He looks between it and her before snatching it from her hand. She must have read it a hundred times this afternoon while she was debating whether or not to come here, so she can read the words in his expression as he scans the page.
Beacon Hills High
He reads it at least three times before slowly lifting his eyes to her face.
"I have to chaperone," she says before he can ask. "All I have to do is walk around the non-carnival portions of the school to make sure no one's doing anything unsavory and because of that whole serial killer thing, they're insisting I have a buddy. Marin's already on raffle duty and if you don't say yes I will be stuck with Finstock."
She's begging by the end but she doesn't care because she will not spend a whole day with Finstock. She is prepared to threaten another killing spree if that's what it takes. (Not that she'd actually do it but everyone seems to think she's constantly on the verge of slitting throats so she might as well get something out of it.)
He only stares. For nearly a minute. It's so long that she starts to consider saving face by turning around and walking away.
"The serial killer," he says finally, "being you."
He's throwing it in her face that this predicament is her own fault but he's smiling when he says it, just a little. It's the first time he's smiled in her presence since he found out what she was. It takes all her willpower not to break into a full-on, toothy grin in response and even then she's very obviously smiling. It's really not the sort of reaction you go for when you accuse someone of murder but neither of them are run of the mill people.
"Yeah," she says, not sounding the least bit repentant. She's spent six months doing repentant, walking on eggshells around these people, and being all but barred from using any of her druid knowledge by the town's resident Alpha. She actually had to ask Marin to do the wards around her house because heaven forbid she so much as touch mountain ash. So repentance hasn't gotten her anywhere and she's pretty sure it would do her more harm than good to use it as a sword against Derek right now. "So are you gonna help me or not?" she asks.
He holds the flyer out to her and she takes it with a resigned sigh.
"Thanks for hearing me out at least."
She keeps her head high as she walks away, though her steps are by necessity slow and measured. She's afraid if she tries to walk out as fast as she'd like she'll start running at any second and trip and wow, would that be even more embarrassing.
It would have been nice to spend some time with Derek again - and by "nice" she means "awkward and painful but hopefully good too, like setting a bone" - but she supposes she can endure Finstock. It might make getting her face clawed off seem like one of her better days but she'll endure. She always does.
"I'm not gonna be nice to them," Derek says, stopping her in her tracks. The words don't quite make sense and she's running through them again in her mind when he goes on. "If any of those little brats gives me a hard time, I will give them nightmares."
She bites back another broad grin and turns to face him. "That's why I asked you."
He scoffs. "And it's not a date."
She shakes her head abruptly. "No. Of course not."
It's not. But he's still got that little ghost of a smile and she thinks it might be growing, just a little.
It's a start.