TITLE: A Stroke of Luck
SUMMARY: Gordon Walker just happens to be in the right town at the right time, unfortunately so for Oz.
NOTES: Set after "Chosen" for Buffy and during the First Season for Supernatural.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the characters in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and/or Angel the Series, they belong to Fox, the WB/UPN, Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, etc. The characters of Supernatural belong to Eric Kripke, the CW, etc. The ideas and concepts in this story are mine entirely. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
Written for SPN_BtVS
's weekly challenge. Member of Team Hellfire
Challenge #1 – Weather
**Told from Gordon’s P.O.V.
It was a stroke of dumb, but good, luck that put him in the right town, in the right diner, when news came of the slaughter.
The bells jingled over the door as it was pushed open to reveal the two local teens. Gordon looked up from his seat at the counter as his fork hovered over his piece of pie. He took in their pale, shocked faces, and gently set his fork down.
“Elizabeth, Henry, what have you two gotten yourselves into this time?” Helen, the older woman behind the counter, asked. She started toward them as they slowly slid onto empty bar stools a few down from him.
“We just came from Old Man Osbourne’s place,” the boy, Henry, spoke, his voice quiet and shaken.
“Henry Matthews, what have you been told about wandering onto the Osbourne property?” Helen scolded him, giving him a reproachful look as she waited for further information.
“We were taking a shortcut back to Elizabeth’s,” Henry immediately defended himself and shot a quick glance over at the girl sitting beside him. “I’ve never seen that much blood before Ms. Helen,” he muttered.
Gordon’s interest immediately peaked as he reached for his cup of coffee and took a casual sip.
“Blood?” Helen’s voice wavered slightly as she got the word out.
“The cows, three maybe four, had been slaughtered. Old Man Osbourne was just standing in the middle of the field, shotgun in hand, just standing in the middle of their remains,” Henry explained.
“He shot them?”
“No! They were torn apart. Bits strewn here and there and Old Man Osbourne just standing in the middle of it!” Elizabeth practically screeched out. Henry wrapped an arm around her shoulders and pulled her close, obviously trying to comfort her.
Gordon’s mind was racing. There were only a few things that were capable of tearing a cow apart like that, and most were things he hunted. He pulled out a twenty to cover his meal and tossed the crumpled bill on the counter. He was pulling on his leather jacket as he made his way out of the diner. A quick inquiry and a pleasant smile had him directions toward Old Man Osbourne’s place with a warning that the man was crazy, and it was in his own best interest to just stay away.
Gordon crouched down next to the cow’s carcass and examined the wounds. Claw and teeth marks were prominent and screamed werewolf
. Raymond Osbourne had sworn he’d never heard of anything quite like this, let alone seen it, in all his years. And according to him there were no wild animals, dogs or otherwise, that he’d seen roaming his property - period
. Gordon made mental notes about the slaughter, knowing full well that coming back would just draw further attention to him that he couldn’t afford. Gordon thanked Raymond for letting him see the slaughter and then headed back into town.
There was at least one werewolf in town, more if Gordon was completely honest with himself. A lone werewolf was a tough kill for a single hunter, a mate or companion only made a hunter’s odds worse. He headed back to the diner; perhaps he could get some information about any new residents in the town. Helen seemed like the type that knew everything and everyone. With the right questions he should be able to get an idea of who the werewolf was.
“New people in town?” Helen repeated the question as she poured Gordon another cup of coffee. He nodded and gave her a tense smile. “Well we’ve had a few travelers, like yourself, through here. I honestly can’t think of any newcomers,” Helen answered as she put the coffee pot back on the burner.
“Osbourne’s grandsons arrived in town about two weeks ago,” an older man in the booth behind them mentioned.
Gordon spun around slowly, fighting to seem calm not overeager. “Where the cattle were just slaughtered?”
“Yep. Oz, the oldest, is a quiet fellow, sticks to himself, but is always willing to help out where he can. His cousin Jordy is only about seven or eight. Kid’s quiet, too quiet. None of the kids in town have made friends with him. He just stays at home with his Grandpa and Oz. That Osbourne blood makes ‘em natural outsiders. Old Man Osbourne has always been a little off, more so since his wife died a few years ago.”
“How’d she die?” Gordon pressed the issue.
“Car accident. She was headed back into town from their farm when she drove into a ditch. The car was pretty torn up. Sheriff thinks she might have hit a stray dog or something – there was some fur and blood on the outside.”
“A dog?” Gordon quietly commented. The old man had walked with a seriously pronounced limp when he had visited earlier.
“Yeah, no one really ever found out exactly what caused her accident. He’s been stranger ever since,” the guy explained.
“What makes you think that Oz has anything to do with the cow deaths?” Helen asked.
“Oh I don’t,” Gordon smoothly lied. “I was thinking it was someone’s new dog but it doesn’t appear that way. I’ll have to do some more looking around,” he added. He had shown too much interest and Helen would remember that.
He finished his coffee in silence. Conversations carried on all around him. He kept an ear open for anything pertaining to his hunt but came away with nothing. He left Helen a nice tip and exited the diner. In the distance Gordon could see storm clouds rolling in. The low rumble of thunder was just starting to become audible. The fullest night of the moon and it was going to storm; it would make for an awful hunt.
Chances were this Oz kid was the wolf. Gordon wasn’t sure whether the old man or the young kid were involved. It was time to make another unannounced visit to the Osbourne farm. He’d prefer to take out the wolf in human form, before it was able to change.
Gordon got back in his car, starting it up with a rumble and headed out of town. Luck, again, seemed to be on his side. He made good time back out to the farm, easing his car into the hole-ridden, dirt driveway up to the house. He was stepping out of his car when the front door opened to reveal Old Man Osbourne with his shotgun.
“Back again? Surely those cow remains couldn’t be that interesting,” the old man commented as he stood on the top step of his rickety porch.
“I’m a sucker for a challenge,” Gordon honestly explained. “I did a little talking around town and no one’s dog was unaccounted for last night. No strange sightings of any wild animals. All was quiet on the home front except for here. I’d like to have a word with your grandsons, Mr. Osbourne.”
“There’ll be no need for that. I’m not looking to start any kind of investigation. A couple cows getting mauled by a stray animal is hardly enough to get worked up over. I appreciate your time and concern, Sir, but it ain’t a matter that requires further attention.”
“I think your grandsons may know what happened last night. Young werewolves tend to get a little violent and messy with their kills,” Gordon calmly told him.
The reaction was immediate. Old Man Osbourne swung the shotgun up and took aim. Gordon had just enough time to turn and take cover behind his car. He heard the shotgun pellets sink into the other side and he swore. He grabbed his handgun out of his boot and rose to his feet. The old man was reloading his gun as Gordon took aim. He waited, stepping clear of the car to get a better shot, until the man looked back up. Gordon didn’t hesitate as he pulled the trigger, putting a silver-tipped bullet between the old man’s eyes.
Gordon hurried back to his car, throwing open the driver’s door and wrenching the rack of weapons out. If the boys were inside then the gunfire would draw them out. He grabbed several more clips of silver-tipped rounds and two silver-bladed knives. He shut the rack and door and took in his surroundings. No one or thing had come out of the house. The sun started its descend just as the storm broke over the farm. Rain poured down, instantly soaking Gordon, as he made his way toward the house. He carefully passed the old man on the porch. There was a small trickle of blood that had run down his forehead. Gordon grabbed the man by his collar and dragged him into the house, kicking the door shut behind him.
He began to search the house room by room. He found three bedrooms that were lived in, but neither of the kids. He exited the backdoor and took a look around the yard. Nothing. Where in the hell had the other two gone?
The rain was coming down hard enough that Gordon could only see a few feet in front of him. The ground squished underneath his boots. The barn was twenty odd paces away and Gordon quickly closed the gap.
He gripped his gun tightly in his right hand while he reached to throw open the door with his left. He should have been a little more prepared for an attack, but he couldn’t hear anything over the rain. He was tackled from behind into the barn; his gun fell from his hand, sliding across the dirt floor and just out of his reach in the dark. He struggled to get to it, but the weight on his back shifted and he was flipped over. He looked up and expected to see a werewolf and perhaps the end of the end of his life. He didn’t expect to see a boy, no a man in his twenties sitting on his chest. This must be Oz. He was breathing hard, water dripping from his auburn hair and down onto Gordon.
“What do you want?” Oz growled. Gordon could feel the vibrations travel through him.
“To kill the wolf responsible for those cows. It needs putting down,” Gordon calmly told him as he wriggled, trying to unseat the man above him.
“Not going to happen. I’m going to give you the opportunity to walk away here, but I want your word that you will leave and never come back,” Oz offered Gordon instead.
Gordon couldn’t even hold back the laugh. “You want me to walk away and leave a rabid animal out there killing things? No.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Oz quietly, almost regretfully, replied.
Gordon watched in a mix of horror and awe as the man’s eyes turned amber, changing into that of a wolf’s. Oz’s body started to tremble above him, muscles rippling under the skin as the transformation began. Gordon used the change as the distraction he needed. He fought, kicking his body around, and managed to dislodge Oz enough to slip free. He rolled away from the man, rolled and came up to his feet, pulling a knife free in the process.
The wolf had finished its change and was standing on all fours, legs flexed, and mouth open in a growl. This wolf looked nothing like anything he had seen before, and Gordon was beginning to wonder just what he had stumbled into. The wolf charged and Gordon knew he had only one shot to make this work. One of them would walk away from this and he could only hope it would be him. He waited even as the beast threw itself at him, claws reaching out to grab hold. At the last possible second Gordon ducked, shoving his knife up and into the heart of the beast. He used the momentum of his thrust to shove the beast completely over him.
The wolf landed with a whimper and a thud. Gordon swung around to finish the job. The wolf was still alive, his breathing labored, the wet sound indicating his lungs were flooding with blood. Gordon watched in fascination as his eyes lost their amber wolf shape and slipped back into their human version. Gordon flung himself backwards as the rest of the wolf’s body shifted back its nude human form. It took its last shuddering breath, human eyes locked on Gordon’s, and then the light left them.
Gordon had never seen any wolf shift between forms at will, let alone after it was killed.
Another growl reminded him of the younger kid, another wolf. Gordon located his gun from beneath a barrel of hay and made his way down the corridor. Brief flashes of lightning outside provided the light. Gordon came to a reinforced steel cage at the end of the hall. A smaller wolf paced inside, its growling increased as Gordon drew closer.
“Like shooting fish in a barrel,” Gordon muttered and unloaded the gun’s clip into the wolf.