the Empath and the Werewolf
Pretending to Intersect (Pretender/BtVS FFA collection)Author:
(subject to change per chapter) FR13Warnings:
(this chapter) noneDisclaimer:
I do not own Buffy: the Vampire Slayer, The Pretender, or any related characters, settings, plot lines, etc. Only the story and idea are mine.Author's notes:
First chapter with Angelo! And up surprisingly quickly, too...This FFA takes place after Oz was captured by the Initiative so he's pretty much in control of his inner wolf; Angelo's time line is set after Bloodlines while his mind is still recuperating from the injections and his hair is growing backChapter Two:
Angelo & Oz
Oz woke with a start, instantly alert at the soft voice. He quickly took stock of his surroundings and swallowed dryly.
He was in a cage.
Struggling to maintain his usual calm, the werewolf sat up and looked around, taking in the dingy room and steel bars without comment. It took him a few minutes to locate the room’s other occupant but eventually his enhanced sense of smell led him to a large air conditioning vent on the wall across from him. A pair of eyes glittered from the deeper shadows.
Calmer at the realization that he wasn’t back with the initiative (this place wasn’t sterile enough), he raised an eyebrow. “Puppy?”
“Not puppy.” The person in the vent drew closer until he was almost pressed up against the grill, watching the werewolf with fascination. “Moon…monster.”
“Werewolf.” Oz offered, looking for any sort of lock while keeping his senses fine tuned for trouble.
“Werewolf.” The other repeated quietly. “Bad?”
Oz wasn’t sure how to answer that one so he just shrugged placidly. The man didn’t seem very dangerous and he obviously wasn’t a captor considering he was in the vent rather than on the floor so it wasn’t very surprising that the subconscious wolf-mind classified him as a non threat. There was something unsettling about him though…possibly the fact that his way of talking reminded Oz of Drusilla.
“Bad! Bad stars!” the man pulled back, hissing slightly just as the thought crossed the wolf’s mind. “Angels…lonely…with father now. Not long. Daddy good?”
The Scooby blinked once, only vaguely startled. Empathy was way low on the list of weird.
An absentminded nod was the wolf’s only response as he settled down at the cage’s lock and began to examine it. Unfortunately it looked like a combination of lock types that required both a password and padlock. While the padlock’s mechanism could easily be smashed with enhanced strength, Oz had no way to figure out the password. Undaunted, he continued to examine it.
“Bad man come.”
“Come here?” That didn’t sound good.
“Come for puppy.”
Oh that really didn’t sound good.
“Sure.” He sat back, watching the room’s door with as much agitation as he ever showed. He could hear two sets of footsteps slowly coming closer, accompanied by slow creaking and low rasping breaths. “Can’t though.”
The stranger made it out of the vent, across the room, and to his side quicker than any human should have been able to, drawing a startled ‘hunh’ and single backstep from Oz. The man was significantly older than the wolf and his appearance was unkempt (he had a sort of ‘crazy bushman’ thing going on) but his eyes were gentle and smile genuine as nervous fingers quickly punched in a combination that caused the cage door to buzz and pop open partially. Oz made quick work of the remaining padlock.
By the time ‘bad man’ reached the cage, both wolf and empath were crouching quietly behind the grill.
“I thought you said…*wheeze*
…there was something in here, Lyle.”
“There was! It was right there! Some sort of man/dog…thing!”
…You try my patience…*wheeze*
…I’d suggest you not interrupt me with a false alarm again.”
Oz growled subaudibly, fighting to keep his wolf suppressed in face of the pure evil both men seemed to be radiating in waves. He could feel it biting at his mind and clawing up his nerves, threatening to expose him.
Suddenly the anger vanished. It was as if a faucet had been turned and released the anger and turmoil, just washed it away. The evil was there but it was abstract, something his inner beast was easily able to turn its back on. Oz unconsciously relaxed and his companion patted his shoulder gently, pulling a hand away from where it had been resting on the werewolf’s arm.
“Puppy okay now?” the voice was just barely loud enough for Oz to hear but he nodded slightly, wondering at the calm lethargy receding from his thoughts. What had caused it? He hadn’t and there wasn’t anything supernatural around unless…the empath?
“Go. Come. Friend out.”
“Sure. Thanks for that.”
The other man grinned lopsidedly then turned with surprising grace and crept away on all fours, beckoning Oz to follow.
It took awhile but eventually the ducts led them to larger shaft which, in turn, connected to a tunnel and an outside access hatch.
The strange empath pushed it open and moved back a few paces, watching Oz expectantly. Not needing to be told twice, the werewolf stepped out into cool night air and inhaled deeply, feeling the scent of wilderness and freedom permeate his body and soul.
When he looked back, the door was closed and his rescuer was gone.
Without a second thought, he turned and disappeared into the darkness. End