A/N standard disclaimer. Own nothing. Need sleep. May yet grow in chapters if the plot bunny keeps eating my brain.
Oz hurt, his body ached, throbbed, every nerve ending on fire. He groaned softly, a soft whining sound, and shifted his body, hoping to relieve some of the cramping in his arms. He felt empty, the feel of the ever present wolf gone, faded, barely a ghost of what he was. He swallowed and looked at the Mage from where he was standing, looking incongruous in his cargo shorts and Hawaiian shirt bright enough to have been missing from Xanders closet.
It took three attempts to talk, to work through the pain in his throat, to focus on his tormentor. "Why?" he cracked out.
"You needed to be Cleansed of the Unclean, to be remade new, to be a protector of Man, to become more then what you were as a flesh turner. Your path starts here, now."
Oz closed his eyes, ears hearing the sounds of footsteps, deafeningly loud, then gunshots. He felt but could not stop the hands touching him, unbinding the silver, carrying him out. He sunk into the sound of his heart beat, escaping the pain, escaping what he was, or rather, what he wasn't.
He was no longer a were wolf, no longer able to feel the fur beneath his flesh, no longer the Oz that had left Sunnydale. He didn't think he'd miss the wolf, he had after all wanted it gone. No, not gone, he had wanted control, wanted to be able to co-exist with his wolf and not let it rule him. Feck he hurt. He could hear a sound, a high pitched whining, the rough chafing of cloth on his body, the sharp scent of bleach, strong enough to burn at his nostrils. Focus, ignore the things that were overpowering, ignore the memories, ignore the pain. Focus. Focus on the one thing that won't change, that has remained constant. Lub dub. Lub dub. Heart beat, loud, deafening. Inescapable, torturous. Nothing to do, hurts. Screaming again. Nerves on fire, feel like sandpaper rubbed raw. Reassuring scent of fang and fur, wolf and cat. Voices, a soft growl, lighter tenor. Calming, close, paired.
"Pack." he whispered, feeling again that phantom brush of fur, letting the ghost wolf, his wolf, lead him up, let him breath. So bright, eyes close, head turns, drip, drip, drip. Drips of saline, connected through plastic tubing to his body, trickling, burning him. He screamed. Hands holding him down, silky skin rough, scaly, chafing.
"Don't" voices too loud, distorted "wrong" womens voice shrill, smell of antiseptic and illness. "Blair try" voice belonged to cat, big cat, protector cat, not enemy. "How?" wolf voice, warm, worried, something to focus on. Blindly his eyes tracked to the longer haired of the men holding him down. His body lifted up, face lifting to set his nose at the curve behind his ear deep in his hair. Breath snuffled, inhaling, focusing.
"Wolf." he whispered, eyes still glazed, still scared, so very afraid. He looked at the other man, eyes wide. He gave a soft sigh when they released him and shifted, a sub vocal whine leaving his throat, a pack call. "Cat." he half mumbled, shifting to look at the woman, lips lifting into a snarl "Death.".
He watched as the woman paled, running from the room. The look on his face was far from the unflappable look that he usually had, but then, he wasn't the usual Oz. His eyes traveled back to the drip drip dripping of the drip and he stopped, stilled, his whole attention on that. He watched it fall, the drop shaping into an elongated tear shape before falling, splashing into the chamber, could hear the plop sound, feel the liquid forced through his skin.
"-id, kid, focus on me, focus on turning it down." it was the wolf man, pack man. His ears caught the words "dials, turn down dials." dials huh, like a a sound board, each nob to a sense. He turned them down, turned them to where they should be instead of the hyper-awareness that he was caught in.
Or reached down, fingers ripping the tape off before he pulled out the needle, nose twitching as he sniffed blood. He bought his hand to his mouth even as he studied the two men. Licking the wound he kept watching, trying to figure them out. "Oz." he told them.
"What Kid?" the cat man asked.
"Name. Oz. Ozbourne, Daniel." he told him, eyes still passive. "Oz." he glanced at the other wolf man "Wolf." he pointed at the long haired man, the one who had talked him out of hyper awareness. "Cat." he pointed at the tall man, the Protector, before expanding on his words. "Protector Cat, Guiding wolf" he had a puzzled look on his face even as he looked down "Lost Cub, Watchman" he touched his own chest a moment even as the ghost wolf howled mournfully. He hadn't meant to say that, hadn't meant to comment on how he felt.
The pair, the Guardian and Guide shared a glance. It was the younger one, the long haired wolf that finally spoke. "I'm Blair, this is Jim, we're officers with the Cascade PD." he settled in a chair while the protector stood behind guarding. "We would like to know exactly what happened when you were taken."
Oz's jaw tightened, before he looked up. "New to town. Traveling. Meditating" he explained "Met lady. Said I'd learn things here." his sentences were short, no more said then necessary.
"What was the womans name?" Blair asked, voice calm, like one would for an injured child or to a wild animal.
"Naomi Sandburg." was the two word answer from the small man in the bed.
A soft growl left the larger man, making Oz do that soft pup whine again. "Got to town, got grabbed. Drugged." he reached out a hand to take the water, swallowing a mouthful and wishing his mouth tasted of something better then the copper taste of blood. "Woke up chained. Silver." he frowned, trying to decide what to tell the non supernaturally inclined. Not that this pair was not supernatural, rather they were just so very different to the supernatural that he knew.
"Chanting, smelly herbs, sacrificial bleeding." Oz looked away "Lost me. Woke them up, too loud, too everything."
"Them? Your senses you mean?" Blair was practically bouncing. "Oh wow, wow, I could, wow. Two of you. Pleas, I need to do some tests."
Oz growled, the first aggressive motion that he made. Fear flashed through him "No tests!" he snarled, adrenalin driving through him even as he shifted his weight, sliding off the bed. Lying still had its usual affect on him, his legs felt like rubber and he fought to stay upright. "Not a guinea pig." hi voice was soft "been there, done that."
"Kid, he's not going to test you." the larger man, Jim, reached out an arm to steady him and Oz melted into him, barely coming to his shoulder. Jims glare cut off any comment that Blair was about to make.
"Army caught me." Oz whispered "Was seventeen. Tests, hurt" he added, closing his eyes. "Need out." he wrinkled his nose "Stinks."
"I agree." Jim kept the much smaller man tucked up under his arm, in the protective warmth of his body. "Blair, get him signed out. Protective custody, in the loft."
"You sure?" Blair asked, worry, or thought, furrowing his forehead.
Jim nodded "Don't know how to explain it Chief, but he's Tribe"
Oz nodded "Pack." he told the long haired man "Protect the Pack."
Blair sighed, looking from one to the other "I'll get his papers" he told them, stepping out of the room. Looks like the loft was going to get another resident. The anthropologist turned police detective muttered under his breath "I am /not/ sharing my bed" he told the pair of sentinels.
Jim looked down at the boy pressed against him. "Oz, look at me" his voice was gentle but firm "You hurt Blair, threaten him in any way, or the Tribe here, and I will take you out, understand?"
Oz looked at him before giving a nod "Yes sir." he froze as he heard footsteps, army boots and scented gun metal. "Huh" he twisted to follow the steps, even as they stopped at the door. Without knocking they entered. Fear spiked in Oz's veins and he growled softly "Riley."
"Oz." the Initiative soldier gave him a nod "We need you to come with us. Graham, and I will look after you."
Oz pressed closer to Jim, who had put himself between the younger Sentinel and the army guys. "Wouldn't try it." he watched the army boys warily, they smelt off, tainted.
"He will come with us, he could be. . ." Riley started.
"What, sick?" Oz snarled, body shaking. "You just want your test subject back, another chance to cut me up." he swallowed hard. "Go away. Initiative has no hold here."
"Says who?" was the cocky voice of Graham.
"Says me." was the flat voice of Jim. "You want him, you go through me. Trust me boy, you don't want to do that."
Riley fiddled with the cuffs at his waist. "You can't stop me." was his answer, confidence in his voice.
"No, but I can" a gray haired man stood behind them, nodding to Jim. Behind him stood a blond woman, a dark man with a hat that didn't quite smell human and a blue eyed guy that seemed like Oz should know him.
"Sir." Riley saluted, "We have orders."
"You have diddly squat" was the answer from the gray haired man "You are going to go with these lovely MP's and be processed."
"But, but, we're NID." was Graham's retort.
"Exactly" the gray haired man answered, face set as he ushered the MP's in to escort the two Initiative soldiers out.
Oz stepped closer, away from Jim, nose twitching as he caught the scent of the blue eyed man. He gave a soft whine, pressing his body against his, burying his face against his neck and clinging to him.
"I wasn't expecting that" was Blair's comment from out the door. He looked at Jim, even as the blue eyed man looked at him. "Hey, you're Blair Sandburg. Jack, I told you about him, he's the one with that faked dissertation that I didn't think was faked."
"It was faked, really, no Sentinels here." was the babbled Blair comment, as he edged his way to a hostile looking Jim.
"huh." Oz looked up at the blue eyed man "Alien pyramid man."
"For cryin out loud." the man, Jack exclaimed "Get off my archaeologist." Jack reached for the small man, tugging him away from Daniel, pausing only when Jim growled, arms wrapping around his cub.
Oz relaxed back against him with a soft sigh, feeling like he was at home.
"No aliens on pyramids here." Daniel babbled. The stoic dark man raised an eyebrow which Oz mimicked.
"No aliens, no sentinels." Oz shook his head "Need better covers."
The dark man broke the heavy silence after that statement "Indeed."