ScentChallenge Contribution Date:
3 August 2010 Theme Challenge:
Character: OzTimeline/Authors Notes:
Post chosen for Buffy. Post Breaking Dawn for Twilight. There are no spoilers for either in this fic.Disclaimer:
I own nothing. Buffy and Angel people belong to Joss and Mutant Enemy. Stephenie Meyers owns Twilight.
He picks up the scent about a mile away from his house and it momentarily confuses him. He knows the scent of his kind, other werewolves, well enough to know that this scent is close, but it isn't quite right. For a second he thinks that maybe it's a natural wolf, they seem curious about him when he's in human form, but again the scent doesn't quite match up. It's almost a mixture of both. There's an unnaturalness with a werewolf's scent. The curse that makes a werewolf a monster taints the scent, gives it a hint of darkness.
This scent is more natural than unnatural... and it's female.
Daniel Osborne plays with the beads around his wrist and hand and continues on deeper into the forest surrounding his home. The wolf inside him doesn't like that someone has been on his territory and he fights the urge to give in to his animal. Oz doesn't like the thought of someone on his territory either, but he's far more forgiving than his wolf is. In fact he's curious. He's a lot more in tune with his wolf and nature than he was in Sunnydale. He knows that natural animals, with the exception of some curious wolves, tend to avoid his territory and he's lived in this house long enough for this to be his territory. Which means that whoever this scent belongs to doesn't fear him.
He tracks the scent in his human form all through the forest around his house until he comes to a spot where it's saturated. Interestingly, it's in direct line of sight to his house. He closes his eyes and breathes in the scent. Once it's ingrained in his memory, he heads home. ~*~*~
When he cooks dinner a few hours later, he cooks a little more than usual and leaves the leftovers on his veranda.
When he wakes the next morning the food is gone. ~*~*~
It goes on like that for a week. He's getting used to the scent now and he finds that it's not unappealing, not at all. It draws him in like Veruca's scent once did and, although that's not the most pleasant memory, he tries to not let it bother him. He knows for certain now that she's not a werewolf, not like he is, but she is a supernatural wolf of some kind. For one, he knows that a werewolf can't maintain their shape indefinitely, with the exception of the three nights surrounding the full moon, and Oz is yet to catch a human scent near his home.
Secondly, and most importantly, he's caught a glimpse of the wolf more than once and no werewolf he's ever met is that large. Still he makes no attempt to flush her out of her hiding spot in the woods. He's sure if she meant to attack him he would have done it before now. She knows he knows she's there, so he decides to let her choose when she's ready to emerge from the forest.
Oz isn't going anywhere.~*~*~
The choice is taken out of her hands when a storm hits. It's the worst storm they've had in a while and the rain is coming down so hard that he knows there'll be flooding down in the valley. He goes out to the veranda with a towel and some of his clothes and stares out into the darkness. As soon as the air hits him he frowns. The rain has washed away most of her scent and that bothers him more than he can understand. Shaking his head he puts the towel and clothes on the chair and heads back inside.
He puts on the kettle and puts out two sets of cups. He knows there's a good chance that she could stay outside, but for some reason he doesn’t think she will.
Sure enough, he catches her scent – a human scent – just as the kettle boils and it's not long before he hears her moving out on the veranda. She's moving slowly, cautiously, as though she's not sure whether she wants to come inside or not. Oz's isn't all that sure her wants to come in either. His wolf's reaction to her is getting stronger now and he's feeling some urges that he hasn't felt since he stayed in the werewolf colony in Tibet. He grips the beads around his hand and he takes a deep calming breath, but that only makes things worse because she's just outside the door. ~*~*~
The herbal tea he's made is just starting to get cold when she walks through the door. She doesn't knock and she doesn't walk into the house completely. She's standing just in front of the door, giving herself a clear exit if she needs one. He surprised to find that he actually wants her to run because seeing her up this close has caused his wolf to come alive under his skin. She's taller than him, considerably taller, and holds herself like Buffy. She's strong, beautiful, and her scent this close is making his mouth water.
"Thanks," she says, gesturing to the clothes.
"No problem," he replies. "I made tea. Help yourself."
He's not stupid enough to make any sort of move towards her. She's jumpy, anxious, although there's no hint of fear around her. It's not her anxiousness that has him on edge however, but the fact that she is broken does. He knows she's broken the second he looks into her eyes. In his travels, he's had the unfortunate experience of seeing many broken people, most of those he met in the colony in Tibet, and he recognises that look in her eye almost immediately. So he knows he has to be careful. Broken animals are the most dangerous.
He watches her carefully as she moves closer and pours herself a cup of tea. They say nothing as she drinks it, instead, they just stare at each other. She's looking at him with the same curiosity that he knows is in his eyes.
"What are you?" she blurt out without warning.
He can't help but smile. He appreciates her bluntness and for a second she reminds him of Cordelia Chase. "Werewolf. You?"
She frowns at his reply. "Same."
He shakes his head. "You don't smell like a werewolf. Close, but not like a true – "
"Holy shit!" she exclaims, cutting him off. Her cup clatters on the table as she stares at him in shock. "You're one of the Children of the Moon."
"Children of the Moon?"
"A real werewolf," she explains, her body going rigid, on alert, as though she expects him to attack at any given moment. "You change during the full moon, right?"
He doesn't, not all the time, but he understands what she's asking. "Yes. My wolf is controlled by the moon."
"We're not... I mean my wolf isn't. We're shape-shifters. We can shift at will, more or less." She's still look at him warily.
That explains it, well, kind of. He's never met a shape-shifter before, so he doesn't know if it's normal that they actually smell similar to natural wolves or that they cause such a reaction in real werewolves. "What's your name?"
"Daniel Osborne, but everyone calls me Oz." There's a moment of silence before Oz forces himself to look away from her and stares out of his window. The lightening is getting worse. "You're welcome to stay Leah Clearwater. The storm looks like it's hanging around."
"If you're not comfortable being inside the house with me, you can sleep outside on the veranda or on the lounge," he says. "I won't hurt you."
She laughs at this and now he's reminded of Buffy once again. "I'm not afraid of you hurting me."
Yeah, he's seen the size of her wolf form so he can understand her amusement. He stands slowly and takes the cup over to the sink.
"And even if you somehow did manage to hurt me my pack knows I'm here," she continues before he can say anything. "They'll tear you apart."
He's not at all bothered by the threat. He's had worse. "Duly noted."
There's a hint of confusion on her face at his reply and he's pretty sure she expected a different reaction to her threat. He clears his throat and leans against the sink. "There's food in the fridge and blankets in the cupboard under the stairs. My bedroom is the first room on the left upstairs. You're welcome to the other rooms or the lounge down here."
"That's it? You've been watching me stalk you for the last seven days and all you do is offer me a place to stay?" She seems outraged.
He shrugs. "Yeah."
She stares at him through narrowed eyes. "Why?"
"Why not?" She doesn't seem to like his answer, but it's the only one she's going to get.
He's not quite ready to tell her it's because he likes her scent.