“Are you sure you want to sit out in the forest?” Buffy asked as she walked through the forest to Dawn's circle. The rest of the scooby's were walking around them, Xander speaking quietly to Richard the way he had talked with Oz in years before. Willow was talking quietly with Giles as they checked and double-checked their lists and Andrew was setting up video camera's through the forest as they walked.
“I'm sure,” Dawn nodded. “Jan assured me that I can't come to harm while I'm in my circle. Consort or no, Richard won't hurt me.”
“Good, I'd hate to have to kill someone,” Buffy's mouth was set into a grim line.
“Don't stress it B,” Faith had her arms behind her head as she walked on Buffy's other side. “If Wulfenstein slips up-” Andrew and Xander made little noises of excitement “-I'll make you a new coat. No need to get dirty.”
“It's not that,” Buffy looked over. “It's just hard enough to get vampire dust out of my clothes, I don't want to think about the bill for getting magical wolf blood out.”
All of the Scooby's laughed at that. And Richard, who had been dubbed 'Yabba Doo' at breakfast, wheezed his wolfish laugh. The comment last night had made him feel more relaxed around his mate's family. A fuzzy brother...
“We'll see you guys in the morning, okay?” Buffy and the others were moving away from the clearing. Had they arrived so soon? They must have because Dawn was resting in her circle, flip-flops resting beside her haphazardly and red cape tied loosely to her shoulders.
“Yeah,” Dawn nodded as she begin to fill her sanctuary with magic. She had a few scrolls beside her; homework from her brother and Nyx. There were also a few pillows and a blanket beneath her just in case. “Remember to have Ana make breakfast.”
The Scooby's replied the positive as they began to move away, not so quick as to get Richard's attention, but quick enough to get into the castle before he shifted.
Richard could feel his beast within becoming more active, crawling about in his belly and clawing at his mind. He could feel the magic in the night air and the life force of every edible creature in the forest.
He could feel Dawn's hand on his neck as she sat in the safety of her circle, a single pale arm stretched out to touch him before he lost his mind.
“Are you sure?” Richard grit out. “Will you be safe from me?”
“I trust you Richard,” Dawn assured him, running her fingers through thick hair. “Even if you don't trust yourself.”
Richard's control slipped at her words and a dread poured through him as a different magic flowed under his fur. Dawn's magic was pushing him further than he'd gone before and the pain of crunching bones was barely registering as he rode the wave of living energy until something dark and sinister crept into the metamorphosis. Oily thick tendrils creeping throughout his being and pulling Dawn's whimpers of discomfort to his senses.
Something was hurting his mate! The great beast turned to the shaking creature on the ground beside him and leaned down. Nothing wrong with mate. No blood or cuts. Only him. His scent on her body, hers on his. His strong bitch, his equal, his! What was hurting her?! He would destroy it!
Dawn felt the slick oil of Creeper's spell inside of her being. It had done something to Richard as well, morphing her consort into something from a horror film. Dripping fangs flashed from beneath snarling lips and great clawed -hands? Paws?- were pushing on her as the beast smelled her skin. Wherever he touched, the slick sensation dissipated, fleeing in terror from the werewolf. The werewolf who had come into her circle despite the many words of assurance she'd gotten from her families.
“Richard?” Dawn asked when the darkness fled completely from her being. The monster only growled before sniffing the air. A positively furious snarl ripped through him a few moments later and Dawn was very suddenly flung over the monsters shoulder as he began to run.
Trees passed in a blur as the ground became a slash of dirty brown and blackish gray. Wait, were those yellow stripes? And reflectors? Dawn lifted her head from Richard's back and looked around, nearly groaning when she saw an all too familiar sign.
((And that's the end of the FIRST story! If any of you have read my review replies, you'll know that this is only the beginning of a very long adventure for these two as well as an adventure for all of you as well. To any who might wonder about Yabba Doo, he was a character from a scooby doo spin off show who was a bit braver and a cop dog/boy scout...it matched Richard very well.))