stock: typewriter

fic:broken crown/btvs, mercy thompson/gen

Title: broken crown
Prompt: #448 rabies @ tamingthemuse
Rating: FR13
Disclaimer: BtVS and all related characters are copyright of Joss Whedon and ME. The Alpha and Omega Series and all related characters are copyright of Patricia Briggs and Ace. No infringement intended.
Note: Because apparently I needed to start a new series of short stories.

Synopsis: In which Buffy attempted to save Lily, Rickie and Co, but failed miserably. (Fusion with Mercy Thompson. Series of Shorts)

Samuel was still in the process of attempting to locate a phone to tell his father of the night’s events when David Christiansen’s grandson, John-Julian, made his way through the moonstruck wolves towards Adam. I’d have called it brave, but I knew better. Wolves fresh out of the change were testy things and while they were under Adam’s control that didn’t mean Adam didn’t wish John-Julian harm for his part in keeping Jesse captive. Christiansen must’ve had the same thought because he placed himself between Adam and his John-Julian.

In human form Christiansen was large, as a wolf he was larger still. I would’ve thought him pretty if I hadn’t been able to see the play of muscle beneath all that red-gold fur. The black surrounding his eyes made the amber color gleam in the dull light of the moon. The night had grown darker now that Adam’s power was waning, but his control of the wolves seemed ironclad—they watched him eager as puppies.

That thought made my lips quirk and Adam spared me a frown before he nodded to Christiansen. John-Julian took that as his queue and met Adam’s gaze for the briefest of moments before directing it towards his granddad. “Three of the wolves Gerry tested on are still alive.” Adam’s eyes narrowed, gleaming yellow and I heard John-Julian swallow, “Grandpa, put a stop to their mistreatment, but they’re still caged in the warehouse.”

I looked to Christiansen, his black tipped ears were pinned back and I had the sneaking suspicion that the mistreatment had gone beyond guinea pig territory and into actual abuse. Not that the silver and drug concoction Adam had been poisoned with couldn’t be considered abusive. My arm throbbed, reminding me of its brokenness, but when Adam motioned John-Julian, something told me he didn’t trust his voice, I fell in step beside him. Daryl took the other side and Christiansen kept himself between us and his grandson.

The rest of the wolves remained seated, their eyes following Adam in the hopes that he’d call them along. Instead his hand settled on the back of my neck and the sureness of it helped settle me after a brush with a death curse—the broken arm still hurt like the dickens though.

Our mismatched group made it back into the warehouse without incident. I wasn’t sure why this surprised me, but it did and Daryl took point into it. John-Julian pulled out a set of keys from the pocket of his cargos and led us towards the stairs I’d taken hours earlier. My feet dragged a bit because I didn’t want to go back to there, but rather than dally I rolled my good shoulder back and sucked it up.

We followed him to the office that was set directly beneath where they’d kept Adam and Jesse. “Two of them are in here. Both of them males, about nineteen years old. Runaways, I think.” Christiansen gave an articulate woof and John-Julian spared him a smile before correcting, “We think.”

“The third?” Adam questioned, voice quiet.

“She’s down there,” He pointed towards the office closet to the wall, “They had some difficulty controlling her. Rabid was the term tossed around a bit, but Grandpa thought none of them were strong enough to keep her in line.”

I caught the raising of Adam’s brow, but John-Julian released the deadbolt. This door’s lock wasn’t new and I learned why when we entered the room. Cages lined the walls and the room stunk of fear and urine. It wrinkled my nose and made me glance down at my broken arm because it must’ve been more distracting than I realized if I hadn’t smelled that until now. Daryl moved ahead of us into the room, untrusting of John-Julian and Christiansen—not that I blamed him. I would wholly support the mistrusting of strangers if it kept Adam and Jesse safe.

There were three cages, but only two were filled. The contents of those two cages were currently wolf-shaped—even this far away they hadn’t been able to ignore Adam’s call. One of them was sleek, muscles smooth beneath a tawny coat, but the other looked like misshapen Collie. His massive body, in white and black, nearly overtook the cage, but his down turned tail and averted gaze told me he was the least dominate wolf in the room—size did not an alpha make.

A pitiful sound escaped him and he hunkered down closer to the bottom of his cage. A thundering roar, that vibrated my sternum and made the hairs at the back of my neck rise to attention, answered his woeful cry and there was a thud from further down the hall. Adam turned, frowning as if the female wolf could see it through the wall, but turned his attention back to the cages when the wolves rose in response to her battle cry.

“Settle down,” his tone was mild, but the power behind the words was enough set both wolves’ rumps on the floor. They watched Adam, heads inclined in unison, and the tawny one’s tail set itself into a casual back and forth motion.

“Did you want me to free them?” John-Julian kept his gaze focused on the far wall.

“Please,” the polite reply raised my brow and Adam spared a frown in my general direction which of course made me grin up at him. He shook his head and the hand on the back of my neck—I’d forgotten about its reassuring presence—slipped away.

Adam stepped in front of me, placing himself between cages and myself. I might’ve been offended, but since I’d rather not lose my life to a newbie wolf with questionable control I wisely kept my mouth shut. Footfalls drew my gaze back towards the entrance and the grim set of Samuel’s jaw told me he’d gotten ahold of Bran. I offered him my good hand because I knew how much Doc Wallace meant to the Marrok’s wolves—heck he’d meant the same to me once upon a time.

Samuel accepted my offered hand and gave it a gentle squeeze before letting go. Adam, after everything he’d been through in recent days, would’ve likely protested if we’d remained holding hands, but I still felt the loss of it. The cages opened and turned me away from the knowing look in Samuel’s gaze. The wolves made their way forward, cautious of the freedom, but now both of their tails were wagging.

There was a warm presence at my side and I knew Samuel had placed himself along the side with my broken arm intentionally. “We need to get you to a hospital.”

His observation turned Adam around and he frowned at Samuel before dropping his gaze to the arm I held tight against my body. “We free the last wolf first.”

I’d been so concerned with Adam and Jesse I’d forgotten Christiansen had mentioned Gerry had been experimenting on six wolves. Mac was already gone, but I—we—could do something about the surviving three. I’m not sure how much of that showed on my face, but Adam nodded. “Alright.”

Samuel made a disgruntled sound, but turned to lead us from the room and towards the last door of the three offices. Christiansen now kept himself between the two new wolves and John-Julian. While they seemed content to simply follow Adam it was always best to be careful around the newly changed. I’d seen too many accidents up close and personal to worry about a the wolf’s feelings this early on. Neither of them spared glanced at me—and as wounded as I was that made Adam’s control truly impressive.

John-Julian took point, moving around Samuel. Brave of him to allow Samuel at his back after watching how quickly he broke Gerry’s neck and I gave him extra points when I heard his heart rate increase. A steady growl could be heard on the other side of the door and my brows rose with the fact that they must’ve put some insulation in this room.

I must’ve said something aloud—apparently I was more hurt than I realized—because John-Julian glanced back at us before explaining, “She kept ordering Gerry’s wolves to free her,” he smiled, “Some of them listened.”

My eyes widened and I watched Samuel’s head incline in a curious way. It reminded me of the way the wolves had watched Adam and a snicker escaped me. Adam’s hand was suddenly on back my neck and the tired giggles faded away, but I resisted the urge to lean into him. Old wolves, especially Alphas, if you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile.

John-Julian approached the door to the last door, but a hand on his shoulder stopped him from opening it. Samuel took the keeps from him, replacing him at the door and something heavy hit it from the other side. My brows rose with the fact that this wolf hadn’t needed someone to free her and the frame cracked, the deadbolt holding just fine, but the wood surrounding it hadn’t stood a chance. Samuel glanced back at Adam and they shared one of those fathomless looks that tended to irritate me.

Christiansen slipped around Adam and I, putting himself closer to the door and his muzzle down towards the crack beneath it. He gave another articulate woof and the steady growl subsided. I watched a shadow cross in front of the door and it was followed by frantic sniffing.

“Do you know her name?” Adam asked.

“Buffy,” the urge to giggle was back and John-Julian explained, “Grandpa thought the name fitting when he met her while in human form.”

Samuel glanced at Adam, who raised his brows before closing his eyes, I heard the slowing of his heart and then steadying of his breathing before he called, “Buffy.” The sniffing stopped and the shadow retreated from the door, but his next calling of her name was filled with that steadying calm, “Buffy.”

There was muffled thud from the other side of the door. Samuel’s shoulders rolled back before he unlocked and opened the door before stepping inside. When nothing exciting happened we followed him while Daryl hung back with the newbie wolves. My first impression was that she was on the small side and pretty—like I said, dominance has nothing to do with size. Her coat held a merle pattern of black and grey with splashes of white here and there, but her face was predominantly white as if someone had dipped it into can paint.

She watched us with narrowed blue eyes from her place in the center of the room where she lay on the floor panting. Her cage had been flung to the side and was wedged in the drywall propped along the interior walls. The bolts that had been holding the cage to the concrete were now just six, or so, inches of bent metal.

“Buffy,” Adam called her and her head cocked, but unlike the other wolves her tail didn’t budge.

Samuel made his way forward, but stopped when she looked up at him. The seriousness of her eye contact made me flinch and want to warn her, but after several long, tense seconds she huffed and dropped her jaw across her paws. Adam motioned the other wolves forward, around Daryl and I, and they bounded into the room. She was suddenly on her feet and making frantic noises—the human part of her might’ve shown restraint, but her wolf was too happy to suppress—as the three of them reacquainted themselves with each other.

I’d put off calling Bran, the Marrok, until given no other alternative and unfortunately that time was now. Giles had flown out to Chicago chasing a lead that had brought him into conflict with one of the Chicago packs. He’d managed just fine and I shouldn’t have been surprised by this—the Watcher tended to smell faintly of magic and old blood worked into the more subtle grassy mustiness that I associated with old books and Rupert Giles. I’d known he was a dark practitioner in his youth, we’d crossed paths in New York in the 70s, but it wasn’t until recently I learned he still dabbled.

It was a tricky thing keeping those types of secrets from a wolf, but he had to have known I’d keep his secret. He’d kept mine when I came in to get books my senior year at Sunnydale High School with a birth certificate that claimed I was seventeen and declared me Daniel Osbourne. He’d called me Mr. Osbourne without missing a beat, but I’d embraced Devon’s nickname of Oz as quickly as it came about—embracing the need for me to play my guitar badly had taken substantially more effort.

Giles’ secret use of magic had taken me longer to snuff out, but that dark magic was what saved him and left Leo’s pack scrambling for a few days. I’d never been fond of Leo, he’d never had time for a lone wolf—especially one as submissive as myself—and I’d never had much time for those that thought submissive meant weak. I’m a lot of things, musician, compulsive hair dyer and I’m bad at finishing things, but I’m not weak.

Which was why I located the picture Buffy and Willow had forced on me the night before Buffy’s seventieth birthday—the infamous thing known as a selfie—we’d taken with my phone and sent it to Bran before dialing his number. He answered with, “Daniel,” on the third ring.

I might’ve thought him psychic, but I knew better. Plus I’d just sent him a picture that included me. “Bran.”

“Was there something you needed?”

“Yeah,” I paused, he sighed and that made me smile, “I’m looking for a friend.”

The end.

I really love the set up here, especially with the bit at the end with Oz, and I'm super excited to see where you take this!
I updated behind your back?

I've got lots of thinky thoughts in regards to this series. Like how many Slayers did the Council send after Bran while he was the Beserker? Can Charles feel the weight of the lives of the previous Slayer's when around Buffy? Is Samuel going to find a project in Buffy and how is she going to feel when she learns he's the son of thing that killed so many of the girls that came before her?

Also Giles might turn out to be a complete badass in this series. ;)