A Friend in Fur is For Her
Summary: Buffy needs some comfort after being torn from heaven and he's just the wolf to do it. WARNING: the Scoobies pay for doing this to her.
Pairing: Buffy/Oz…eventually, but friends for now.
Timeline: Beginning season 6 BtVS, no clue on The Sentinel.
Warning: If you've read most of my other stories, you'll know that the Scoobies are not my favorite people. Keep this in mind and don't think that any amount of harsh reviews will change my mind. Yes, they've helped her and yes, she's made mistakes. I don't care! To me, they treat her far worse than she treats them. That is my opinion and that all there is to that. I don't read stories that paint Buffy in a bad light and then complain about it. As a matter of fact, I don't read them period. I suggest you do the same and not read my story if you want the Scoobies to be portrayed as heroes.
Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. The Sentinel characters belong to UPN, Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
A/N1: Thanks to the reviewers from my 'Bunny, Buffy, What's the Difference?' fic that were wondering about a 'ship between the Slayer and the wolf. You inspired this piece.
A/N2: In response to Challenge 398: Oz and the Sentinel by tals and Challenge 934: Buffy/Oz by SlayerandWereLeopard.
Prologue: Werewolf Meets the Sentinel
Daniel 'Oz' Osborne sat quietly in the middle of his apartment living room, meditating. Since he had run from Sunnydale the year before, he was trying to get a better grasp on his wolf. Losing Willow to that girl, Tara, was no excuse for losing control like that. Until he was sure it wouldn't happen again, he couldn't stay and help the Scoobies. And that hurt…a lot. He missed them all.
So he ran, planning to make his way back to Tibet, when he happened to stop in this town in Washington. It felt amazingly clean after being at the Hellmouth. The was very little in the way of the supernatural here. On his third day, he found out why.
15 Months Ago…
As luck would have it, he was leaving this coffee shop when a guy tried to snatch a purse from a woman a few feet away. On instinct, Oz tackled the criminal to the ground, growling very low. It should have been too low for anyone else to hear, but suddenly he felt a hand slam down on his shoulder and yank him up. He turned and saw a guy that was well over half a foot taller than him glaring at him and not the pursesnatcher.
"What are you doing? He stopped that guy from stealing my purse!" the elderly lady snapped at the newcomer. Oz was willing to bet that if she'd had her purse, she'd be smacking the guy with it right now.
But apparently it was enough to wake the guy up from the trance that he was slipping into. He let Oz go and reached in his coat pocket for his badge and handcuffs. "Detective Ellison, Cascade PD," he introduced himself to the crowd as he took the criminal into custody, "and you are under arrest for attempted robbery."
Another guy stepped forward and pulled Oz and the victim off to the side. "Hi, I'm Blair Sandburg; I work with Detective Ellison. Could you both come in with us to give your statements? That way we can get this wrapped up right away?" he asked with a gentle smile.
The lady nodded shakily, still a little frazzled by what happened and Oz just shrugged, "No problem."
2 Hours Later…
"Thanks for your help, young man," Maria Keaton fussed over Oz, who was nodding indulgently at the older woman. "Here, take this as a reward," she demanded as she tried to stuff a twenty dollar bill in his hand.
"That's unnecessary, ma'am," he refused, handing it back. "It was the right thing to help you out and taking a reward for it would feel wrong. But thank you for the offer. I'm just glad that he didn't hurt you as well."
She frowned at him, frustrated that he refused to let her make a big deal out of him helping her. "Well, if you are going to be in town for a while, at least stop by Hugh's Deli on 6th. My son-in-law owns it and we'd be pleased to treat you to lunch. Please."
Oz sighed. Was this what Buffy went through when she saved people that didn't repress what happened to them? It so rarely occurred in Sunnydale, but then she went out more often than he did so she might have had to deal with it occasionally. "If it would make you happy, ma'am," he finally allowed.
"It would," she crowed in triumph, "and please, call me Maria."
"My friends call me Oz, Maria," he responded with a smile. Then he walked her over to the elevators.
Just as the doors opened, he heard Detective Ellison call out, "Mr. Osborne, I just have a couple more questions, if you don't mind?"
"Sure," he answered calmly, feeling anything but. Something about this guy since he pulled him off the pursesnatcher had been bothering him – or more accurately, his wolf.
"In here," Ellison commanded, pointing to an office where Sandburg was already waiting for them.
Oz stared at the pair, trying to figure them out. They sort of reminded him of Buffy and Giles, but he couldn't figure out how. Certainly couldn't be by their looks; Ellison was like Giles' age and would tower over the petite blonde, while Sandburg only seemed like he was only a few years older than the Scoobies and looked about as tough as Xander did. But he could swear that Ellison was like Buffy and Sandburg like Giles.
"What's up?" he questioned cautiously.
"We were hoping you could tell us that," Sandburg responded. "Jim says that he heard you growl when you tackled that guy earlier."
"Didn't realize that was illegal," Oz stated.
Ellison glared at the young man, not impressed with the seemingly sarcastic comment. "What are you?" he demanded impatiently.
Oz took a deep breath to calm himself and to stop the wolf from rising. "I'm not sure I know what you mean, detective." He really was on the edge this soon after leaving Sunnydale.
"You're not fully human, I can tell!" Ellison bit out, angry at this being who dared to come into his territory and possibly cause trouble..
"What does it matter to you?" Oz inquired. His recent brush with the Initiative was making him even more wary than normal – and that wasn't a good thing.
"This is my town to protect and I won't let you harm anyone here," the Sentinel proclaimed.
The werewolf contemplated him before commenting, "Wasn't planning on it. Just passing through. When the guy snatched the purse, I just reacted and tackled him. No plans on hurting him though." He stared for a bit longer before adding to test the waters, "So what are you, some sort of neutral protection demon?"
"Demon?" Sandburg yelped. "He's not a demon, he's a--"
"Guy who's still waiting to hear what you are," Ellison interrupted with a glare at his Guide. There was absolutely no reason to give information away.
Oz figured that since they reminded him of the Slayer and the Watcher, that he'd take a chance. "Werewolf," he stated, hoping that he'd made the right decision.
A/N1: Maria Keaton is just an OC. Nothing more.
A/N2: Next…Oz learns about Buffy's death and return.