Just Animal Nature

Summary: When two animals meet, the fur flies. No worries, it isn't violent.

Warning: This is a mild version of porn with just a touch of plot.

Timeline: season 2 'Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered', but it happened earlier in the season. So did Oz's first transformation. This takes place just after 'The Dark Age'.

A/N: Sorry, no BAngel or Willz here, folks.

Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. Dialogue is from .I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.

Chapter 1: Wolf on the Hunt

Daniel 'Oz' Osbourne wasn't as clueless about the strange things that happened in Sunnydale as the people around him. Part of that was because it was kind of obvious when you thought about it; the other part – the main part – was because his little cousin, Jordy, introduced him two months ago with a bite.

See, for those that didn't know, Jordy happened to be a werewolf. When he accidentally bit his cousin during a tickle fight, he passed along the disease, curse, whatever it was to Oz. Luckily for everyone involved, Jordy's mom saw the bite before Oz could leave that night, and she warned Oz what it meant.

Since then, Oz became much more aware of the other weirdness in town. It didn't take him long to decipher that 'BBQ fork accidents' was code for vampire attacks. Same thing for 'gang members on PCP'. He shuddered to think what 'wild animals' was for. Thankfully, he knew it couldn't be him or Jordy; they were locked up during their transformations.

Another thing he noticed was Sunnydale had its own Batman. Well, if Batman were a foot shorter, perky, blonde and a beautiful girl. Sunnydale's Night Guardian – Oz wasn't sure if she had a secret identity she used to fight evil, but doubted she'd use Batwoman/girl – was somebody who just moved to town during the middle of the last school year: Buffy Summers.

He understood that as a Cali girl from LA, her parents were probably considered normal for naming her Buffy, but it didn't exactly strike fear in the hearts of anyone. On the other hand, a scary name, like Dark Avenger, didn't fit somebody so…adorable. Of the people he saw hanging around her, there was only one that looked Batman-ish.

There was something strange about that guy. Oz almost smelled the secret coming off him; maybe eventually he'd be practiced enough with his new senses that he could smell things like that. He knew that his senses were sharper since his change. Tall, dark and broody had a secret identity, but Oz wasn't sure what it was.

Her other friends were more like her. Willow Rosenberg was cute, but a little insecure in her own self-worth. Xander Harris was basically class clown material; sometimes the clothes he wore made that image almost definitive. But the two did seem to be Buffy's faithful and loyal sidekicks.

In a town that specialized in ignoring the obvious, it was impressive that they'd chosen to help. He was trying to build up the courage to offer his help as well. Unfortunately, his furry condition made him wonder if she'd accept or see him as another problem to take care of.

But maybe today's events could give him a way in.

No offense to Xander, but something very odd was happening to the female population. Apparently they all thought he was catnip, and they were very hungry kitties. Huh, more of his comparisons lately have been animal-related. Maybe that was to be expected.

Although he didn't know how he could help, Oz still made his way to the library – where he knew Buffy and the others spent a lot of their time.

When he opened the door, he saw Xander and Mr. Giles crawling along the floor, searching for something. Over by the table, he saw Amy Madison and Miss Calendar staring at Xander's butt. Ughh, that was a little disturbing. Apparently, Amy must have gotten into a fight with somebody because she had some blood coming from the side of her mouth.

"Hey," Oz greeted when the guys looked up at him.

Giles stood up, irritated at the interruption. Still, his British politeness dictated that he didn't snap at the young lad. "I'm sorry, but the library is closed right now."

Deciding that maybe blunt was the way to handle this, Oz took a deep breath and jumped into the deep end – metaphorically speaking. "Not here for a book. I was looking for Buffy. Noticed something strange going on, and thought I'd offer to help if I could. My name's Oz," he said as he held his hand out to the librarian. Hopefully whatever Buffy did, this guy was part of it. It made sense that he would be though, seeing as how much time she spent here.

Shaking Oz's hand absently, Giles repeated in a confused manner, "Help?"

Since he wasn't thrown out on his backside – or looked at like he was crazy – Oz figured that he was on the right track, so he explained vaguely, "I know she takes care of the things most people don't pay attention to – like animal attacks and such."

Xander looked relieved at his comments and blurted out, "Since you already know, Amy turned Buffy into a rat. Giles and I are looking for her now," he said, ducking his head when the Watcher turned to glare at him again.

That reminded Giles of what they were doing before Oz came in. He took another glance at the area she was last seen and said, "I don't see her. If anything happens to her, I'll..." he cut himself off before he said something to Xander he may or may not regret later.

Instead, he told the young boy, "Oh, just go home. Lock yourself away. You're only going to cause more problems here. Now, Amy, Jenny and I will, uh... try and break the spell. Oz? If, if you could aid us in, in finding, um... Buffy," Giles requested of the young man who apparently was a new member of Buffy's circle of friends who knew about her Calling. It made him wonder if she really had a button that declared her identity or not.

Still not certain what was going on, Oz hoped that he'd find out later. At least they were letting him help – even if it was searching for Rat!Buffy. Definitely something you wouldn't expect to see every day. "Sure."