Slayer vs. Werewolf
He held her face gently and touched his forehead to hers. "Some birthday this turned out to be for you," his tone was laced with regret.
"My birthday isn't over yet." Her words were said with more confidence than she felt.
"You still think …?" he hesitated, not wanting to voice his doubts.
"I believe in you," she said with sincerity.
"I can't …" he whispered brokenly. His body trembled with the effort and heat poured from him in waves. He shuddered slightly and his eyes burned with anguish when he continued. "I can't hold him back, not anymore."
"Shhh," she reassured him as she placed her hands on the sides of his face. "It will be okay," she sounded sure of her statement, but it was a lie. Fear stabbed her heart like an icy dagger. She knew she was the one making him do this; if it ended badly it would be her fault.
He closed his eyes. "He's very close." He placed his hands on top of hers and brushed her lips with his. It wasn't dramatic or passionate, it was slow and gentle - a kiss goodbye. The light, almost chaste kiss broke her heart as she knew he didn't think they would make it.
She pulled back gazing at his face, watching his jaw tighten as he gritted his teeth.
"Don't you give up on us!" she whispered fiercely. "Remember what we're fighting for."
His eyes opened, and she knew if there was more light that she would see his pupils dilating and contracting.
The change had begun.
Impulsively, she pulled his face down for another kiss. She put everything into this kiss, all the fear she felt, her anguish, love and desire. She wanted him to feel her, be a part of her. It seemed to spark something inside of him and he kissed her back, pouring his feelings in as well, pulling her closer. His fingers flexed and his nails grew long, but his touch remained ever gentle.
She could feel his teeth lengthen, his entire body shook violently.
He pulled away, dropping his hand as he stepped back. "I love you Buffy," he said, his voice hoarse from strain.
"I love you too Oz."
The only sound in the heavy silence was the cracking and popping of his joints and his labored breathing.
"Go," he choked. "You should go!" Desperation forced the words pass Oz's lips, even though his body was riddled with pain. His voice was changing, rougher, becoming more like a growl.
"This was a badidea." The last two words came out in an almost unintelligible growl. He dropped to the pine needle covered ground and moaned as the changes became more severe.
"I won't leave. We can do this. I know we can," Buffy said, she knew there was no room for uncertainty and doubt now; they had crossed the line and either they would triumph or one of them would die.
Her money was on their survival.
She watched helplessly as his body contorted in agony, hating herself for causing this.
Her eyes scanned the clearing. It was dark; the only light came from the glimmer of the full moon peeking from behind a cloudy sky. It being January, this was the first moon of the year. She thought briefly about its name, The Wolf Moon. It seemed cruelly appropriate.
She took a deep breath and listened to the silence of the woods around her - every creature within hearing distance had gone still, silent. She looked at the spot Oz should have been, but he was gone and his transformation was complete. The man was gone and, in his place, was the wolf.
The growl, low and guttural, come from deep in his throat and her heart pounded just a little faster.
He stood in front of her now, standing on all fours. Years before, she had seen him as a wolf and his coat had been fluffy then, due to the fact that his wolf was still maturing. Now, he looked different, his coat was sleek and gleamed in the moonlight. His body was different as well, no longer looked half-human, half-wolf. Now, he was pure wolf.
She wondered if the difference was due to maturity or if it was chemical. Those damn herbs. For Oz, they had been both a blessing and a curse.
She turned warily as he stalked her, always keeping her body facing his while he circled her.
As she kept her eyes on his dark form, she suddenly wished her vision was as good as the vampires she killed. She wanted to be able to look into the wolf's eyes and see if there was still some part of the man she loved inside.
He stopped, and although she couldn't tell if he was watching her face or the movement of her body, she hoped it was the former. She wanted to believe that he recognized her, wanted to believe that it had all been worthwhile.
She brushed away her last traces of fear, it had no place here. She had couldn't think that, she had to believe that they would win. Although she was not defenseless, (Oz had been adamant on that) she made no move to draw the silver dagger. It stayed in the sheath strapped on her leg.
"I believe in you Oz," she said clearly.
He launched his powerful body toward her with one last growl and Buffy braced for the impact.