Monosyllabic Eccentricity

Title: Champion
Author: Shannon
Rating: R
Spoilers: Post New Moon Rising. Christopher Golden's Into the Wild.
Summary: Oz finds himself captured.
Disclaimer: Joss own Oz, Christopher Golden owns situation, Shannon owns story.
Author's Note: Thanks to Chris for the beta, and everyone who replied to the e-mail I sent a while ago asking for help.


Oz sat in the dark room on the dirt floor. The place stank with human feces and the sweat from a hundred people. None of those people were here now, but somehow Oz really couldn't bring himself to imagine they were retired and living off social security somewhere near Orlando. He could almost taste the metallic sweetness of blood; the scent was so strong in the air. He knew it wasn't his, but he couldn't tell if the girl was dead. She'd stopped bleeding, finally.
He hit the backlight on his watch. The battery was almost dead. It was quarter to ten; he'd been in the room for thirty-eight hours, since the night before last, with no one to talk to, and nothing to eat. Except the girl. He'd bandaged her wounds as best he could with rags torn from his shirt: which he was starting to regret because it was getting colder, and it didn't look like she was going to make it through the day.
It wasn't like Oz had expected to live forever, but in Sunnydale he knew they'd find out what had happened to him, and kill it before it killed anyone else. Even when he left to control the wolf, he was always around people who knew the score. Maybe they wouldn't save the world in the end, but people could say, "Oh, yeah. Oz. Demon did him back in 2004." Not a happy thought, sure, but better than just dropping off the face of the earth. Disappearing without a trace.
The girl stirred, and Oz went to her side. "It's okay."
She took one look at him and scrambled away into a corner, falling only twice on her weak legs. She huddled there, chest heaving with the effort. "Like hell."
Oz stayed where he was, crouching in the dirt. "I'm Oz," he said, trying to sound as harmless as possible.
"I don't want to know."
"What's your name?"
The girl stood unsteadily then stalked to Oz. "Do you think it matters?"
Oz stared up at her face. It was pretty, but not beautiful. There was a roughness around the edges that hadn't been there while she slept.
"You stupid or something?" she finally asked.
"Don't think so."
The girl continued to glare down at him for tense seconds, but she was still weak from the loss of blood, and she started to sway on her feet. Oz's reflexes were quick though, and he caught her before she fell to the packed earth. He laid her down gently and drew away before she could become more frightened and lash out. His hand hovered near her arm longer than he meant it to.
She made no move to rise, or even to look him in the eye, but her voice held accusation: "No human could do that." When Oz didn't answer she turned her head towards him, and touched his leg as he knelt by her. "What are you?"
Oz drew back. The question was too invasive. Or maybe it was the touch.
"I'm Leia," she said. He was holding her hand, but he didn't remember taking it. He felt the gentle weight of her body as she used his hand to steady herself on her knees in front of him. She ran her other hand up his thigh until he caught it, but he didn't make any further move. "I'm a half-wolf. Oz, what are you?"
Oz dropped his eyes from her searching gaze. "Wolf," he said quietly. Leia smiled and touched his face, but Oz backed away.
"Don't, Oz. This is a good thing. I thought…well, tonight's the full moon, and I thought they were feeding me before the fight. But now you'll be okay."
"Fight?"
"They fight wolves. They wouldn't have kept you alive otherwise. Werewolf blood is more powerful than human blood for them… They would have finished eating." Suddenly she laughed. It was a pleasant sound, but that was more discomforting than an evil cackle among the carnage he could still smell all around him. Although there were other scents now. "I don't think they'll get much fight from us tonight." She leaned in to kiss his forehead, and Oz surprised himself by not moving away. "This is an amazing opportunity," she said. "They'll have to let us out to lead us to the ring. We'll work together, escape."
"And then what?" said Oz. He meant it to be accusing, the idea of letting two werewolves free among an unsuspecting populace. His voice sounded strange in his own head. He knew what her answer would be, and he hated it, but he longed to hear it just the same.
"What do you want to do?" Her breath was warm and moist in his ear.
A growl burst from his throat, and he pushed her to the ground, leaning over her body. "Don't tempt me!" The words were thunder to accompany the lightning in his eyes.
"You're so strong," she whispered. "I've never met a wolf before who could flash so early in the day."
"You know a lot about it," he said.
"You mean…" she touched his face gently. "You're made, aren't you? I was born a half-wolf, but you were bitten."
"We can give birth to more monsters like us?" It hadn't been this hard to control the change since he had met Tara. He walked away, disgusted and frightened.
"You're amazing," said Leia. "No wonder they chose you. I've rarely met a half-wolf as powerful as you, let alone a made wolf." She held out a hand. "Oz, help me stand, please?" Oz was breathing deep, the air was echoing so loud in his head that he could hardly hear her. "I'll heal when I change tonight, but I'm still weak."
Oz turned, but he still could smell his own fear, and that disturbed him. He could also smell the lust in the room, and it kept him from coming any closer. "No. Things are going to get pretty hairy in here in a couple of hours. I don't plan on adding to that any time soon."
He watched Leia crawl to the wall, the smell of lust dissipating as overexertion drained the energy from her body. She shook as she leaned against the wall. "Oz, I've been here forever. I just want to get out. I don't think our wolves will fight. It might be my only hope.
Oz looked at her a moment more, then sat beside her, putting an arm around her shoulders. They stayed like that until the sun set and Leia's wolf broke free. To protect himself from her, he let his wolf free for the first time in months, and remembered no more that night.

A trio of vampires stood around the bars of the cage, watching the werewolves inside roll around wildly in sexual pleasure.
"How much do you plan to sell the pups for, Marcus?" asked the oldest one there.
"They'll be worth two thou a piece at least. That's my girl there, Champion Princess's Leia. Bred her myself."
"Tell me you weren't one of those crazy Star Wars fans when you were human?" said his lackey, a dark-haired male who looked like he was about college age when he was turned.
The owner growled, his face breaking out in ridges and his teeth becoming fangs. "You got a problem with that?"
"No, man. No problem," whined the other.
"And who's the male?" asked the buyer.
"Never fought him against another were before, but he used to be the Slayer's hound."
"That's just a rumor. The Slayer kills werewolves, she doesn't keep them as pets."
"Not this one," said the boy, grinning. "I went to high school with him and the Slayer. Around graduation the mayor decided to make a meal out of all the seniors, and the Slayer led a revolt. He was in her inner circle. You don't really think she didn't know what he was, do you?"
"Quiet, Freddy! You've got to learn when to shut up." He calmed down to talk to the buyer again. "I'm sorry, you were saying?"
"What are you going to call him?" asked the buyer.
"Chewbacca, of course." Freddy groaned, but Marcus ignored him. "He'll answer soon enough. They all do."
"I want first pick of the litter."
"And you'll have it my friend, haven't I promised you? Would I lie to you?"