Red Wolf has been exceptionally kind and patient with me over the last few days -- though she's always been nothing but a solid, steadfast friend -- during the designing of several beautiful graphics for the new Secret Lair website. In honour of her incredibly hard work, I took time away from beta-reading Nevermore's fic to write something I hope she'll enjoy. (And Norm, if by some small chance you're reading this... Sorry! ;P)
So thank you, Wolf. I had a chat with Spike and Wolverine, and this is what they suggested. I hope you like it, and don't mind me delving briefly into the world of Wolf & Declán. :)
Anybody else reading this, be advised that it is not my usual light and fluffy humour.
Oh, and unless my understanding of timezones is completely off...
A Buffy: The Vampire Slayer/X-Men Crossover
They'd followed the scent of blood, and walked into a field of carnage.
"What could have done this?" Wolf asked, kneeling beside one of the mutilated corpses.
The vampire beside her sniffed the air. "Smells like cat. Cougar, maybe," he offered.
"No mountain lion would be able to do this," Wolf disagreed. "The pack would have torn it to pieces for even daring to try."
Spike watched as the werewolf moved over to one of the smaller bloody forms. The mangled body of the tiny wolf pup was barely big enough to fit in her arms when she picked it up. She cuddled it to her chest, a mournful whine issuing from vocal chords capable of producing sounds both human and lupine in origin.
Gently, Wolf carried the small pup over to the nearest adult. Her swollen teats were still visible, though a large portion of her head had been torn away. Two other wolf pups lay dead behind her, their fragile necks bent at unnatural angles. They'd been spared further brutality though, as their protective parent stood over them only to have her throat ripped out for her efforts.
Wolf carefully laid her burden down beside its mother. If you could ignore the blood and protruding bones, it almost looked as if it was peacefully nursing, safe in its mother's loving care.
She hoped, somewhere, that it was.
Spike watched the little drama unfold passively. He didn't really understand her feelings of pain and sorrow for the dead animals. He couldn't, really. He didn't even care about other vampires that way. The only two beings he had any sort of emotional attachment for were both safe. Drusilla, back at their cabin recovering from another of her spells...
... and Wolf, standing in front of him with her eyes beginning to glow predatorily with the promise of vengeance.
"I want the bastard that did this," she growled, her fangs starting to emerge as her features shifted.
Spike let his own features shift in response. A blood-thirsty grin spread across his ridged face. He may not always understand her ways, he thought, but he sure as hell respected them!
"You want to hunt a cat, we'll hunt a cat," he pledged, since violence was violence in his book.
But Wolf shook her head, sending her copper mane ruffling in the stiff breeze. "No," she said. "Not a cat. Smell closer; you can just make out the scent of a man mixed with the feline."
Spike did as she asked, bending over one of the corpses. She was right. It was there; faint, distorted, blending with the scent of cat, but undeniably human.
Or maybe not. "Demon, do you think?" he wondered.
"I don't care," she snarled. "I want it dead." The woman was almost gone as the wolf in her took over.
Having no argument with that, Spike merely nodded and let her take the lead as she followed the prey's unusual scent.
The trail led the vampire and werewolf deeper into the forest. It took a good three hours of steady running for them to close in enough to hear their target.
Wolf slowed to a stop at the edge of a rocky ridge. She dropped to her belly and crawled through the bushes to peer into the shallow ravine carved through the woods. The ancient stream winding through it went on another few meters before it plunged over a steep cliff in a narrow waterfall. Thick brush covered both banks of the creek.
No one was in sight.
Spike slid to a halt behind her, but stayed in the shadows of the trees. "What is it?" he asked quietly.
Wolf's tailed twitched irritably in response -- her being not exactly able to answer him properly in her current form, after all.
Spike took the hint and shut up. The pair listened in silence to the altercation occurring somewhere in the vegetation down below.
"You're nothin' but an animal, Creed," a strangely familiar gravelly-voice sneered.
A mocking laugh replied. "Then that makes two of us, runt! How else did you track me down?"
A soft *snikt!* made Wolf's ears perk up in sudden recognition. She strained to see the source of the sound.
"I ain't nothin' like you, Sabretooth!" the first voice growled back. "You're just a slathering beast with a taste for blood, leaving a trail of death and destruction behind you wherever you go. I just followed the stench."
Sabretooth laughed again. "What's the matter, Wolverine? Afraid of a little killing? Or do you feel bad for those mangy hounds I ripped to shreds back there? Did it make you nervous, how easily I tore through the pathetic runts? Make you wonder what I'll do to you?" he taunted.
Wolverine roared, launching himself at his arch-nemesis. The two mutants tumbled out of the trees and landed in the creek. "I'll slice you in two!" Logan yelled, slashing at the bigger man with his claws.
Wolf's hackles had risen as she listened to the one called Sabretooth casually boast of slaughtering the wolf pack. When the fighting men finally stumbled into view, she waited only long enough to mark which one was her target. Then she loosed a chilling howl, gathered her muscles, and leapt into the fray!
"Now this is more like it!" Spike whooped, bounding gleefully into battle behind her.
Throwing Wolverine off, Sabretooth barely had time to turn before one hundred plus pounds of viciously snarling wolf lunged for his throat. "Shit!" he screamed, throwing a burly arm up to deflect her attack.
Wolf's powerful jaws clamped down on his forearm, her teeth tearing through his flesh with messy ease. Bones cracked under the pressure of her bite, drawing a scream of agony from her deserving victim.
"Get off me, ya damn mutt!" Sabretooth growled, grabbing her by the scruff and flinging her away. He curled his mangled arm close to his body, letting the adrenaline from the fight block some of the pain. He turned to face his main opponent.
He never even saw Spike pounce on him from behind.
Enraged by the sight his friend's furry body being tossed aside like garbage, the vampire crashed into the leonine man's back and dragged him to the ground. Pinning the huge form down with his heightened strength, Spike bared his fangs and hissed. He reared his head back, preparing to strike and drain his prey dry.
Sabretooth bashed him in the head with a rock. "Who the hell are you?!" he demanded, using his good arm to push out from under the vampire.
"A friend of hers," Spike spat, waving a hand at the dazed Wolf being tended by Wolverine. "She isn't too happy with what you did to her friends back at the den. Wants her revenge, she does. And now, so do I!"
"Get in line, bub!" Wolverine rasped, rising to a protective crouch over the prone wolf. He crossed his arms, framing his wild snarl with foot-long claws extended from his knuckles. The six lethal blades gleamed brightly in the moonlight.
Unnoticed by the three males, Wolf had recovered and begun to shift. Her form lengthened, her fur receding, her snout shrinking back into a human face. She didn't let herself change back all the way, but stood up mid-transformation, revealing a terrifying but oddly attractive vision of woman and wolf.
"I have an idea," she suggested, drawing their collective attention to her. Her own gaze was fixed with deadly intent on the battered Sabretooth. "I say we take him out together..." she purred evilly, lips curling back in a savage grin.
Sabretooth, Victor Creed to his friends (few though they were), began to suspect he was perhaps out of his depth. He swallowed nervously, edging backwards as the three predators moved to circle him. "Come on! This is hardly a fair fight," he blustered, looking for a chance to run.
Spike smirked. "Who said we give a bleedin' toss about what's 'fair', hmm?" He stepped to the right, cutting off that angle of escape.
Wolverine prowled around to the left. "Got yourself into trouble now, Victor. How are you gonna get outta this one alive?"
"He's not," Wolf promised darkly, advancing from the center. "We're going to tear him into bite-sized pieces, just like he did to my innocent brethren back in the clearing."
Sabretooth retreated backwards with every step they took. He knew he was cornered, knew he had nowhere to go. He waded through the cold stream, withdrawing before them, trying to keep his eyes on all three so he'd know which direction the attack would come from.
But he made a mistake. His foot stepped on a loose stone and slid out from under him. He tripped, flailing his arms for balance. His efforts were in vain... he toppled toward the waterfall.
"NOOOO!" Wolverine howled, leaping forward to try and grab the other mutant before he fell over the cliff.
He missed by mere inches, his claws scraping through Sabretooth's furry coat.
Wolf and Spike stepped up beside Logan to peer over the edge. "See anything?" Spike asked, still somewhat surprised by the rapid turn of events.
"No," Wolf growled, staring with disappointment down at the pool below.
"He's probably already gone," Wolverine muttered angrily. "Somehow he always manages to just slip past me whenever I think I've finally got him."
"There'll be other opportunities," Wolf assured him, vowing it to herself as well. One day, they'd meet again, her and Sabretooth. And then, she'd follow through on her promise of retribution for the slaughtered pack.
Spike clapped a hand on the mutant's shoulder. "Why don't you come back with us to our cabin, mate? Get yourself cleaned up a bit. Share a pint or two," he suggested.
Wolverine nodded, taking his first good look at his new friends now that the heat of battle had passed. "Name's Logan," he said, letting his claws retract to offer his hand to the blond male.
"Spike," the vampire said, shaking it. "That wonderfully violent creature over there is Wolf."
"I know," Logan smiled. "We've met. How're you doin there, darlin'?" he asked her, reaching up to the bleeding gash under her ear. He'd been worried when he saw her head strike a rock after being tossed by Sabretooth.
"I'm fine," Wolf dismissed the minor injury with a shrug. "You aren't the only one who heals quickly, furball," she reminded him with a teasing grin.
Spike was looking between the two in undisguised curiosity.
"You a demon?" he asked Logan, deciding to go for the easiest answer first.
"Nope, mutant. Vampire?" Logan returned amiably, seeming not the least bit surprised.
"Yup," Spike grinned, his brow ridges disappearing. "Guess you know what Wolf is, seeing as you two already know each other?" He left the question of how implied.
Logan chuckled, nodded in confirmation, and watched the approaching werewolf with blatant admiration. He did not, however, provide Spike with the information the vampire wanted to know.
Putting the lost kill behind her for the moment, Wolf let an inviting smile spread over her face and stepped between the boys. She wrapped a furred arm around each of their elbows and upped her pheromones the tiniest bit. Not enough to influence them, but enough to let their heightened senses of smell detect her interest.
They responded by stepping closer, sensual grins lighting their own faces.
Moving off into the forest, sandwiched between two delectable males with the hope of more carnal fun to come, Wolf smiled in satisfaction.
The night might have taken an unpleasant turn for awhile, she thought, glancing at Wolverine from the corner of one eye and Spike from the other. But she didn't anticipate she'd be regretting it by morning.
Not in the least.