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These Ol' Bones


Project Paranormal

Author: Smiling_n_Michigan

Season 3

Part 21




Summary: Just when you think you've seen it all... Buffy and Giles head off to Lincolnshire to investigate some interesting bones. What about Angel you ask? He stayed behind. He has problems of his own. You see there's this box...





These Ol' Bones



"What exactly are you doing? You've been sitting there for hours," Giles said, surprised to find that Buffy's eyes were still steadfastly glued to the screen in front of her.


"Ghost cam," she said, distractedly. Her gaze never wavered from the flickering computer monitor.


"Ghost cam?"


"Shh! Listen."


No sooner had she spoken when a loud shriek emitted from the speakers, making Giles jump.  "What in heaven's name?"


"I was done anyway. Eye strain." She started laughing, and with a few quick clicks of the mouse, she shut down the computer. "Pretty neat, huh?" she said as she stood up, smoothing her short-sleeved shirt as she did so.


Her lightly sun-bronzed skin contrasted nicely against the white blouse she wore, but she never seemed to be as tan as she had been while living in California. Why tanned skin equated to beauty and health remained a mystery to Giles since the sun's rays were anything but kind to a person, but still one couldn't argue with how alive it could make one look. The London winter was not and never would be one of Buffy's favorite times and thankfully that was well behind them.  The current weather in Westbury was so warm and sunny that the previous month had been referred to as Flaming June. July was turning out to be even hotter. Sometimes Giles regretted never returning to the California weather and sunshine that she was used to and he supposed those days of going to the beach with her friends were long gone. He wasn't really a beach person per se and Angel never would be.


"It said ‘Watch and you just might see a ghost. Listen and you just might hear one,'" she continued.


"I'm sorry?"  He hadn't realized she was still talking and he was silently admonishing himself for going off on such a mental tangent.


"Ghosts.  Seeing ‘em. Hearing ‘em?"


"You don't get enough of that in real life that you need to find it on the computer?"


She shrugged.  "I was bored. Angel's sleeping." Tipping her head toward the computer she added, "And I think it's fake.  Since when do ghosts show up just because you want them to?"


"Not often," he said, fostering a smile. "Well, then, it's a good thing you're not going to be bored much longer."


"I'm not going to be bored?" she asked, shaking her head from side to side slowly as though she were trying to figure out what he was going to say it before he actually said it.


"How does a trip to Dogdyke sound to you?"


"Dog who?"


"Lincolnshire, actually. Apparently something odd has come up and is wreaking some havoc."


"What kind of odd?"


"The furry kind."




"Angel? Do you have a moment?"


Buffy had gone to bed quite a bit earlier, and Giles was grateful to find the vampire still up and about. 


"What's up?"  Angel asked, shifting his gaze toward the former watcher. He had been looking out the kitchen window, sipping from a cup when Giles came into the room.


"There's a favor I need to ask of you."


"Okay..." His brow arched in question.


"Buffy and I will be heading out for Lincolnshire tomorrow morning, early. I was wondering if you would mind staying behind."


"Why would I do that?" he asked as he rinsed out his cup and placed it gently in the sink.


"The Morrises."  Giles knew that was all that would need to be said.


"Still haven't found a buyer?"


Giles shook his head and leaned on the counter next to Angel. "Not one. And I'm afraid I've exhausted all of my sources. Might you be able to help with that?"


"I can try," Angel said. "There are a few places that come to mind."


Giles heaved a sigh of relief. "Thank you.  I don't want to lose track of the artifact until I know what it is and what exactly it does, if anything. At least this way we won't."


"I haven't found anyone yet," Angel reminded him.


"I have the utmost faith in you."




"Maybe you could've found a buyer here," Buffy suggested, still not happy that Angel had stayed behind. "It could happen."


"Highly unlikely," Giles said. "But perhaps we'll quickly find our furry friend in Dogdyke and then be on our way back in no time."


She rolled her eyes.  There was a joke in there someplace: Dogdyke and furry, but after spending several mind-numbing hours in the SUV, it wasn't coming to her anytime soon. And since she and Giles weren't going to meet Goofy or Pluto, Cujo maybe, didn't help.


"Okay, so what makes this wolf different from the others?" she asked.


"Well, you know that a werewolf is a person who changes into a wolf-like creature when the moon is full."


A mental picture of Oz quickly led to Veruca, and then a teary-eyed Willow. Memories like these would jump into her brain once in a while with no warning and she hated it when that happened. So she did what she usually did. She pushed them away and focused on something else. This time it was what Giles was saying.


"It has been thought, but not proven, that another type of wolf exists. A wolf which is said to be a large, unidentified species, having no tail and whose body is usually quite long - often more than seven feet in length - and the animal carries out most of its hunting at night when the moon is full."


"It doesn't sound that much different," she agreed. "Aside from being taller. And tailless."


"I'm afraid from witness accounts that this wolf-like creature has been spotted on nights that the moon wasn't full, so that makes whatever it is remarkably different."


"What not a surprise." She cracked the car window, letting some fresh air inside the stuffy vehicle. It didn't help much since the air outside was even stuffier. She rolled the window back up. "So you're telling me that most likely we have a werewolf that really isn't a werewolf.  We have something that doesn't need the full moon to go all fur-faced?"






Angel slammed the phone down in its cradle, disgusted. He couldn't find anyone interested in their find.   The fact that it sounded familiar to no one didn't help. And to make matters worse, Andy Morris had left numerous telephone messages for Giles and no one had returned his calls yet.


The phone hadn't been in its cradle more than a moment when it rang again. Where was Harmony when you needed her?


After the third ring, he answered it. "Project Paranormal... Yes, Mr. Morris... He's out of town... Is there something I can...? Odd? What do you mean by odd...? Can you speak up...? I'm having a hard time hearing you over the dog... Hello? Hello?"


The line went dead.  He glanced out the window, the sun still high in the sky. He cursed his vampirism not for the first time, and definitely not for the last.


What bothered him the most? It wasn't just the dog he had heard.




The story is one of transformation and it was told by a young man who lived in Langrick Fen, not far from Dogdyke. He was an ardent archaeologist and one day while digging in the peat, discovered some ancient remains. Among them was what looked like a human skeleton with a wolf's head. Carrying the object into his cottage, he placed it on a table and examined it carefully. But he could make nothing of it and concluded that it must have been some monstrosity, such as showmen bring out at fairs to excite the interest of the crowd.


That night, however, he found himself unable to sleep, and fancying he heard a noise in the back premises, got up to investigate. Suddenly he heard a sharp rat-tat on the window pane and looking round perceived a dark shape looking at him. This speedily resolved itself into the form of a human being with a wolf's head. Every feature was distinctly marked and there was no possibility of reflection, since no light was visible anywhere.


As the young man stood transfixed with horror, the creature gave a snarl of savage exultation and raised its arm to dash in the glass, whereupon the young man recovered the power of movement and fled into the kitchen. A crash sounded behind him and he wasted no time in locking and barring the door, and erecting a barricade of furniture against it. There he waited all night in a cold sweat, while the stealthy pad-pad of feet sounded without. At last the first streaks of dawn told him that his long vigil was over, and as the light grew stronger he ventured to unbar and open the door.


Nothing was visible of the ghostly visitor, but the table, whereon he had placed the skeleton, was overturned and the window of the room was shivered into fragments. Hastily collecting the remains of the uncanny being, which lay scattered all over the floor, he buried them again in the same place where he had found them, and covered them over with several layers of peat. Nor was he again disturbed, though for many years afterwards he would describe with vivid gesture his peculiar adventure with the supernatural.


After rereading the summary she had printed off the Internet Buffy studied the shack in front of her. It wasn't anything to write home about, and if she didn't know better she would've thought it had long been abandoned. 


"Doesn't look like much, does it?" Giles asked, shielding the sun from his eyes with his hand.  Someone had forgotten their sunglasses, and it hadn't been her. "I've been told it's quite nice on the inside."


"If what you said is true..."


"That it's quite nice on the inside?" he asked.


She waved the paper she had been reading in front of his face and then shoved it into the front pocket of her shorts. "No."


He cleared his throat. "Oh, sorry. I was just recounting what I was told and how the legend reads," he said. 


"The exact same thing didn't happen here, though," she said, glancing at him out of the corner of her eye. He had told her she wouldn't be bored, and so far she wasn't, but she was getting as close as a slayer could.


"Not exactly," he said, lowering his hand and looking at her. "They deny digging up any bones. They insisted that the bones were left for them by unknown individuals and they still have some of them."


"The bones?"  After he nodded, she continued, "I'm confused. Are we here to investigate a legend or to find whoever's messing with our client?"


"A little bit of both."


"So what do we do first?"


He produced a map and handed it to her. "Supposedly this is where the bones were originally found."


She nodded her head, understanding what their first step would be. "We need to see if they're still there."






Waiting for sunset was not an option. Morris had sounded more than a little crazed, as Buffy would've said, and if anything happened while Angel waited, he would feel horrible.


There wasn't much good to say about Wolfram and Hart, but he could use some of that necrotempered glass about now.


Donning a hooded sweatshirt, long jacket, gloves, and sunglasses, he rushed out of the main house and into the garage. He might not need the ensemble now, but there was no telling what could happen when he was out on the road. A flat tire in the sunshine could be the death of him.


And if he played his cards right, there would be minimal smoking.




"Allow me," Giles said, reaching for the shovel.   Buffy had been adamant about digging the hole herself, something about pent-up something or another, but enough was enough. She was getting annoyed and her snappy comebacks were beginning to include a lot more profanity than they had previously. "Buffy please." Besides, he was tired of standing around doing nothing but perspire.


She relented, heaving a hefty sigh first. "Fine.  Here."


They had only brought one shovel with them. It had been an oversight and not in any way intentional, but now only one of them could dig at any given time and now was Giles's time.


"I didn't think the bones were supposed to be buried so far down," she said.


He stopped digging, rubbed the sweat from his brow for the umpteenth time, and then studied the hole.  He hadn't expected the ground to be so hard and the constant digging and breaking of the compacted soil was taking its toll. They were at least six feet deep and they hadn't found anything. "The heat could account for the dryness of the soil, but not this deep.  Maybe they were buried further down this time, or perhaps we've misread the map, or they've already been retrieved."  He began digging again, not ready to admit that his arms were starting to feel like overcooked linguini.


"Or maybe they don't exist." She extended her hand to him.  "Come on out." He didn't need to consider that twice. Once he accepted her outstretched hand, she pulled him up and out of the hole with one tug. "Well, if you think about it, the dirt was packed pretty hard. It didn't look like anything had been dug up in a long time, if ever."


"The thought had crossed my mind," he said, wiping the moisture that had accumulated on his brow off once again. He was sporting trousers and a short sleeved shirt, but the heat was still making him perspire more than he cared to. "What does this tell us?"


She shrugged her shoulders and pushed the sunglasses off her nose and up onto her head. The motion resulted in her blonde hair being swept away from her face, showcasing the sweat that glistened on her cheeks and a little smudge of dirt that was on the tip of her nose. "When are we supposed to meet with this guy?" she asked.


"Um," he began, almost wiping the dirt off her face himself, but he held back at the last moment, the gesture feeling out of place. Pointing instead, he continued, "You have dirt on your nose."


She rolled her eyes, and then wiped it off. "Thanks."


He then consulted his watch. "Not until later this evening."


"I guess that's good.  It'll give us time to figure out what the hell is going on."


"Where to then?" he asked.


"Back to the love shack."




Angel called and left a message for Giles. It was good to be moving, but he needed to pace his arrival to the Morris's. Too early and there would be too much explaining to do about the way he was dressed in the record heat. Thankfully, he hadn't needed to make any stops and the wardrobe he had chosen had been for nothing.


He pulled onto their street just as the sun was setting. He took off his additional layers of clothing before getting out of the car. He hadn't even made it halfway up the walk when his ears were assaulted by a high-pitched screeching sound and the sound of the Morris's dog howling.   It was what he had heard on the telephone, but now it was up close and personal.


There was no doubt about it. With his vampire hearing he wouldn't last two minutes in that house without his eardrums bursting.




Maybe she was having an attitude due to the circumstances of the current case.  Point one: their client was cheating on his wife. Point two: he brought his mistress to an old shack to fool around so they wouldn't get caught by said wife or anyone they knew. He even made his lover drive herself to their rendezvous. Point three... Okay, there really wasn't a point three, but it would've sounded way more convincing if there had been.


Well, at least the girlfriend wouldn't be coming back anytime soon. One look at the An American Werewolf in London castoff had sent her packing for good. Let's just hope she kept on running from the loser - the cheating husband - not the werewolf.


In the end, Giles had met with their client, Mr. Huntington, in the cabin himself and Buffy had made herself scarce, looking for clues in the surrounding area. She didn't find anything remotely clue-y, not that she was really looking. It was just an excuse to be anywhere besides where they were. She had timed it pretty well, though, she came up the drive at the same moment that Mr. Huntington was driving down it. She ignored the gleam in his dark eyes and the way his eyes roamed over her body. It kind of gave her the wiggins. He was a cheater. He was old.  And he was married!


She could admit she was in a mood. Maybe she was PMSing or something. Or maybe she was missing Angel. Maybe she was sick of being hot. Or maybe she needed a true vacation. There were just too many maybes in the current scenario.


From the outside, plain had described the cabin perfectly, but once she had walked in, the description didn't seem to hold much water. Hold much water? What did that even mean?


She was really ticked to see that it was actually quite cozy on the inside. Where was Angel when she needed him? She wondered if Giles had been as surprised when he had seen it for the first time. Giles, who at the moment was outside looking around on his own. The reasoning of the night and day difference between the outside and the inside was pretty obvious: the owner spent way more time on the inside than he did on the outside. Pig.


She hated to admit it, but the cabin held a lot of charm. The combination living room and dining room shared a stone fireplace. There was one bedroom that contained a huge bed with a white down comforter, which would be absolute torture this time of year, a bathroom with a tub and shower combination, and a fully equipped kitchen. There were also gas lights, a woodstove for heating, and a gas stove for cooking - so Giles had informed her when she had yelled to him out the window.  Too bad there wasn't any air conditioning. She was very warm, even in her light green shorts, white halter top, and sandals, and the cabin was extremely stuffy. If she was going to stay inside for much longer, she was going to open a window or stick her head in the freezer.


She wandered out the back door and tumbled out onto a porch, which she hadn't noticed when they had looked at it for the first time. It sported a wooden swing and two wooden rocking chairs. The cottage itself was located on a small knoll overlooking a stream. She willed a breeze and when none came, she sighed and went back inside.


Her overall opinion?  Nothing was broken and from what she could tell, nothing was out of place. The clincher? Her slayer sense wasn't exactly screaming ‘supernatural activities abound'.


"You're right.  There's not much outside," Giles said, walking through the front door. "I didn't even find any tracks." He knocked the mud off his boots before venturing any further inside.  "The ground is relatively hard here as well. The only place we might have found any tracks would've been near the stream."


"There weren't any there?"


"It appears that it's a favored watering hole for every wild creature in the vicinity. I wasn't able to tell one set of tracks from another I'm afraid." He stood at her side, looking around. "Thankfully, this is quite a bit nicer than I first suspected."


She turned her head and stared at him. He was avoiding her gaze, and his jaw was twitching. There was something that he wasn't telling her. She was looking forward to getting out of there, going to the nearest inn, soaking in a cool tub and calling Angel. In that order.


"What?" she asked.


"Were you perhaps wondering why we hadn't found a place to stay prior to coming back out here?" he asked, still not making eye contact - which was probably a good thing because she suspected she was now glaring.


"What?" she repeated.


"The couch is a hideaway. It pulls out into a nice full-sized bed, so I'm told. The bedroom is sporting a nice king-sized bed that should be quite comfortable."  He looked at her and smiled. "It made the most sense to stay here. I know how you feel about Mr. Huntington and therefore this place, but I think it would be in our best interest. We'll be here if something happens this evening."


How could she argue with him? It did make perfect sense. There was no denying logic. Stupid logic. "I'll get our bags."




Angel knocked on the Morris's door.


Andy Morris opened it looking more than a little rattled. "You're here. Thank God.  Come in. Come in."


"Can you come out for a minute?" Angel was met with resistance, so he added, "You could use the break."


"But my wife?"


"It'll only take a minute."


Once Andy had joined him on the sidewalk, Angel asked, "What's going on? Exactly."


"I was hoping you could tell me."




The refrigerator was well-stocked and Buffy and Giles had made a pretty decent supper for themselves. Giles had even busied himself with doing the dishes.  


"Buffy, why is your head in the freezer?"


She jumped back guiltily.  "No! What? Huh?"  She had planned on looking for some ice cream or something, but the cold air had been far too appealing.


"I thought it was your solution for the lack of air conditioning."


Sometimes it sucked when people knew you so well.


"It's not too bad in here now," she said. The sun had set a little before they had finished eating and he had found some oscillating fans in one of the closets, and with the front and rear windows open there was a steady breeze that cooled them off nicely.


"Have you called Angel?" he asked.


She suspected that was yet another reason why she was cranky-slayer-girl. She hadn't been able to get a signal on her cell phone since they had gotten to the cabin. "No."


"I tried and didn't have much luck myself. The signal came and went, but didn't stay long enough. I do have a message from him indicating that he would like me to call, but I haven't been able to reach him as of yet."


"What now?"


"I have absolutely no idea."


They hadn't really discussed the case since the drive in. Their time had been divided between the place where the majority of the bones were supposed to be - and weren't - and making the cabin acceptable to sleep in.  Buffy had insisted on changing the sheets on the bed she was supposed to sleep in, and it had taken her and Giles almost a half an hour to find clean sheets.


"We haven't found any additional bones besides the three that were left here for us,"  Giles said as he helped himself to some tea.


She couldn't help it. Whenever he said ‘bones', she'd think of the TV show with the same name.  She wasn't sure what drew her to it, but she never missed an episode. Too bad it was on hiatus for the summer.


Giles continued, "And with no tracks to, well, um, track..."


They had nothing.




Buffy had drifted to sleep reading an old magazine she had found, but something had awoken her.  As she sat up in bed, it rolled off her stomach and onto the floor. It had been some fishing magazine. No wonder she had fallen asleep.


She had decided to leave the window cracked. There was no screen, but it was either unwanted guests of the buggy variety or no fresh air. She didn't want to use a fan.  The wheezing and rattling of the old thing would've drowned out any sounds in the night and she wasn't willing to take that chance.


Her slayer sense tingled and then she stilled her breathing and listened. There it was again. There was no mistaking the low growl.


She pulled the sheet off and jumped from the bed. Pushing aside the curtain, she was greeted with her own reflection. The lamp was still on, thanks to her foray into the Top Ten Ways to Catch the Big One.


"Damn it." She turned off the lamp and then rushed back to the window again, but she still couldn't see anything in the darkness. The growl came again, louder and more menacing this time.


"Where's a full moon when you need one?" she grumbled, the irony not lost on her.


She wasn't exactly dressed for going out in the middle of the night, but she had no choice. She put on the sandals that she had worn earlier, and threw a sweater on over her tank top and a pair of Angel's boxer shorts that she had snagged for the trip.


Once she reached the end of the hallway, she could hear Giles snoring softly on the couch.  She stood still, mentally debating on whether or not she should wake him. Knowing it would be quicker if she went alone, she passed through the living room and into the kitchen, grabbing her weapons bag on the way.


The three bones they had in their possession caught her attention, so she grabbed them too.  She couldn't tell a femur from a tubula from a funny bone, but maybe they'd come in handy. If she couldn't find the creature, maybe the creature would find her.


She tossed them into her bag and then zipped the gray duffel shut. After a quick glance around, she crept out the back door, closing it softly behind her, and was greeted by the cave-like darkness of the night.




Where in the hell was Giles? Angel had left more messages than he could count on Giles's cell phone and then he had even tried Buffy's.  Neither one was answering. And he needed help.


And now that he was sitting in his Porsche with a growling dog in the passenger seat wasn't helping matters either.




She hadn't gotten far from the cabin when all had gone dead quiet.


The stillness was freaking Buffy out more than anything else. There were no insect sounds. No wind. Nothing.  Her surroundings were beginning to remind her of a really bad horror movie - where the blonde girl is running in fear for her life, and then trips over an invisible twig, where she falls and can't get back up, so she can then conveniently get eviscerated for her effort from an unstoppable big bad wearing a mask or a really ugly sweater - didn't help. .


The growling had grown more distant and before fading all together. When the moon finally made an appearance, not quite full, she found it was bright enough that she didn't need her flashlight anymore.


"Here doggy, doggy," she whispered. "Want a Buffy flavored Milk Bone?"


She squinted but didn't see anything except flat land and some trees that lay before her, and then something moved just out of her line of sight.


A dark shape rushed at her from the confines of one of the few trees and she was pushed back with such force that the air was knocked from her lungs. Her backward momentum was stopped when she hit the ground.  One minute she was airborne, and the next she was on her butt, and her back hurt like a son of a bitch..


"Ow!" she said, struggling to her feet.


Giles's description had been dead on. Standing before her was a carpet of an animal. Its pelt black in the darkness, its eyes glowing red, and she wasn't sure about the tail or lack thereof, because the beastie was headed in her direction yet again. It was moving a little more purposefully this time. With her luck it was probably sizing her up, not wanting to fail in its second attack of her.


"This was such a good idea." There was nothing like fighting the unknown alone at night wearing your boyfriend's boxer shorts.


She groped for the stake she'd stashed in her waistband, but came up empty. She must have dropped it during her flying routine, and in the way her bag was now hanging around her neck, there was no quick way into it. She couldn't reach the zipper. Nothing like a little hand-to-hand to make your night.


"Come on, you walking carpet," she said, moving into the battle stance that was second nature to her now. And then for some reason she didn't want to think about, Andrew's voice entered her thoughts.


Princess Leia's referencing Chewbacca as a walking carpet was classic, Xander... Well, yeah, carpets don't actually walk, unless you're Chewbacca and you're in Princess Leia's way... That only goes to show just how much the original trilogy was so much better than that the later trilogy, which were actually the prequels to the originals.  It sounds very confusing, but it makes perfect sense.


She had spent way too much time listening to him and Xander argue about Star Wars and her unwanted thoughts further proved her point.


The carpet growled, and all thoughts of Andrew and Xander's debate quickly dissolved.




The shrilling phone woke him. Stumbling across the living room Giles grabbed his cell off the table where he had left it.


"Hello?" he said, and then lowered his voice. He didn't want to take the chance of waking Buffy. "Angel? I can barely... What? Good lord... I don't... Are you sure? Very well."  He needed to think fast. "Go back to the house. In my study there's a lead box on the floor near the bookcase...  Exactly. Put it in there. You're taking the dog with you...? I can't... Angel? Hello?" 


The connection was lost.


Giles tried calling him back to no avail. There was no signal to be found. And not for the first time, he wished he could be in two places at once.




Buffy wasn't sure what the beast was going to rip off first: her bag or her head. It kept yanking on the bag which in turn put pressure on her neck. There was no doubt that she'd be bruised in the morning, but in order to be bruised she'd need to be of the breathing variety. She bent her knees and with one big heave, gripped the furry forearms even tighter, which in turn loosened the pressure around her neck briefly, and then she tried to throw the animal over her shoulder.


Regardless of her strength, the height difference proved to be too much, and the petite slayer's plan failed miserably. And now she was being dragged backwards by the strap of her bag that was wrapped even tighter around her neck. If she could've loosened the stupid thing permanently, she would've, but she couldn't, and she knew she didn't have much more time. Stars of the non-nighttime variety flashed in her mind and then panic seized her; a small thread that started in the pit of her stomach, and traveled outward to every corner of her body in record speed. If she passed out, she was dead.


She didn't know what to do and inwardly blamed the lack of oxygen. Yeah, Buffy - go out alone. Great plan. It ranked up there right alongside all the other dumb plans she'd had in her tenure as slayer. Okay, it might not rank up there with The Master, Willow going all veiny on her ass, or roaming around Sunnydale invisible and enjoying it, but it was close.


If she could just get free from one of its arms with her head still intact, she might have a fighting chance. Literally.  She tried to duck and squirm her way loose, to no avail. It only seemed to anger the beast more. Her attacker emitted a deep chest growl that was louder than anything she ever heard this close.


Her scream died in her air-deprived throat when the beast latched itself onto her shoulder and sunk its teeth into her as far as the bone.


Pushing the pain away, she took a deep breath and lowered her head, chomping down on one of the arms still holding her. It was probably the worst tasting thing she had ever had in her mouth, Dracula's blood notwithstanding.


With a guttural howl, the beast let her go, shoving her away. Buffy tripped and landed on her stomach. Hard. Once again, her breath was forced from her lungs.


Well, if it wanted to play dirty, she could play along with that. She jumped to her feet and spun around in a circle, looking for it. 


She was alone.


She dumped the bag on the ground and touched her neck tenderly. Definitely no doubt about it, she was going to be bruised badly in the morning. Moving her hand down, she grazed the shoulder where she had been bitten. She let out a long sigh.


Doing a quick recon of the area, she didn't find any evidence that the animal was still there.  It had disappeared almost as quickly as it had appeared, but it had left something behind.


Bones. There were quite a few of them scattered about the path. She edged closer, poked at them with her foot, and then she quickly added them to her bag.


Giles was so not going to be happy with her.


Stupid bones.




"It's a tibia," Giles said, taking the bone that she was holding. "Not a tubula."


"Po-tay-to, po-tat-to," Buffy said. 


When she had gotten back to the cabin, he had still been asleep, so she had gone back to her room and had cleaned and bandaged her wound as best as she could. She had put on a clean sweatshirt, hidden the bloodied one at the bottom of her suitcase, and then zipped her new sweatshirt all the way up to her chin. If he saw her neck, he'd want to look at it to make sure she was okay. If he saw that, he would see the bandage that was protruding out from under her tank top. 


If he'd noticed her change in outerwear, he didn't mention it. The main problem was that she didn't know how to tell him, so she didn't. If she woke up needing a hefty shave at the next full moon, he'd figure it out on his own. Where was a good set of enchanted manacles when you needed them?


"There is a mixture of bones here." He was in the process of assembling them the best he could. "The head is a definite animal, most likely canis lupus--"




"Wolf. But I can't be sure about the rest," he said, pushing his glasses up his nose and leaning even closer to the tibia. She smiled. At least she knew what it was called now. "If it is part man, there are a few bones missing." He looked up at her. "This is not a complete skeleton."


"What parts are we missing?"


"Let's see."  He began to move the bones into a more discernable pattern. "The other tibia, a femur, and one phalange - finger."


"Okay, so we're not on a wild goose chase," she said. "Or a wild wolf chase for that matter." He eyed her over the rim of his glasses. "Fine." She heaved a sigh and sat down on the kitchen chair. "So, it's kind of a werewolf, unlike anything I've seen."


"Who wants these bones."


"Whose bones are they? We think they're his bones... or her bones. Its bones.  But if it gets them back and reburies them, it goes poof into the night for good - or until someone digs it up again - if it finds the ones that are missing. Why does it want to do that?" she asked. "And we're assuming that these are its bones. Maybe they're somebody else's and it just wants them for some reason." The bite on her shoulder was starting to itch due to her slayer healing kicking in, but she refused to scratch it. It still hurt down to the bone and she doubted she'd be able to keep the pain from her face. "Too bad I don't speak growl."  She yawned, deep and long.


He glanced at the clock that hung on the kitchen wall. "It's a few hours before dawn. Why don't you get some rest and then we can talk about this later with clearer heads." He smiled.  "Perhaps I'll even prepare breakfast for us both. The kitchen is amazingly well stocked."


Sounded good to her.  "Sounds good to me," she said, standing. "I'm going to try Angel.  He should still be awake being a night owl and all." Giles had finally talked to Angel and now it was her turn to try. 


He patted her shoulder and she flinched. "What is it? What happened?" he asked.


"Just a scrape."




"Kind of happens when you get tossed around like a rag doll."


The concern in his eyes added to her guilt about keeping the truth from him, but the truth would make him, and thus her, feel a lot worse.


"It's already healing," she said, as she turned and walked out of the kitchen. "I'm sure by the time I wake up it'll be as good as new."




Buffy tossed and turned, not doing anything that resembled sleeping, but then again she must've slept somewhat because she kept having dreams of the wolf variety: howling, running through the woods, stalking prey, mating. Everything was very predatory and violent in nature. It was probably the closest she'd ever be to knowing what it felt like to be a vampire on the hunt.


This was so not good, she thought as she woke up and winced when she rolled over onto her hurt shoulder. Slayer healing or not, it still hurt and in the heat of the day there was no way to keep the bandage from Giles.


Heaving a sigh, she pushed back the sheet for the second time in less than four hours, grabbed a clean set of clothes and headed for the shower.


The shower setting she opted for was cooler than normal. The heat was already becoming oppressive in the relatively airtight and windowless room. She made sure to keep her injury out of the water as best she could, and she had some success, but the gauze was still damp when she had finished, so she'd need to redress the wound.


Wiping the condensation from the mirror, she turned and studied her back and shoulder. The bite was a lot longer than she originally had thought it was. The jagged marks of the incisors were inflamed and ran down her collar bone.  She could follow the line of teeth all the way over her shoulder and down to her shoulder blade. There was no way she could tend to the wound on her own.  She could barely reach all of it the first time.


And now she could honestly say that a werewolf bite hurt way more than a vampire's. What she'd do with the knowledge? She had no idea.


She had to tell Giles what had happened. She just wished she could've gotten a hold of Angel before she had fallen into her troubled sleep. It would've been nice to hear his voice. He had a way of settling her, and right now she needed major settling.  But if she had reached him, she'd need to tell him why she required settling. And telling Angel over the phone would've been way worse than telling Giles in person.


Sometimes life just sucked.


Having only packed halter tops, tanks tops, and shorts due to the heat, she didn't have a lot of clothes to pick from, so it didn't take her long to get dressed. She knocked the debris off her sandals and slipped them onto her feet. After she was dressed, she grabbed the first aid bag and headed to the kitchen. She was halfway down the hallway when she smelled coffee. Giles had made her coffee.  Tea was good, but sometimes coffee was way better.


"Hey," she said, stepping into the room.


"Good morning, Buffy." He was busily buttering toast, and hadn't turned toward her yet. "I heard you in the shower and thought it would be the perfect time to start breakfast." The kitchen door stood wide open, as well as the windows, and he had two fans going.  All in all, the room was pretty cool.


With his back toward her, she'd a momentary reprieve, but that was all it was. Momentary.


"I hope you're hungry," he continued as he turned around. She watched as the look of pure contentment left his face and worry took over.  His eyes were riveted to the bag she held in her hand. "I knew..." He sighed deeply. "What happened?"


She handed the bag to him and then turned around. "I kinda got bit."


"Good lord," he said, taking the bag. "Come over here and sit down." He turned a kitchen chair around and she straddled it. "Move your hair to the side so I can get a better look."


She complied and winced when she felt him tenderly touch the area around the bite, moving the spaghetti strap of her tank to the side to get a better look.


"It appears to be healing. Is it still tender?" he asked and she nodded. He began to gingerly apply ointment. "It looks like it went through to the bone." She nodded again. "Maybe it'd be best if we postponed this case and I took you to hospital. We need to ensure that there's nothing broken and that there's no infection festering below the surface." He applied a new bandage gently.


She pulled her strap back up and turned around to face him. "It'll be fine. Physically anyway."


By the look on his face, he knew what she was insinuating. He ran his palm up and over his head. "We'll need to find this thing and determine if it is indeed a werewolf or a variation thereof. If it's another animal that resembles a werewolf--"


"Then you don't need to worry about documenting the world's first werewolf slaying werewolf slayer."


"Um, yes."


"So where do we find it?"


Giles nodded in the direction of the bones that he had pushed to the side of the table. "I'm pretty sure it'll find us."


"Giles, if it's a werewolf and I have to kill it..."


"There's no proof that killing it would break the bloodline--"


"Not what I meant."


"Then what?"


"There's a person under the outerwear."


She had never killed a human being before and she wasn't about to start now. That's when memories of Faith came-a-calling.




"Here doggy, doggy." 


Angel was trying to coax the canine out of his car to no avail. When the keening of the animal had lessoned once outside, Andy and Sharon had visibly relaxed. They didn't realize how lucky they were that they couldn't hear the noise that was putting Angel and Sherry, the Jack Russell terrier, over the edge. But once he had promised to do some research and come back the next night with their beloved dog in tow, they agreed.  Angel knew they'd never admit their relief at the dog's departure.


"Oh, dog." He made a kissing sound. "Come here, Sherry."


"Woof-woof-woof.  GRRRRR," was her response.


He didn't have time for this. There were things he needed to do. Not having any choice, he grabbed the dog, who yelped, and then Angel ran them both into the house.


"What on earth?" Martha said, coming down the hall. "I thought I heard - Is that a dog?"


Angel smiled weakly.  "Got any kibble?"




The plan itself wasn't anything fancy: right place, right time, right weapons. They waited until just before dark and then Buffy and Giles headed back out to where Buffy had found Cousin It and the incomplete skeleton.


"It came from there," she whispered as she pointed to a cluster of trees. "But that doesn't mean much." She looked up at the sky. The last of the sun's rays just peeked over the horizon and when it was gone the majority of the day's heat would go with it. For that she was beyond grateful.


"Let's set this up quickly then," Giles said, following her gaze. "There isn't much time."


Once he had scattered the bones, Buffy handed him the tranquilizer gun she had been holding.


"The scattering is a good idea," she confessed. With the bones not in one location it would take the beastie boy more time to gather them all, thus giving her and Giles an opportunity to send it to slumberville, and then they could figure out what the hell it was.


Once Giles gave his okay, they headed a little farther down away from the bones, in the direction of the cabin. It was a guess which way the confrontation would come, but since Buffy hadn't felt as though she had been followed the previous night, they were going with the assumption that the wolf-like creature had come from somewhere ahead of them.


"I'm sorry," she whispered once they had positioned themselves. "I shouldn't have gone out alone. If you'd been with me..."


She caught the traces of a smile on his lips. "Old habits and all," he finally said. "Buffy, you are The Slayer and typically that would be enough. You would be enough, but occasionally..."


Yeah, it had been the occasionally that had snuck up and bit her on the ass, in a matter of speaking, only higher.


"The whole team thing," she said. "I get it and I guess I ignored it. I really didn't think it'd be that big of a deal. It was one stupid werewolf."


"I try not to question you, Buffy. You are the oldest living slayer ever recorded. You have seen and done more than any before you."


"Not like there'll be any after me." It was out of her mouth before she could stop it, and by the look on Giles's face she wished she had never said it. "We probably should stop talking now. Don't want to scare it off."


He simply nodded and said nothing.


She wasn't sure how long they waited. It couldn't have been too long since she could still feel her butt cheeks, and she hadn't shifted once. A shuffling noise came from somewhere in front of them. Hunkered down on its haunches, the wolf sniffed the air and then ambled toward them. It paused where each bone was located, and after what Buffy could only figure was a reaffirming sniff, it picked them up. It continued these movements until it had reached the last bone.


Buffy didn't need to instruct Giles. She watched as he slowly and quietly lifted the gun and pulled the trigger.  The dart whizzed through the air and landed in the wolf's neck. Talk about karma. When it started howling, Giles reared back and then sent another dart flying. It took four of them before the creature lay motionless.


She wouldn't have been surprised if it had been snoring.


"Remarkable," Giles said, nudging the animal with his boot. "And there is no tail." She had noticed that little detail this time. That led to hope that it might not truly be a traditional werewolf.  And it not being a traditional werewolf would help with more situations than one. "You have the rope?"


She handed him the extra heavy duty version they had brought for just such an occasion.  There was only one way to determine if this were a werewolf. They needed to keep the creature bound until morning and see what came up.




"We'll know soon enough, Buffy," Giles said. "Why don't you sit down?" She had been pacing for most of the night, not that he could blame her, but now it was starting to exhaust him. "We have at least another fifteen minutes before dawn. You should really conserve your strength." His earlier suggestion of her going to her room and resting had been met with a firm resolve and a slayer glare that would've pretty much frozen anyone in their tracks, so he had decided not to push the matter.


Cujo, as she was now referring to the creature, was bound, from head-to-toe, to one of the porch's columns. It hadn't moved since being tranquilized a couple more times after its initial capture for safe measure.


He tried to keep his thoughts focused. If he dwelled too long on the ramifications that Buffy could transform into a werewolf he'd get a splitting headache. They'd work around it. Of course they would. Angel would know of something strong enough to keep her restrained during the werewolf cycle. And it definitely wouldn't make Angel love her any less. They had dealt with a lot as a team, and they would deal with this if they had to as well.


Sunrise was just over the horizon. Although the trees behind the cabin blocked most of the rays there was no doubt.  Giles released a breath he didn't even realize he had been holding. It was no longer night and there was still a creature tied to the porch. Not a man after all, but a beast.


"Thank God," Buffy said as she stopped pacing and moved closer to their guest. "I can kill it now, right?"


"Typically my reply would be an emphatic ‘yes'.


"There's a big but on the end of that isn't there?" she asked as she continued to study the creature.


"It has been summoned. We have a good idea on how to dispatch with the thing, but what good will that do if the person that called upon it hasn't been identified? And we don't know where the second burial site is--"


A plan immediately formed in her mind.  "Giles, you are just so smart sometimes."




They were taking a chance, but it was the only thing left to do. Giles had finally gotten a signal on his cell and had called Mr. Huntington, who hadn't been able to supply Giles any additional information in the brief conversation.


"All of them?" Buffy asked as she took the bones out of her duffel bag and laid them at the still-unconscious Cujo's feet. Giles nodded his agreement. The three Huntington had found were added to the ones the creature had dropped.


"This is truly a brilliant idea, Buffy," Giles said. "If the legend is true, and please let it be true, it should retrieve the bones and take them back to where they were originally buried. Then it can be at rest once more."


"Maybe it already has the others," she said.


The fact that the creature had attacked her wasn't lost on either her or Giles, but she did have the bones in her bag at the time, and it wasn't like she was handing them over.


She finished dumping the last of the bones to the ground. "There."


They had kept the animal tranquilized most of the day, but sunset was fast approaching and it was now or never time.


"I'll keep the gun at the ready," Giles said, taking a step back so she could untie the ropes.


"Here goes."  She glanced at him. "You know you won't be able to keep up."


"I know, but do be careful."


"At least I'm not wearing underwear this time." And at his confused expression she stepped back and smiled. "I'll try not to get bit again," she said, waiting for Cujo to show her the way.


With glazed-over eyes, the animal glared at her and then Giles. It didn't appear to know that it was free from its bindings.  Buffy held the tranquilizer gun at the ready, and then tilted her head toward the pile of bones at its feet.  It followed her gaze, and then looked at her. She couldn't be sure, but there appeared to be a look of understanding there. She jutted her head in the direction of the bones again.  Cujo squatted down and picked up every last one of them and once they were secured in its arms, took off running.


"I'll be back," she said, as she ran after it.


"Do be careful," Giles shouted out.


She kept pace as best she could. The creature was moving so quickly its fur fluttered in the self-created breeze it created.  The only things she had brought to protect her were the tranquilizer gun and the rope. Now that the creature had what it wanted, its entire demeanor was different. She suspected it knew she was following it, the buzzing of her cell phone indicating she had a message contributing to that fact, but it didn't care. It kept on running - and of all the places to finally get a cell phone signal.


She wasn't sure how many miles they had gone when they arrived in a clearing. She hovered just outside the edge of it, still hidden in the shadows of a few trees. The creature stopped. It walked to the approximate center of the clearing, dropped the bones, fell to its knees, and began to dig. Now it truly looked like a dog. The front paws were moving so fast, Buffy could barely see them. And dirt was flying out in every direction.


Once it had placed the bones it had into the hole, it got up and moved further away. She was just about to follow when it stopped and began digging again. It didn't take long before it held more bones in its hands.


It walked back to its original hole, dropped them in, and then it stopped and looked over its shoulder. She didn't know how she knew, but it was looking right at her. She stepped from the safety of her cover and with one final look the animal pushed the rest of the bones into the hole and then covered them with dirt.  With a final howl, it disappeared into the night.




Angel didn't have a hard time finding the lead box. It was exactly where Giles had said it would be. Why Giles had it in the first place, Angel wasn't so sure he wanted to know.


The day had dragged on unbelievably long as he waited for his chance to leave again. Sherry had never totally relaxed and the dog's constant whimpering hadn't helped his mood. The only time the dog seemed to be content was when Martha fed it scraps in the kitchen. Scrap time was over.


After putting the lead box in the car, he had pulled the car around to the front door to make it easier for the dog to get into it, but she still wouldn't budge. He wouldn't let himself think too long or too hard on the fact that he was trying to make life easier for a dog.


"Come on, Sherry," he said. "Time to go home." The dog just sat at the foot of the stairs looking at him. 


Angel didn't have time for doggy shenanigans and his inner demon was screaming loudly.  Instead of helping the dog into the car, the demon in Angel wanted to grab it and snap its neck.


The dog whimpered as though sensing his thoughts.


"Come on, dog," he said in a controlled whisper.


The dog whimpered again. 


He moved to pick her up and she started growling.


His demon won and Angel felt his face shifting into his demon visage. Some habits were hard to break, and then the demon bellowed, "Get in the car!"


Sherry turned around and high-tailed it up the stairs, taking two at a time, her claws ticking on the hard floor all the way up to the top and then down the hall.


He could run an evil law firm, spend years in hell, and make demons scream out in terror, but he couldn't get a damned dog into a car. 


He trailed her and after searching for almost a half an hour, he gave up. He could hear her, but whenever he got close she'd scamper away.  He didn't question that he could catch her, he just didn't want to take the chance on hurting her in the process.  Who knew when his demon would show again uninvited?


Taking the cell from his pocket, he dialed a familiar number. "Could you come over here for a minute?" And then he sat at the top of the stairs and waited.


The dog was whimpering from one of the upstairs rooms and Angel tried not to feel guilty.  He'd never been a big fan of domesticated pets, but since Sherry belonged to a client and he had promised to return her to them safe and sound, his only option was bringing the dog back to them safe and sound.


He wasn't sure how long he waited when he heard Martha's voice call out from the kitchen.  "I'm here."


"Finally," he muttered as he ran down the stairs and met her in the kitchen.


"Where is she?" Martha asked.


"Upstairs.  I'll be in my car."


"We'll be right there."


As he tapped his fingers against the hard, leather-covered surface he wondered what was taking them so long. And then there was Martha. She had the little dog clutched in her arms.


"Only took a little strawberry scone," Martha said, placing Sherry through the window and on the seat. "I don't know why she's so skittish. She was fine earlier in the day."


Angel shrugged his shoulders. It's not like he was going to tell her. "Thank you."


"You're most welcome.  May I go home now?" she asked, eying the dog suspiciously as it started to whine again.


With a definite nod of his head, he sped off, not giving her any time to question the dog's demeanor further.


He made it to the Morris's flat in record time.


Sherry's keening grew louder when the house came into view. He grabbed the lead box and left her in the car. As long as the artifact was in the house, the dog would be even more uptight and he didn't need that on top of everything else right now.


His only current wish was for lead plugs for his ears as well. He wasn't sure how long he'd cope before the noise made him insane.  The quicker he got into the house and boxed the thing up, the better.


Andy opened the door before Angel even had the chance to ring the bell. It was hard understanding what he said with the high-pitched squealing still coming from up the stairs. It sounded even louder this time.


 "Hurry!" Andy said, as he dragged Angel inside.


"Sherry's in my--" Angel began.


"I don't care about the dog. Upstairs! Hurry!" he repeated.


Angel followed him up the stairs. "Where's Sharon?" he asked.


"She left.  Staying with friends," he said hurriedly, walking quickly down the hall. He pointed to the closed door at the end. "She couldn't take it anymore."


Angel was confused.  He knew they couldn't hear the noise coming from the box, and the dog had been with him so it wasn't her insistent whining that had contributed to Sharon's sudden departure.


"Did something happen?" Angel asked.


"It started to glow and it's shaking like mad," Andy said. "We were afraid it was going to blow up and take us with it. Just get the thing out of our house."


Angel nodded and then opened the door. The exposed artifact only intensified the ear-piercing sounds.


He gritted his teeth as the sound became beyond unbearable. He flipped the lead box's lid open and sat it on an adjacent floorboard.  Picking up the mystical box from its place in the floor, he noticed how warm it felt and that it started trembling even more when he had lifted it up into his hands. Something didn't feel right, but then something did.


Shaking the weird sensations off, he placed the artifact into the leaden box and snapped the lid shut. The humming was still there, but it was quieter and his eardrums no longer felt like they were going to explode. The odd sensation he had when he had picked up the artifact had quickly faded when he was no longer in possession of the item.


Andy sighed heavily behind him. "Thank you.  Now, if you'd be so kind to take that out of here once and for all. And by the way, keep it. We don't care. We don't need the money anyway." 


"Are you sure?" Angel asked as he stood up, lead box in hand.


"Positive."  Andy eyed the box. "Isn't that lead?"




"I thought it would've been a lot heavier than that."


"You'd think."




"It sounds as though the creature hid the bones that weren't taken," Giles said he loaded their bags into the SUV. "It appears that he was trying to keep them safe while it gathered the others. It's quite possible that we may never know for sure who summoned it, although we may suspect we know. Can you live with that?"


"It didn't hurt anyone besides me, and we kind of know why it did that," Buffy said, shrugging.  "It just wanted to rest." And how could she blame anything for wanting that?  "What did Mr. Huntington say when you finally got a hold of him?"


Giles had gone into town earlier in the day when he couldn't get a signal on his cell again.  "He indicated that his wife knew about the affair, and when he admitted his wrong doing and promised to never do it again she agreed to let him stay."


"That was easy.  Did she say anything else?"


He smiled.  "Apparently she told him if she caught him being unfaithful again, she might need to check into getting a pet for company; a tall, tailless one that fetches."


"She so did it."


Giles smiled.


Definition of werewolves taken from:



Giles explanation on the difference in werewolves taken from here


Buffy's history of the Werewolf of Dogdyke taken from:



Wolf reference site:




Bones in the human body obtained from:





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