Title: Den Mother
Rating: NC-17 (m/m slash, kinda)
Pairing: Cordelia POV, Wesley/Gunn, Cordelia/Angel implied
Improv: Improv #41 steel - false - letter - shiver
Spoiler: vague, everything before Darla returns pregnant
Disclaimer: If I owned any of it, Buffy Season 6 would be less
depressing and Wesley would wear far less clothing. *Sigh * Joss,
Mutant Enemy, assorted minions and evil corporations own it all and
I'm really not worth suing.
Author's Notes: OK, this one's different. It's Cordelia's point of
view on life in a pack of demon slayers. If for some strange reason
you want to post this, go ahead, but let me know where. Feedback is
A long time ago in a place very far away, I had once thought of
myself as a human. It wasn't so difficult really. I looked like one
and moved like them. They saw me in my human clothes and took me as
one of their own. But the pack that denned in the library kept
crossing my path. I never heard a magic word like abracadabra but
then one day I was four-legged and tailed just like them. Oh, the
rest still saw human by day and by night, but we saw each other and
knew the truth of fur and teeth. There are no mirrors for canines,
so while I could see what species they were; I had no clue as to my
They took me in because they could see what I was but I did not
understand the way of the pack and could not be socialized to their
way. The females were all wolves and there was the wise old coyote
that guided them. Be careful about coyotes. They are tricksters who
know magic and see further into the darkness than most. He taught
the little she-wolf the ways of wand and potion. He taught the other
females the way of tooth and claw. The werewolf and I never bothered
with each other, but the hyena boy and ran together for a time.
Hyenas define their loyalties in their own way, and I could never
squeeze between him and the little wolf witch. In the end, instinct
told me what I was and since there was already an alpha-bitch for
their little clan, I wandered into the woods to look for my humanity
Try as I might to wear the evening gowns and smile with lipstick, the
hope of humanity was a false one. The pull of what I did not
understand but nonetheless was becoming drew me to the hellhound and
the mutt. I knew the hellhound; he had been part of the pack once.
They had tried to take his bestial ways and domesticate him to be
merely a wolf. He had been willing to toss aside the mantle of evil,
but no amount of good intentions could change his very nature. The
strength of three humans, hackles that caused terror and overlong
teeth that made the world to shake and shiver, it was apparent that
he was beyond the realm of nature. And so the hellhound became a
dire wolf but this was not good enough for the pack.
The mutt was my undoing. He padded behind me as was proper and
lowered his tail in my presence. My growls never stopped him from
sniffing at my haunches. He offered me devotion and admiration and I
returned indifference and derision. None of that detracted him as
he burrowed me a proper den. Oh, he had his failings, he was a dog
that stole from the butcher and tunneled under the farmer's fence.
That perfect den he made for me had an alpha-female that I needed to
fight for supremacy. After the battle my territory was defined and
that's when I adopted my first stray.
The stray was lame and had never been loosed from the chains of his
mother. I gave him all the freedom that he could take and never
considered evicting him from my home. Our ways were sometimes
different, but I was the alpha and never let him forget. When I
would return wounded from the hunt, he would lie next to me licking
my wounds and grooming my fur. Though he would never be more than a
puppy in my eyes, he accepted his place at my side.
If I had ever found the door to pass through in order to become human
again, I would have brought the puppy with me. As a dog he would
have been woman's best friend, seated on soft cushions and fed from
golden dishes. The day came though when the doors to humanity became
locked and barred to one such as me. As I said, it was the mutt who
was my undoing. Despite my better instincts, he had been wearing me
down. Just as I might have caved in to his advances, he bared his
throat to the enemy and sealed my fate with a kiss. Oh, I tried for
a time to throw off the mark, but like the scarlet letter, I was
branded a seer and a mission filled my heart.
While I was trying to accept this and to deal with the pain it gave
me was when the next stray arrive. I recognized this one too from
the pack in the library. I had been attracted to him there. Looking
back now, I could see all the reasons clearly. The others shunned
him because all they saw was a little yappy dog. They derided him be
cause he was smaller and lacked their strength. I was running on the
outer edge of the pack as well. What I saw was the brilliant red
tail streaming behind him as he elegantly ran to battle. Oh, he was
not much of a fighter and became frightened too easily. But he was
clever and good with tactics, the fox was. No one wanted him, this
other kind of dog. There was already a clever old coyote and my
little fox had not found his steely resolve yet. That would come
later in our pack. No, this stray like all my strays was burdened by
the pack he was born to. I wasn't ready to compete against this
history and it was a kiss then that separated us for a while.
So, there I found myself trapped as a dog of unknown species with
special markings and a purpose that I did not choose. Companioned to
the lost dire wolf and the uncertain fox. These things do not have
to be planned or learned. Instinct takes over and drives what needs
doing. We stalked and circled one another until we spiraled into a
pack of our own. We accepted the dire wolf for what he was but took
on the quest to bring him back to natures fold. We petted and coaxed
the red fox until his natural talents began to shine like that red
coat. For me there was loyalty and pain and for having both, the
other two clung to me as if I were life itself. The petted me when I
was felled by the sight. They spoke to me quietly to learn the
vision. Then we went to battle following the dire wolf. He had been
alone for too long and often did not remember that we were there, but
we strove not to let him forget.
At some point, we came across a rag tag pack led by a junkyard dog.
His midnight fur was short and bristly. He wore his anger like
badges of courage. Many thought him wild and dull, but we saw better
because after all, we knew how to see canines disguised as humans.
The ferule stance of that pit bull was in part truth but also in part
a robe he wore for his pack. He joined us too. It was hard at first
because he was an alpha-male like the dire wolf and chose to
establish his place by beating down the fox. He tried to stare me
down but he did not count on the strength of my paws. He tasted his
own blood from my claws and then he tasted my loyalty and we had no
He stopped challenging the dire wolf and fell into a comfortable
rhythm with all except the fox. I worried for the fox at first, but
we all forget how clever foxes are. He never over powered the pit
bull, but he slinked into his graces by doing things the bigger dog
could not. He spoke the languages of the other animals and foxes of
course know magic. After a while, their battles were only mock ones.
The bitch who sired the dire wolf came back one day. Did I tell you
that all my strays had issues with the packs from which they came?
She confused and beguiled him until he was acting more like a
hellhound again. It was than that he chased us from our den and
tried to scatter the pack. We were lost and confused for a moment.
This was especially hard for me as the others could walk away but I
could not. I carried the mark and it did not leave when the dire
wolf did. Perhaps we were surprised but then again, maybe we were
not. The red fox became the alpha-male. We, the pit bull and myself
supported him and leaned on him and we were a pack again. All that
petting and coaxing had done its job and the fox led us with wisdom
instead of brute strength.
Foxes are shape shifters with a weakness for wanting to be human.
Our fox was no different and for a time he pretended to be a man with
a human woman. The magic was very convincing; I saw it myself. But
in the end, there is no substance beneath such deceits and the human
woman walked away. She did this when he was wounded trying to save
the pit bull. His pack, us, scared her and she saw his true self
for a moment. We were sad for his loss, but were happy that he was
ours again. The dire wolf regained his senses and came back to beg
with his tail lowered. He was down on his front paws whimpering at
the muzzle of the red fox. To others it would be a comic sight.
After all, how long would a dire wolf be led by a fox? But we took
him back anyway and I must say, he did a very good job minding his
place. The pack was quieter and more deadly being led by someone so
sly instead of the pit bull or the dire wolf who led by brute
There was a great adventure to a land that enslaved dogs. They tried
to steal my visions there. The mate they offered me was pleasing,
but I needed my mark. It was what I gave to the pack. Better that I
be dead than to give it up. Of course, that would probably be soon,
because one such as myself was not meant for such a burden. It was
then that I realized that I was just an ordinary dog. A part of me
had hoped vainly that the visions would change me and make me
something special, that I would learn to endure the pain. Instead
they were killing me.
When we came back yapping in celebration, the witch-wolf was
waiting. The alpha wolf was dead. The dire wolf yowled in
mourning. I had not wished her ill, but I was angry that even far
away and now dead, she ruled him. I was the alpha in my own right.
This was my pack and still I needed to fight her for supremacy. But
I was just a dog and now she was a ghost. You cannot bite a ghost or
a memory. So, I did the only thing that I could. I sat by the dire
wolf and waited for him to come to me. He left for a while but he
always came back to our pack. He had learned a lesson the last time
he abandoned us. Who says that old dogs cannot learn new tricks?
We came back from the strange land with yet another stray. This one
was female and frightened of her own shadow. But we help the
helpless so we took her in. The little female was no threat to me,
but she disrupted the rest of the pack. She followed the dire wolf
and in turn the fox and the pit bull followed her. I was not so
worried about the dire wolf; he had curses, ghosts and then the
resurrected to occupy his mind. It was the other two that could come
to blows and rip a hole in the order. I watched them carefully
trying to figure out how to throw one or both of them off her scent.
But they solved the problem for me one night in the garden.
I was watching from the window ready to jump in. They did not see me
because they were too busy growling about the female. The pit bull
was stronger and faster. The fox was subtler and sneaky. If nothing
else, it would be a good match to watch. However, it was all too
likely that this would turn from sparing to blood and I could not let
that happen. They were snarling and snapping and the pit bull kept
trying to tackle his opponent. Red fox jumped up at the right moment
and landed on the others back with teeth in neck just like he would
have killed a mouse. Of course this was not enough to stop the pit
bull, but that was when everything changed.
The pain in his neck must have been fierce and he could not shake off
the fox. So, the pitbull lowered his body on his front paws,
submitting for this round. Fox let go of his neck and then licked
the pit bulls muzzle. I was shocked and so was the pit bull, so we
both remained very still. Maybe the fox used his magic to keep the
pit bull motionless, but I think he learned from the shapeshifting
that this was not a good idea. He learned it is better to be what you
Soon they were licking each others muzzles, but the fox wasn't
done. He sniffed his way down one side and began to lick the pit
bull's balls. With his clever tongue, he coaxed forth the other's
cock and started to suck on it like a puppy on his mother's teat. I
could see the eyes of the pit bull glaze over in pleasure as his hind
leg began to thump the ground. It finally became too much for him
and he pulled away from the fox erect and dripping.
With a gentleness no one would have guessed he possessed, the pit
bull pushed the fox onto his side and lapped at the other dog's cock
and belly. The fox whimpered and whined in that special mournful
way that screamed not of pain but of pleasure. I probably should
have walked away, but they were my packmates and I loved them. I
could not deny myself the pleasure of watching them love each other.
Besides, I had heard of males doing this before to each other, but I
had never seen it.
The fox was panting hard and finally rolled onto his belly and lifted
his hindquarters in the air. He cocked his long red tail to one side
like a female in heat and pushed himself back into the pit bulls
face. Perhaps the pit bull was unsure at first, so he hesitated.
The fox turned his head back and looked at him with those piercing
blue eyes pleading for more. Pleading for release. Who would deny
those eyes? The pit bull's tongue made contact, dripping with saliva
and the fox became louder in his cries for pleasure. I wonder if it
hurt when the pit bull mounted the fox, his cries told me both but
pleasure was the loudest. The pit bull pounded the fox harder and
harder. The fox clawed the tile. It was beautiful the ecstasy that
filled the pit bulls face. He was unsteady on his feet as he
dismounted, but he did not forget his lover. With an insistent snout
he urged fox onto his back again. He sucked on fox like a pup
desperate for milk and when the creamy liquid spilled over the two of
them, the pit bull licked every drop.
They rolled over each other trying to find a good way to sleep and I
turned to walk away. That was when I found myself staring into the
eyes of the dire wolf. They were dark with desire. Was it the two
in the garden? I could feel my own arousal from watching them. He
began to sniff me. I was the alpha female and I could have pulled
rank and stopped him if I chose to, but I did not want to. Face,
neck, flank and tail. I felt his nose at my hindquarters and I
tensed. I had never sought this but the desire of possibility began
to fill me. He did not touch me, only smelled. And then he was gone
too fast for me to follow. Curses and slayers, would I ever be free
of them? But it didn't matter; it was only one more difficulty to
overcome. My pack was in peace and balance. Tomorrow was soon
enough to hunt again.