Return to War Chapter Two


Author: Vamp_fangs
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: All Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy.

Author's note: Elipsies [...] are like pauses, I'm trying to use them as if someone were gasping for breath or pausing to think about their words. Hope it sounds like it.

"The Argon Spell." Tara announced after a few minutes of sticking her head inside a large, old and dusty book. "'Once the Spell is cast, the one who casts goes into a deep meditative state in which the caster's body phases out of sync with the temporal line. It often takes a toll on the caster, causing them to return weak, a return may take weeks, months or even years.' Easy to cast but takes a long return. Damnit. We won't be able to hunt her for a while."

"Mistress?" Anya spoke, raising her hand, interrupting her Mistress's thoughts. "Couldn't we wait for her to come back and then use the Cougar girl? We could use her to lure Drusilla in. That girl was locked in that room for a reason, she meant of some value to her. We can use her as bait so we don't have to chase after her."

"But what if Drusilla comes after her with a full force?" Faith inquired, as she leaned besides the wall with a scowl on her face.

"Then we just have to get ready, now don't we?" Tara asked, smiling slightly. "Assimilate what you can of the land. Offer the people on Drusilla's land sanctuary after they swear the oaths and provide them food stuff and medical supplies. Kill the ones that don't. I'll send a messenger to find you two when the girl wakes up. Go."

"Right away, Mistress." Faith nodded, stretching her arms over her head, before offering Anya her arm.

"Yes, Mistress." Anya replied taking the brunnette's offer.

Tara lifted up a hot cup of tea to her lips as she flipped through an Hybrid Collection book, her light blue eyes studying the words. So pretty, she thought tracing the picture of a Changing Cougar as she read the text below it.

Of the General Population;

Cougars, also known as Pumas and Mountian Lions, belong in a mountianous habitat where their main food sources are the non-hybrid mammals that live amongst them. They are related to the Leopard hybrids and unlike their pure animal counterpart, the Puma Concolor, who prefer to operate alone and secretively in and around caves until mating season, the Cougar hybrids live together in groups called prides and live in areas covered by trees.

They have keen eyesight and sensitive ears that they use to hunt with, day or night. And like most felines, they have retractable claws on both hands and feet. The majority of their tribe, because of these features, become Warriors or Hunters. The rest become Smiths, Carpenters, Cooks and Healers who are most likely the mates to the Warriors/Hunters.Their diet consists of red deer, white-tailed deer, mule deer, marsh deer, peccary and guanaco. They will tolerate vegitation in small amounts.

Their humanistic characteristics that have been affected by Cougar features are;
- a lean, athletic body
- brown, yellow to red hair colours
- light to dark hazel or green eyes
- aggressive/protective nature
- sense of smell, eyesight and hearing heightened by 45%
- height about 5'5 - 6'3

Childhood and Education;

Cougar hybrids are born in the human form, though parts of the Cougar may be visible. The Cougar features should disappear under the cub's skin until puberty, but there are possibilities though rare that it does not. And when it doesn't the cub may be in serious danger later on in life (Note: Look at Adolesence and Puberty). If there were many infants born within the same season, the kits are brought together as siblings and are treated as such. The children of the groups are called year-mates. This surrounding encourages the infants to learn quicker, develope language skills (if not, a whole new language that keeps them together), develope better senses, play and confide with each other.

When ---

Tara's eyes left the page and widened as Dawn rushed into the room with the door swinging open with a loud bang. The brunette was breathing heavily and coughing slightly trying to catch her breath.

"Mistress! The girl's awake!" The blonde mistress stood up, grabbing a pitcher of water on the table and handing it to the young woman. "Thank... thank you Mistress."

"Send word to Anya and Faith."

The redheaded girl squeaked in fear as Joyce moved closer with one fist reaching out, moving towards the girl's nose. The hybrid struggled vehemently, trying to escape her steel restraints in vain and gashed her teeth at the hand. Joyce barely flinched as she rubbed her knuckles gently into the girl's nostrils, her light hazel eyes watching the redhead intently. The girl calmed, breathing in the scent that was marked on Joyce's hand.

"Shh... That's right... Breath it in... You'll be alright." Joyce whispered her voice soothing as she used her other hand to gently stroke the girl's cheek and brush stray strands of hair out of the redhead's face. The avian doctor heard the front doors to the infirmary open and glanced at the door to the room as Tara entered. Joyce winced when she felt the girl stiffen at the sight and scent of the newcomer. "Shh... It's alright. She is your new Master."

i am confused... there is a woman that looks and sounds like prey but smells like family and pets me nicely. and there is a woman who is my new Master? what happened to dark-haired Master? did i make Her angry? my weakness made me whimper as the woman who smells like friend but looks like food stepped away and the light haired woman moved closer. my new Master...

"I am Mistress Tara." Tara started, watching the trembling girl. "What is your name?" The blonde mistress glanced at the doctor when the redhead did not speak. "Joyce?" The avian hybrid leaned in back towards the girl, gently stroking the redhead's face with the scented hands.

"What did you last Master call you girl?" Joyce asked, rubbing the back of her hand against her cheek.

"...c-cubby..." The redhead replied, her voice cracking as she whispered. Tara frowned and shook her head as Joyce turned to look at her.

"What was the name your parents called you by?" The doctor continued, murmuring soft praises as she saw the girl trying to answer.

"...wil... willow..."

"Hello, Willow."

"Master." The girl spoke softly, as Tara and Joyce watched her green eyes shift to yellow. The blonde mistress moved in, her right fist clenched as she slowly brought it up to Willow's nose. The girl sniffed Tara's knuckles tentatively before relaxing a bit and give the blonde's fist a few licks. "pet to Master?" Tara nodded as she saw out of her peripheral vision the quill pen moving as Joyce took notes.

"Yes. You are." The blonde confirmed, a small smile grew on her lips as the girl continued to lick her hand. Tara looked at Joyce, her voice soft as she asked, "Is she supposed to be this... welcoming to people that might have killed her old Maste -- ow!"

"my apologies, Master...p-please for-forgive me. do-don't lock me up." The redhead pleaded, trying to lick the stop she had accidently nipped as Tara pulled her hand away, fear rushing through her chest.

"Shhh... It's alright. You didn't even cut through the skin." Tara assured the girl who had began hyperventilating. "Shh, shh... Breathe slowly. You didn't hurt me." Joyce's pen flew off as she watched the interaction between the blonde mistress and the feline hybrid. The blonde Mistress returned her hand to the girl, "See... Look. It's alright." The redhead relaxed slightly, moving her head forward to lick the blonde's skin.

"Mistress... Should I place her in area where the others were waiting?" Willow's face contorted with unreasonable panic as her new Mistress nodded. the others? where? i knew it... i hurt Her.

"Yes... Make sure she has food." Tara ordered, a crease forming on her forehead as she watched the girl struggle and let out a cry of despair. What in the Dark Pits of the Abyss did Drusilla do to her?

"Of course. I will be right back." The blonde doctor nodded, slowly moving the gurney the girl was in and pushing it away. Willow squirmed, letting out small grunts and snarls as Joyce pushed her into another room.

"Mistress?" Anya asked, entering the room. "She is awake?"

"Yes... You did ask your pet to behave around the girl?" Tara asked, moving to Joyce's desk and picking up a quill, twirling in it, her eyes on the blonde.

"I ordered my Cub to play nice, Mistress."

"Good. Now, where's Faith?" The Mistress asked, a small frown on her face, fully expecting the brunette to come in with an amused smile on her face.

"There was a rebellion a few hours ago. Faith stayed behind to make sure she weeded all the rebels out." Anya replied, looking around the room. "Where... is the girl?"

"Joyce is putting her in the play pen with Xander and Buffy... I just hope you and Faith made sure they will behave."

Joyce gently guided Willow through a large glass door that lead to a large meadow with grass covering the ground and trees branched off as if reaching for the sunlight that was streaming down. Two Cougars were sunbathing the middle of the field, one covered with dark fur while the other with blonde. The dark haired one stood up and trotted towards Joyce and the girl. The doctor shook her head as the male tried to see the redhead.

"Willow? I am chaining you, okay? It's until you are used to this environment and Mistress Tara says you are going to be good." The redhead nodded, watching Joyce clip a metal cuff over her right ankle. "Play nice Xander." The avian hybrid warned the Changed Cougar before leaving the area. Slowly, the feline features faded away from his visage, revealing a handsome boyish face, his eyes filled with suprise and wonder.

"Willow? Is that you?" A soft male voice asked as the redheaded Cougar snapped at the chain circling her right ankle, suddenly feeling naked as she noticed the collars around her neck and tail were missing. She flinched when a dark-haired male brushed up against her, rubbing his face into her side. She sighed as he backed away, her hands aching with desire to unsheath her nails. "Oh, Good Goddess. It is you! Buffy! Come here! It's her!"

A shorter blonde female leaned forward and sniffed the redhead's hair causing the girl to jerk back, with blind fear in her eyes. i don't want a mate! Willow hissed, baring her teeth. "Oh, Willow! It is you!" The blonde hybrid whispered in suprise. "Wil? It's us, Buffy and Xander."

"Buffy, wait... she doesn't... remember us." The male observed, watching the redhead back as far as her chain allowed her.

Continue to War Chapter Four

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