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The Way of the Wolf: Part 4

The Way of the Wolf
Part 4: Wolf Mate
By paburke for jilltanith
(So Part 3 still isn't complete but since you asked two years in a row, I'll skip it. I apologize to everyone else floundering in the middle.)

*** Summary: Oh the plans the PTB have for our favorite were-wolf. ***
*** Spoilers: Season Six of Buffy and Season Six of SG1. Everything I said for the previous three stories counts for this one as well. ***
*** Disclaimer: If someone is offering Oz or Jack, I'll take them and run. But no, no one has. So they belong to someone else with the rest of their respective universes. No copyright infringement intended. I took everything ever said about the Furlings and expanded it. ‘Our Territory,’ its customs and its many natives are my own creation. ***
*** Warnings: A little language here, a little more violence there. This one is fluffier than the rest of the series. *Rolls eyes* I can’t believe that I’m writing this. Someone shoot me now. Please? ***


“Cassie! Cassandra!” Doctor Janet Fraiser was calling for her daughter before she closed the front door.

The clomping of shoes on the stairs heralded the teen’s arrival. Cassie stumbled to a stop in front of her mother, her face ashen. “Did someone die?”

Janet blinked. “No!” She had forgotten that Cassie would not have been informed on the recent battle casualties. “Well, at least, no one that you knew. We won while only losing eight SGC personnel.”

Cassie relaxed. “Can we send them –their families- flowers?”

“Sure, honey.” They would have anyway. Cassie had a line of potted plants at each window of the house for that very reason.

“What about the Fu . . . Oz’s people? And Oz?”

Janet tried not to be suspicious of Cassie’s questions. “You’re going to have to ask Colonel O’Neill for the number of Furlings that died in the fighting. All I know is that it’s more than nineteen.”

Cassie nodded seriously. She intimately knew the price of war against the Go’uald. “Can we send those families flowers as well?”

Now Janet was in a quandary. She had always encouraged Cassie’s compassion for the grieving but Cassie was already embroiled in a diplomatic hubbub with the Furlings. Janet wasn’t sure if Cassie’s generosity would help or hinder the cause. “Cassie, you know how the botanists hate to introduce new plant species to a new place. Their impact on the local ecosystem could be disastrous.”

Cassie rolled her eyes. “I know, mom. I’ve been helping Captain O’Toole in the greenhouse, remember? And the F . . . those people can’t be too concerned with introducing new plants with the way that they are trading for plants native to . . . Tibet.”

Janet had to smile. Even though Cassie had gotten better about lying about her birthplace and early years, with each new lie, her daughter had to relearn what was acceptable to say in public. The Fraiser house was an intermediate place, so Cassie and Janet pretended that their house was bugged and spoke like it. In part, it more than just practice, Jack and/or friends stopped by every so often to de-bug the place. Every so often they did find a recording device.

Jack had had a message delivered to the infirmary this afternoon guaranteeing the most recent de-bugging job, finished just yesterday. With the important Furling/Tauri alliance in the balance, Jack had been sending out teams of his ‘friends’ with increasing regularity. To add to the mix, Jack knew that Janet had to break the most recent news to Cassie without betraying the confidentiality codes. SG1 was trying to keep the news of the Furling expectations low until the arrangement could be dissolved. They didn’t want anyone pressuring Cassie to do anything that might improve Furling/Tauri relations.

These were the expectations –complications- that Janet had to gently break to her daughter as soon as possible. Well, now was as good a time as any. “Honey, about that. We need to talk.”

Cassie jumped to conclusions. “Was Oz . . . hurt?”

Janet blinked. “No, honey. Last I saw of him, he was . . . jamming with the natives.”

“Was he still thin? You said that he had lost a lot of weight last time you saw him.”

Janet was somewhat disturbed that Cassie remembered that off-hand comment. “Honestly? Yes, he is very thin. But he’s been preparing for a war and he is in a highly stressful environment that is shoving new nutrients into his system. But no, he hasn’t lost any more weight. I’d expect him to start gaining weight soon.”


“Cassie, did something happen between you and Oz that you didn’t tell me about?”

“What? No!” Cassie’s emotions were written on her face. She was telling the truth. Cassie shrugged. “It’s just . . . that when we met . . . Oz is nice. He was part of a cool band and he wasn’t stuck-up at all. And he did try to save my life at the expense of his own,” the teen reminded. “Why?”

“You remember the necklace he gave you?”

Cassie’s hand drifted to the neckline of her shirt. Her high neckline, damn, why hadn’t Janet noticed before now? She would put good money on the fact that that high neckline was hiding the gifted necklace. Cassie had been given permission to wear the necklace in public –but not to lose it- when Janet had delivered the beautiful piece of jewelry, but wearing the necklace in secret? That hinted toward secret feelings. Janet really hoped that Cassie hadn’t developed a crush on Oz. That would complicate already complicated matters.

“Are you wearing it?”

Cassie nodded.

Janet cursed quietly. Might as well ask the question. “Why are you wearing it?”

“It reminds me that there is life in Toronto. And life there can be good.”

“Oh, Cassie.” What else could Janet say?

“Is that okay?”

“You might have to give it back.”

“Why?” asked Cassie.

Go on, Janet. Spit it out. You have delivered bad news to patients on a regular basis. “It’s a betrothal necklace.”

Cassie blinked. “Did Oz know? You know, when he gave it to you?”

That was not the reaction Janet had been expecting. Cassie was so calm. “Uhm,” Janet had to think about it. “No, I don’t. I think he was as surprised as we were. He’s trying to fix things from his end but the Fu . . . his people doesn’t believe in divorce and dissolving a betrothal would be considered divorce.”

“So, I might have to marry Oz?” Cassie thought about it. “That wouldn’t be too bad.”

Her daughter obviously didn’t understand the implications. “No, you won’t –we hope. I am not going to allow you to sacrifice your future into an arranged marriage just for a good trade agreement. And that’s what this would be. It not at all like those romance novels you bring home. You probably wouldn’t fall in love in the end. This wouldn’t have a happily ever after.”

Cassie flushed slightly at the mention of the books, but she shrugged it off. “Mom, I know those aren’t real. I know what arranged marriages are like, both good and bad.”

“No, you don’t,” Janet argued.

“Everyone in Toronto has arranged marriages.”

“No, they don’t.” Then she thought about Cassie’s words. She had been talking about her Toronto.

“They all had arranged marriages,” Cassie corrected herself. “My parents had an arranged marriage.”

How could Janet respond to that? “I didn’t know that.”

Cassie shrugged, a very American mannerism that seemed out of place in the current conversation. “It never came up.”

“That doesn’t mean that you have to go through with this farce.”

“No,” Cassie disagreed. “It means that I might want to go through with the arrangement.”

Janet was stunned to near speechlessness for the third time in the conversation. “Why? Why would you want an arranged marriage?”

“It’s the whole dating thing,” Cassie shrugged.

“It can be fun,” Janet winced as she said the words. She had been the one to discourage any serious relationship thus far. Cassie was just too young. And now marriage?

“But the guys . . . and the girls here have an unrealistic view of marriage. They think it’s all hearts and flowers and candy and it’s not,” Cassie countered. “There’s a lot of compromise and sacrifice and work and that’s why marriages last forever.”

Janet blinked. There were times when Cassie showed her age and experiences, but most of the time, Janet thought of her as any other Earth girl.

But Cassie wasn’t.

“I don’t like watching my friends date,” Cassie was saying. “They keep on getting hurt and they probably won’t marry any of the guys that are hurting them. I don’t like the idea of putting my all into a marriage and the guy not be on the same page. I had thought about asking you to arrange a marriage.”


“Parents are supposed to be the ones to arrange the marriage.”

Janet had to sit down, now.

“I had thought to have you ask Daniel. He’d know someone on Earth that would accept and/or welcome an arranged marriage. Or maybe he could’ve hook me up with a relative of Sha’re. But he’s not here anymore . . .”

Are you serious?

Cassie shrugged. “Yep.” How did anyone who spoke and acted like an American teen have such . . . out-dated views?

Janet tried to wrap her mind around picking a mate for Cassie. She couldn’t. She knew who she wouldn’t pick: any of the ‘boyfriends’ that Cassie had brought home. Before this whole mess, Oz wouldn’t have been on Janet’s list either, with him being a musician and traveling so much. What did Oz do on Khams when there wasn’t a war to be fought?

“Like I said,” Cassie shrugged again, “Oz is cool and he’s nice. And it sorta is a done deal.”

“Oh no, it’s not, young lady.”


“How she’d take it?”

Colonel O’Neill and Sam Carter stood in the doorway to Janet’s office. Sam had asked the question.

“Calmer than I did,” Janet’s tone was wry.

“That’s good, right?” asked O’Neill.

“No,” growled Janet. “She doesn’t have a problem with the idea. Doesn’t mind going through with the wedding.”

The colonel didn’t look too surprised.

Janet glared. “Did you know that Cassie’s parents had an arranged marriage?”

O’Neill squirmed, “Daniel mentioned that it was a good possibility when Cassie started dating last year.”

“Cassie’s first boyfriend was two years ago.”

O’Neill looked confused. “Nah, that can’t be right.” He thought about it. “Cassie’s not old enough to have been dating for more than a year.”

Sam and Janet rolled their eyes at each other. Men could be so oblivious!

Janet did agree with one point of the colonel’s though. “She definitely is too young for marriage.”

“The Furlings don’t expect a wedding for several years,” said O’Neill. “It could be as many as five.”

Janet glared, “And how do you know that?”

O’Neill put his hands up in the universal sign for surrender. “Doc, relax! I was just checking out the time frame.”

Janet leaned back in her chair, slightly mollified.

O’Neill took a step back as he prepared to speak bad news. “Did you know that the Furlings have agreed to share some of their medical technology?”

Janet brightened instantly. “Really? Already?” She flipped through papers on her desk. “I have a list of personal that I think would represent us well and learn the most and will be able to bring back the most comprehensive notes so the rest of us can learn their techniques. When can they leave for Khams?”

“Well,” O’Neill drawled. “They latched on a couple of strings, of course. One of them is that the ‘skilled and honorable Healer Fraiser’ would lead the team we send.”

The CMO blushed slightly at the compliment. “We’ll just have to explain that I’m needed here.”

“They’re not negotiating on that point. Either you come or no one comes. They want to teach you and they don’t really care who else, though they would prefer the team that they worked with before. Oz told me it was an honor-thing and that if you refused, you’d be sullying your honor and theirs.”

Sam was able to read her CO more than Janet; she didn’t accept face value. “But . . .” she prompted.

“I think he was surprised when the Others named that as a condition. I think he looked at Malt’en and I think there was some slight lip-quirking and eyebrow-raising going on. How sure are we that Furlings aren’t telepathic?”

Janet was flummoxed by the sudden change in topic, but Sam shrugged. “We don’t know for sure, sir, it’s a slight possibility. They could just be very adept at reading body language. It might be necessary in a culture that speaks as little as they.”

O’Neill humphed, playfully disappointed in Carter’s answer. “I don’t know if the Furlings are just curious or if they have another reason for wanting Cassie on Khams.”

“How did Cassie suddenly enter the discussion,” Janet growled.

Jack took another step back. “I had several of the Others come up to me and tell me that you are more than welcome to bring your daughter with you as you are apprenticed to the Master Healers.”

Janet frowned and Jack continued talking. “Master Terid'li would prefer it, as we nixed the idea for having a Furling bodyguard on Earth following Cassie around. She’s nervous that something will happen to Cassie and if anything does, it’s her honor that will be shot.”

“Cassie is not setting one foot on Khams until this betrothal thing is cleared up,” Janet declared.

Jack had to have the last word. “No technology without you, no you without Cassie, no Cassie without dissolving an accidental betrothal. Who would’ve thunk that having allies could be more problematic than having everyone in the universe out to screw us?”


Cassandra didn’t mention Khams and Oz for several weeks, but Janet wasn’t fooled into believing that the situation and the conversation were finished. Then Cassie’s friend Kristen went through a very messy break-up and Janet could have cursed her timing. Cassie was increasingly frustrated with the whole dating scene. The SGC continued sending negotiators and while the Furlings were open to having Janet lead an exchange in medical technologies, they were holding firm on their stipulations. Janet had to go.

Two weeks before the end of the school year, Cassie cleared off the dinner dishes and then sat across from her foster mother. Her back was straight and her hands rested on the table with only the slightest of tremors. Janet could see the responsible adult lurking beneath the surface. “No change from Oz’s people?”

Janet set down her water glass. “No.” If Janet had her way, the conversation would end there.

“I think we should spend the summer there. You can learn what you need to learn and Oz and I can figure out what we want.”

Janet opened her mouth and then snapped it shut.

“Mom. It’s our call. You like Oz. You respect him. Besides, I don’t want to get married for at least six years.”

“Six?” Janet echoed as calmly as possible. That was longer than the Furlings were expecting, but Janet preferred it.

“I want a minimum of a Bachelors in biology, preferably a Masters. I’m just now completing my junior year. I want to receive my degrees from the University of Colorado. If I don’t move to… there, then I’ll continue on to my doctorate with the goal of joining the SGC Biology Department. I’ll go with you and do a study of the domesticated plants of… Oz’s place. At the end of the summer, I’ll turn in a report to the SGC. It’ll put me in good standing with the chain of command, apart from my origins.”

Janet considered Cassie’s joy at digging in the dirt and the potted plants that lined every window of their house. She remembered how Cassie would follow O’Toole and helped him out. A degree in biology was commendable and logical (and, damnit, if a teenager could be calm and logical than so could Janet.) She liked the idea that Cassie was actually aiming for the SGC BioDept and her daughter was absolutely correct in her assessment of the reception to a well-written report from a planet from Khams. “Do you have any idea what the SGC would consider useful?”

Cassie grinned and relaxed the slightest bit since Janet wasn’t rejecting the plan out of hand. “O’Toole has a list of questions that he’d love to have answered from every single planet the teams visit. It’s involved. Plant demographics and descriptions and mapping them within our known families, genus and species. Plus native uses and we know that the Furlings use a lot of plants.”

“True,” Janet replied slowly. Just by following O’Toole’s list –and Janet could ask Dr. Parrish for his planet plant wishlist- would keep Cassie incredibly busy. And hopefully too busy to spend time with Oz.

“So you’ll think about it?”

“Yes,” promised Janet.


Janet found Colonel O’Neill in Sam’s office, as expected. She wasn’t sure if they were gossiping or sharing work observations. The line was fine and sometimes invisible, as she and Sam knew so well. Both officers turned to face her as she stopped in the door.

O’Neill read her face and grinned. He kindly waited until she spelled out her counter offer to the Furlings before running off to inform the general. He was expecting both the SGC and the Furlings to accept the stipulations. Janet might was well start packing. She had an internship to prepare for and her own duties to cover while she was away.


Janet and Cassie arrived with the rest of the medical students to Khams. They were met by Oz and a group of Furlings robed in the blue-violet of the native doctors. With relatively little trouble, Oz extradited them from the formalities and led them to their cabin. Janet ensured that her body was between Cassie’s and Oz’s the entire trip, even through the rough game trail.

She was relieved when Oz agreed that Cassie should grow up a little before marriage was discussed. It was hard to be mad at Oz. He offered to apprentice Cassie to Gawa’ni, the Furling in charge of all of the agriculture. Cassie was thrilled with the offer and accepted. Janet was frustrated with the whole situation. Sure that it would go FURBAR.

At least, Oz was on her side. They might get through this with Cassie single and without breaking the treaty.


“For two people attempting to dissolve a betrothal, you’re proceeding forward nicely,” Malt’en told Oz.

Oz looked horrified again and Malt’en didn’t hide the quirk of humor on his lips. “What now?”

“Shall I detail how your betrothal’s guardian remained between you as you walked them to their cabin or the fact that she wore your betrothal necklace under her clothes?”

“How did you know?”

“Everyone could smell it when she exited the Chappi’i. Both incidents were letter perfect.” And as the judge, Malt’en would know.

Oz dropped his head on the table, letting the other Furling see his frustration. “Please give me a book on the betrothal process?” There was no such book in the library. Oz had looked several times; Malt’en had watched him peruse books invisible to the judge.

“It’s never been written,” Malt’en told him. Malt’en wouldn’t even know where to begin. He simply knew when a betrothal was proceeding nicely. “Have you spoken with Grij’er?” The prophet might know more.

Oz shook his head ‘no.’

“He might have words and wisdom concerning your problem.”

Oz grimaced. “He told me to stop clawing the wind, last week.”

Malt’en laughed and rejoiced and laughed some more.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 21st, 2014 11:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!!!!!

Though I love many of the 'verses that you write in, this 'verse is without a doubt my all-time favorite of them all, and I've missed it. I really appreciate your indulgence here!

I adore the idea of Cassie's cultural differences rising up! Yay!
Jan. 23rd, 2014 11:15 pm (UTC)
You are very welcome. I loved the idea too(played with the idea of just working with the OCs to write a novel) but the muse flits all over the fandoms.
Jan. 26th, 2014 03:14 am (UTC)
I love this and I'm so happy to see you continue the verse. There are so few great Oz stories and I always find myself coming back to this when I need an Oz fix.
Feb. 20th, 2014 12:53 am (UTC)
Thank you, Oz is my all time favorite.
Aug. 14th, 2014 11:22 pm (UTC)
I can't believe I missed this until now! I'm jumping for joy at this latest addition to Oz's Furling adventures!

I particularly appreciated the very believable detail about arranged marriages having been the norm on Cassie's planet, and that she might PREFER such an arrangement (when the time comes) over the messy and wasteful 'dating' process that her adopted mother deems normal. :)
Aug. 24th, 2014 04:37 pm (UTC)
Oz the Furling is one of my favorite universes. The world building was so much fun and adding the arranged marriage had been in the works from the first story. I'm glad others like it.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


vi, no words

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