It seemed to Oz that if there were a God, the daily experience of waking up in the
morning was a pretty charitable gift to humanity. Because he loved this, the way
you didn't have to go from nothing to everything. You could just let your eyes open
as they wanted to, and slowly let reality nudge its way back into your mind. Even
with alarm clocks and schedules and stuff...Oz was a big believer in setting the
alarm for about twenty minutes before he actually had to be up. He loved this
time of the day far too much to miss it by rushing.
So when he became gradually aware of the fact that his elbow was encased within
warm leather, jammed into the crack of Angel's sofa, he shifted with the laziness
born of being half-asleep, and it took a few minutes to notice that something was
different. Something being that there was no longer a vampire curled up next to
him, but rather there was a blanket draped over his nude body and he was perfectly
Oz yawned, his feline stretch defying every canine bone in his body. He found his
clothes folded in a neat pile on the floor, and his initial thought was an bemused
appreciation for Angel's flair for detail, right down to the order in which the
garments were stacked. Boxers, jeans, t-shirt. One, two, three.
Oz was highly amused that he'd been blown the night before by a vampire afflicted
with OCD. Seemed fitting, somehow. Apt, was a good word for it. Or maybe
apropos. Oz wasn't really much for vocab this early in the morning. Well...this early
in the afternoon, as it turned out.
So he just got dressed, and wandered his way out of the office -- right into
Cordelia. "Hey, Cordy."
Cordelia glared at him. "Hi, Oz. Are you quite done with the office? Because
broody-boy is driving me crazy out here. This is my space. See? My space. My
desk, my phone, my chair -- my space. When you take his space, he invades my
space. Not appreciated."
Oz grinned. "Nice to see you, too."
Cordelia had the decency to look mildly chagrined as she kissed his cheek. "Sorry.
It's always good to see you, Oz. Band in town?"
Oz nodded, looking past her to Angel, who was lounging back in her chair, his long
legs crossed in a way that made Oz glad he'd mastered the art of facial neutrality.
It can't be an accident that he looks so fucking sexy.
He's teasing me. Shit.
"Yeah," Oz murmured, wondering if maybe it wasn't healthy for his heart to be
pounding so rapidly. "Angel, you didn't have to harass Cordy on my account. You
could have woken me up."
"Cordy's fun to harass." Angel laughed as Cordy spun and threw a pencil at him.
"Yeah." Oz spoke slowly, somewhat caught up in the way Angel was flecking lint
from his pant leg with long, elegant fingers. "Thanks for letting me crash. I - I
should get going. I've got practice soon, and...Angel, could we talk for a minute?"
"Uh-oh." Cordelia narrowed her eyes and looked from one man to the other. "That
sounds like a 'Big Danger Brewing' type of talk. Angel, you didn't mention Big
Danger. I think I have a right to be clued in if I'm about to d --"
Angel stood up, rolling his eyes. "Cordelia, relax. Nothing's happening. Sometimes
people just talk."
Cordelia shot him a nasty look. "Give me my chair. Go! Now! You two go talk and
leave me with my space. Thank...you," she snapped, her words dripping with false
sincerity. "One of these days, Angel. One of these days..."
"Right, Cordelia." Angel ruffled her hair on his way around the desk. "Nice outfit, by
Oz backpedaled into the office, stopping in the midst of one of those patches of
shadow that seem just a bit deeper and darker than the rest. Angel closed the door
with a resonating whisper, leaned against it and stared at Oz and Oz just stared
back, his unwavering gaze full of curiosity and interest. "So."
The tiniest of smile's played on Angel's full lips, drawing Oz's eyes first to the flash
of white tooth, then to the flex of such a strong jaw. "So," he echoed. "Do you have
another show tonight?"
It was hopeless, Oz decided. There was no explaining this...this way he couldn't
seem to think clearly when Angel looked at him like that. Oz knew that look -- he
owned that look. He practically had a fucking patent, and it just wasn't quite fair
that Angel had turned it on him and unnerved him so thoroughly that he couldn't
even figure out what the hell had happened in that alley to leave him in this turmoil.
It was a new feeling for Oz, not being able to think through things, and it seemed
like maybe the situation called for panic. But he was just unsettled, and it wasn't
exactly in a bad way. More in a since-when-am-I-so-attracted-to-Angel way.
He nodded slowly, looking down, around, anywhere but directly into Angel's bold
eyes. When he looked into those eyes, he was being ripped apart gently, cracked
open so that all his thoughts weren't his anymore. Looking at Angel meant revealing
that part of himself that was unsure and boiling over with immediacy.
Oz resented immediacy. It was just how he was, a thinker, an analyzer. Immediacy
left no time for that; immediacy demanded satisfaction right away, at any cost. So
by looking away, he could take the time to listen to the approaching footsteps and
plan, figure out what he wanted to do.
I want to...I want. Him.
And so much for big plans, because the fingertips pressing into the curve of his
skull and the lips grazing over the bulge of his eyelid tugged all that rational
thought right out of his mind and replaced it with the startling beauty of
nothingness. Of the absence of control, and importance, and chords and gas money
and Willow, and the only notion left was an understanding that things had been left
unfinished last night.
A low growl erupted from Oz's throat as his head came up and Angel's mouth came
down and Oz could actually feel the scraping of taste buds against each other, like
the tickling rasp when a cat laps at your fingers. His arms seemed excruciatingly
weak as his elbows bent and his wrists curved and his fingers fumbled at the
button of Angel's pants.
But then that didn't matter anymore because Angel was stopping him, pressing his
hands back to his sides and smiling with a slight shake of the head. "You don't
understand, do you, Oz?" he whispered, his lips encasing the very tip of Oz's nose
as he spoke.
Oz blinked and finally managed to find Angel's eyes again, but no matter how deep
he searched, he couldn't find any hint as to what his answer should be. "There's an
awful lot to understand."
Angel chuckled and backed off, the increasing space between his body and Oz's
becoming more and more a chasm that seemed too daunting to bridge. He collapsed
on the sofa so recently vacated by Oz and pulled one leg up to rest his chin on the
knee. "You know, I didn't ask you to come here last night for me. You don't need to
think there's unfinished business between us."
"Does that mean we're finished?"
"Clever. I didn't say that, though, did I?"
Angel stared into the corner, his eyes clouding, and Oz frowned. "You can't. Can
you? Your soul --"
Angel interrupted him. "When I say the word necessity, what do you think? First
thing that comes to mind, tell me."
Oz leaned against the edge of Angel's desk and folded his arms. "'Only necessity is
heavy, and only what is heavy has value,'" he quoted, his voice low and guarded.
Angel glanced up at him, startled. "I'm impressed. Oz...you live two hundred and
forty-odd years and you...you look at things a bit differently. Do you understand?"
"You do what you have to do, and that's what matters?"
Angel's nod was nearly imperceptible. "And maybe you get the short end of the
stick in it, but that doesn't change what has to be done. Get it?"
"Only if you're saying you had to give me head last night. Angel, is this about
"I don't know. Really, I don't know what would happen. And sometimes for a second I
think maybe it would be worth it to find out, but no. No way I'm going to risk that."
Oz shook his head, completely lost. "Wait. You don't know?"
Angel shrugged, staring at Oz. "No. Presumption was always safer. But nobody has
a clue whether or not the curse bound itself over after I came back..." He grinned
ruefully. "Personally, I think I'd be okay. Between you and me, I mean. The
circumstances, you know? Don't get me wrong, but it ain't love between us. And I
think that had something to do with it when Buffy and I --"
He stopped suddenly, looking away again. "Oz, you're missing what I'm trying to say.
There are things you have to do, and there are things you just do. And I tend to
stick with the things I have to do. I had to leave Sunnydale. And I had to come see
you last night."
For all the effort he put into thinking things through, Oz had had very few
epiphanies in his life, but he had one then. Being, that Angel didn't brood. He
ruminated. He mused. He took the time to figure things out, and he used the luxury
of time that came with immortality to its full advantage. And Oz of all people had
to respect that. So he only had one question left. "Okay. And what do you do with
all the time in between? When you don't really have to do anything?"
When you're sitting there and driving me crazy?
Angel stood up and moved to slip his arms around Oz's torso, and he kissed him
with brutal vigilance, wetting Oz's lips with tiny swipes of his own before letting it
deepen. After a few, and in Oz's opinion far too brief, moments, he drew back, his
arms still firmly in place. "You live the consequences," he replied, and only then did
he release Oz and turn away. "You should get to practice."
Oz couldn't really find much to do but close his eyes and breathe for a minute, the
air filling his lungs and giving a very slight reprieve to his pounding heart. "Yeah. I
He reached the door before he turned and hesitated, then said softly, "Hey, Angel?"
Angel turned to face him and raised an eyebrow. "Hmm?"
Oz smiled and opened the door. "One of these days we're going to have to figure out
if you're right. You know, in presuming?"
Pleased laughter followed Oz out, where he hugged Cordelia and wandered out to his
van. Nearly one, so he had plenty of time before the Dingoes' five o'clock warm-up.
Oz liked time. Time was good...safe.
Oz knew better than to assume Devon would be up and around by this time of the
day. So he opened the door of their shared motel room quietly and slipped inside,
taking care to ease the door shut without a sound. The scene before him was cute,
in an almost-adorable sense. Devon was sprawled across the bed on his stomach,
his face smushed so deeply into his pillow it pushed the flesh of his nose out of line
and drew his lips into an odd grimace, and his hair was matted at ridiculous angles.
The girl Oz had expected to find wasn't there, and he knew she never had been. One
leg of Devon's jeans was bunched up around his knee, the other tugged just above
his ankle, and the singer's bare back absorbed the sliver of sunlight slipping in
through the curtains like a paper towel, letting the tone smooth out from shiny gold
to pale, shadowed cream. Oz was struck by how beautifully formed his friend was,
how much grace he possessed even in sleep, and he kicked off his shoes and
crawled onto the bed behind him, resting his arm over the glimmer of curve that
was Devon's waist and pressing his forehead between the warm fluidity of Devon's
Oz came to know bliss whenever he was curled up like this with Devon, taking deep
pulls of lingering scents. Perfume belonging to the girls draped all over him the
night before. Salty bitterness of sweat. Blanket of cigarette smoke. Heady
strength of cologne and the very last remnants of shampoo. Being a werewolf may
be a pain in the ass sometimes, but Oz still appreciated the heightened sense of
smell. There was something intensely comforting, and more than a bit erotic, about
being able to pick apart a person's scent. Especially Devon's.
Oz was just starting to drift off when Devon stirred and laid his arm over Oz's. His
hand smoothed over Oz's, interlocking their fingers and moving the combined mass
lazily across his belly. "When did you get back?"
"About twenty minutes ago." Oz shifted, curving in closer to Devon's warmth.
"Man, that early? Shit." Devon rolled over, inching back so he could prop his
shoulders and head against the headboard. Oz moved with him, adjusting to rest his
head on the muscular downward slope of Devon's chest. "Where'd you disappear to
"Ran into an old friend, ending up crashing with him." Oz scraped his fingers across
Devon's stomach, circling his belly button as Devon reached for his cigarettes and
lit one. "No luck for you?"
Devon let out a stream of smoke and laughed softly, the rumble echoing up from
his chest and into Oz's ear. "That chick turned out to be a nut." He absently ran his
hand through Oz's hair, massaging the scalp. "She kept trying to show me the
picture of Kevin Bacon she keeps in her wallet."
Oz barely managed to stifle a laugh. "Insanity never stopped you before."
"True." Devon's hand crept over Oz's neck, kneading the muscles. "But -- Kevin
Bacon? Jesus! Did you see 'She's Having A Baby'?"
Oz focused his attention of the motion of Devon's fingers across his back as they
slid over the material of his shirt. "No, I can't say that I did. 'Fraid I gotta question
your choice of entertainment there."
Devon swatted his back. "Shut up, you little twerp."
"Don't call me twerp, dork."
"Who are you calling a dork, squirt?"
Oz lifted his head and faked a glare. "That's low, man," he teased, a tiny smile
tugging at his lips.
"Oh?" Devon crushed his cigarette in the ashtray on the bedside table. "And what
are you gonna do about it?"
It was a simple matter for Oz to crane his neck and apply a glancing kiss to Devon's
mouth. "Convince you to beg for forgiveness?"
Devon sat up straight, pulling Oz up as well and gliding one arm around him. "Forgive
me?" he whispered. His tongue darted out, tasting the tiny crevice where Oz's
earlobe attached to his head. "Please?"
Oz closed his eyes and sighed, and his hands slid over Devon's skin almost on their
own. "Maybe..." he murmured, his head falling back to expose his throat to Devon's
mouth. "Are you sorry?"
Devon grabbed one of Oz's legs by the denim of his jeans, tugging until Oz was
straddling his lap. "Very," he breathed. "So...very...sorry."
Oz suddenly felt like he was drowning, overwhelmed by the heat of Devon's tongue
on his neck and the hands beneath his t-shirt and the tension in the legs beneath
him. He dropped his head to the side, then leaned back to dip his chin in and capture
Devon's lips. The fresh taste of tobacco bit into his tongue and he lapped hungrily,
somehow needing more and more to feel him, to feel Devon.
Angel is so fucking right.
The sudden burst of clarity forced Oz back for a minute, and Devon took the
chance to pull his shirt off. "Dev," he said softly, catching Devon's cheeks in his
palms and stroking his thumbs just across the strong cheekbones. "It's been a long
time, hasn't it?"
Devon stared at him and his dark eyes didn't seem to have a lot of focus. "You had
someone else," he whispered. "You didn't need me."
There was a silence in the room that hung between them until Oz blinked. "What?"
Devon's hands left the flesh of his back so fast Oz nearly fell backwards. "You've
had Willow," he muttered, running his fingers through his hair. "You haven't needed
me since --"
"And if I need you now?"
The tension faded as fast as it had come up, and Devon caressed Oz's thighs as he
leaned in and placed light, excruciatingly sweet kisses along Oz's jaw. "I'm right
There was an amazing fog creeping over Oz's vision, diluting every sharp feature on
Devon's face and blending them into a blurred mass of intensely appealing flesh. Oz
cupped Devon's face again and there was no turning back from the desperation
that accompanied such fervor, because reality took leave around the same time as
Devon's tongue touched his. And he tried to form words to cut into the palpable
sensuality enveloping them, but then Devon was flipping them over and grinding Oz
down into the mattress with such maddening force that Oz wondered if he could
ever welcome reality back into his life.
Oz's head fell to the side and there was just the ceiling, a dingy white spackled
surface staring back at Oz and then dissolving into a swirl of creamy shades as
Devon sucked a peaked nipple into his mouth and played it with his tongue, forcing
Oz to arch up and thrust against Devon and then fall back with the delicious weight
pinning him down. "Dev?" he mumbled. "What if I need you later?"
Devon lifted his slick lips from the base of Oz's ribcage. "Still here, Oz."
Things were happening in a daze, because his jeans seemed to float off, and Devon
was practically tumbling off the bed to crawl to his duffel bag and come up with his
condoms, and Oz was staring while Devon shed his own jeans and it took a very long
time for the condom to go on because it was so incredibly nice to just have each
other, to grasp with insatiable need for just one more kiss, and then another, and
just one last before Oz was blinking into the sheets while Devon hunted for
something, anything to use for lube.
And Oz had never been so glad to see a jar of Vaseline in his life.
Thank God for vanity and shiny teeth.
Oz couldn't quite comprehend anything so clearly as the need to press back and
pick up the rhythm of Devon prodding into him and finding just the right force with
which to slap together. It was comfortingly okay that it was fast and rough
because that was perfect, too. Everything was perfect, especially the strength of
Devon's hand closing over Oz's cock and coaxing him to such a shattering release
that Oz would have collapsed if not for Devon's arm, holding him up on his knees and
pulling his hips back until they did collapse, falling into a pool of crumpled sweat
and panting breath.
Oz rolled lazily onto his back while Devon disposed of the condom and lit another
cigarette, then lifted slightly to let Devon slip an arm under his neck. There would
be a shower to take and warm-up and the show that night, and then Sunnydale and
Willow and problems and everything else, but none of that mattered because Oz
couldn't think of that right then. All he could think that there was possibly nothing
nicer than having and being had.
And that Devon smelled fabulous.