What surprised Oz the most was the way a certain
conservatism had to be adopted. It wasn't that control was
such an odd concept for him -- deep down his pride in his
control was large -- it was just that he'd always been able
to integrate that control successfully into his otherwise
Things happened, Oz kept his cool and did all his thinking
where no one could pick at it too hard. In leisure, there had
been time to laugh at random silliness with the most beautiful
girl he knew. In alternate leisure, there was the band, and
Devon in particular. A former Very Good Friend who'd reverted,
cheerfully, into the biggest tease on the face of the earth,
good-naturedly taunting Oz with what they both knew he'd
Hurting Willow was... beyond the pale. It still was, it will always
be, and yet there remains the urge to roll himself in Tara's
entrails and leave her for the carrion eaters. This would surely
hurt Willow, and yet a very large part of him continues to
scream That's Different, in neon and loud.
That part of him, through his own design, can no longer be
designated as 'just the wolf.' He is the wolf now, or possibly
the wolfman. It feels very 50's, like maybe teal or pink should
be involved somewhere, since he lacked a letter jacket.
In any case, it fit. He was one, he was the other. He spent a lot
of the time confused, but much less than he had when he'd first
succeeded in his change. This was much more frightening,
because Oz was not in the least ready to fully become this one
strange, new entity, despite his intellectual acceptance.
This new Oz thing is different, and about as far from laid back
as lycanthropically possible. Laid back in this form meant slipping
back into his jumbled race memory, relying on instinct. On the
outside it meant that Oz looked, talked, and behaved just like
his old self... except when Something happened.
Tara was a rather memorable something, and there had been
others since then. The casualties had been either minor or...
buried. Oz smiled at that whenever he thought of it, despite his
best efforts to call up everything he knew about the secularized
sanctity of life. He made fewer efforts these days.
He didn't hurt the innocent, no matter how irritating they were.
Even though it would be just as easy as snapping at the bees
that surrounded his muzzle.
His nose. His nose.
Sometimes, Oz's mental image of himself was that of a wolf in
a battered old Genesis t-shirt he'd stolen from his mother
before leaving Sunnydale the first time. In the image, he was
never wearing pants, but he was reading a book. Sometimes
a techno-thriller, sometimes poetry, sometimes nothing but
Willow after Willow. A thousand snapshots.
It all adds up to a need for control, more organized control.
Traditional control where he no longer simply hid his
thoughts. Rather, he occasionally hid them from himself until
danger passed. A moderated surrender to idiocy. Slack-jawed
and sun-blind, anything to pacify himself.
There were places Oz simply didn't go to anymore, possessions
and tokens tossed out in roadside trash bins,
compartmentalized Thoughts, only released deep in the wilds
of Wherever, alone and safe. Made safe.
It made him feel buttoned down, starched beyond recognition.
He still wore the clothes he favored, but there were times when
they were much too soft, too easy. He owned other clothes,
too, now. Things that required ironing, shoes that needed
shining. When he worked, he did so as a bank teller, an
accountant's temporary assistant.
He breathed deep of accounts and ledgers and studied the
pulse rates of his co-workers, and tangled his dreams of blood
with the urge to study, to know as he tore, as he sipped and
When Oz let himself lose control, it was spectacular. The fat,
unthinking prey laid out as neatly as tooth and claw would
allow before consumed with the knowledge.
He was a thinking werewolf.
He hated himself.
Not the dark, slow, consuming hatred of the suicide, or the
fiery rage of a man on the cusp of a decision. Just the simple
fact of hate, and the knowledge that it would all work out in
the end, the hate absorbed along with everything else,
occasionally teased out so the new him could study the old,
and perhaps marvel at the inefficiency.
Stubbornly, doggedly, he played his guitar. The only
organization he gave himself here was just enough to learn
new chords so that he can play more songs, lose himself in it,
even while bound by necktie and wingtip, hair grown out to
his natural ginger and trimmed neat, nails pale and bare. The
guitar was the last bastion of the little Oz-man, and thus
also a deep and vulnerable place. He dared not play for an
audience, because sometimes he does lose it, a little. Just
enough that he could now, by reflex, change the way he
holds the instrument so that claws didn't break the strings as
Perhaps damningly, he played on the outskirts of Sunnydale,
in the harsh light of day, humming soundlessly along and
unabashedly sniffing for prey (pack), whatever. Nothing
came, nothing tested him. There had been nothing to fail,
and Oz noted and pushed away the disappointment before
heading to Giles'.
Their scents were all over, of course. Overlapping in a strange,
compelling skein of bright to faded, spiced to bland, but Giles
was alone, and answered the door.
Stared at Oz for several long moments before offering his
name as a question. Oz might have played his guitar, but he'd
taken no other chances. Hair gelled down, suit and tie.
Uncomfortable shoes, and reading glasses tucked in his breast
pocket. Some things were hard to see for his new self, others
achingly clear. Oz nodded.
"May I come in?"
"Yes, yes, of course, please..." Giles stepped aside and gestured
him in. "Have a seat. Can I get you anything?"
Oz opened his mouth to refuse and immediately felt the
dryness of his throat. "Water, please."
Giles nodded and complied, and then they were sitting there,
facing each other and silent. Giles studied him keenly, Oz
responded in kind. Giles was a sort of muted happiness and
wary confusion. Oz wondered what he was, and wished he
could bite Giles.
Giles would be able to examine anything, examine him
thoroughly, and Giles would tell him what he needed to know.
"How can you stand it?"
"Stand what, Oz?"
Almost ingenuous, almost enraging, and Oz gestures quickly
at the two of them, at the neatness and control, pausing only
at the glint of Giles' earring, the softness of his sweater... "I
have to go."
"You don't." Reaching out.
"Don't touch me."
"All right." A pause, and Giles leaned back. "Is this for the wolf?"
"I am the wolf."
Giles nodded, and focused inward for a long, long moment. Oz
perched on the edge of the couch, ready to bolt, break the door
down, anything to get away from Giles just in case. Everything
was moving too fast to pin down, and he never should've
played this morning and his knee ached where Giles would've
His hand would have been warm. Solid and real and caring and.
Relaxed. He only wanted to soothe Oz and that was. That
"Oz... if you do it this way, there will always be something,
someone that can tear it all apart. A name, a look, a touch, a
scent. There'll always be something you can't predict."
An angrily rueful smile. "Among other things. Look, Oz, I
don't have a solution."
"You're wearing an earring."
"You look like a prep-school reject."
"I have to --"
"You don't. At least... not as much. You can't bury yourself in
this good little boy routine, Oz. It's not who you are, and the
real you is just getting pissed off."
Oz sat quiet, carefully sitting back only when the muscles in
his thighs began to tremble with fatigue. Giles joined him,
eventually, and began plucking his hair into spikes, one
steadying hand on his shoulder.
"I don't know if I can find a balance. I can't stay here."
"You will, and I know. A nice green dye might work."
"I --" Oz sighed. "It's hard to get the right shade."
Giles made a non-commital sound and continued at his head.
The steadying hand was very warm, and apparently coated
with a slow, torporous poison. Oz let himself settle back
against Giles with a sigh and a brief, frightening wish for his
mother. As a child, he'd been smart enough to dread growing
up, but it happened anyway. Certain comforts just weren't
there anymore, Giles was.
"Can we have sex?"
Giles finally paused, finally lost a little of that easy confidence
of years that made Oz feel like a perverse twelve year old. Oz
could feel every argument against it just behind him, roiling
through Giles. Oz took advantage of the confusion, stealing
the hand on his shoulder and biting gently at the fingers.
Sucking in two in messy haste, licking away salt and moaning
at the texture, the feel of them pressing down on his tongue
for one brief moment of intent before Giles pulled them away.
"I want you."
"Look at me."
Searched again and found... what? Oz leaned in the last few
inches and kissed Giles as seriously as he could. Not crushing,
not teasing, just kissing. Shifting to straddle one of Giles'
thighs, brush against the tightening bundle with his own. It
Giles stood suddenly, holding Oz to himself with apparent
ease and plundering his mouth. Groin to groin and grinding
and, for Oz, moaning is the last straw for something
undefinable. In human shape and wolf mind, biting hard at
Giles' mouth and struggling against him for more and now
Set on his feet, pushed away, and Giles looked angry and as
dangerous as Oz felt. Good. Good. Moved close again and
Giles pulled off sweater and t-shirt together and pressed them
close. Oz sucked and twisted at his nipples and was rewarded
with something between a gasp and a chuckle.
"We could go -- ah -- upstairs..."
Anything, okay, and Oz followed behind, struggling with his
own button-down before finally pulling it over his head,
mussing his hair with something like a deliberate satisfaction
as Giles stripped the rest of the way and came over to help.
Jerked Oz closer by his belt before yanking it out of the loops
"I don't play that way."
"Too bad --"
And then Giles' hand was on his cock and jerking and Oz can
barely stand. How long had it been? How badly was he going
to lose control?
Pushed to the bed and Giles got rid of the wingtips, peeled off
Oz's pants and left him there in just his shorts, cock hanging
out and angling toward his belly. Straddled him, looking down
and maybe planning, maybe just watching him. Oz wanted to
know what he looked like right then, wondered what it would
be like when Giles did whatever it was he would do and
"Giles, please --"
Bruising, strangling kiss and Oz got his hands in Giles' hair and
was rocked by the intimacy of it, or maybe just by everything
else. Giles braced above him, pushing hard against him,
breathing harshly around the kiss and biting back just as hard
and so dangerous. Kiss messily broken and Giles' shakes free of
Oz, sitting up again, scraping at Oz's nipples, tugging at his
"What do you want?"
"Fuck me. Hard."
Flash in Giles' eyes and then he ripped off Oz's shorts, shifting
back to bend up Oz's legs to get them completely off. And then
just... held them there, up and spread, examining Oz closely
and it was awful and he's hard enough to cut diamond.
Giles released him after several moments to get what they
needed, but Oz held himself in place. It had to be a little awful
right then, because that was about all Oz could stand.
Slick fingers inside him with a sudden thrust, and Oz flexes in
shock that Giles doesn't start with just one, but then Giles has
seemed to know exactly what Oz needed from the time he
walked in the door. A revelation there that he decided to face --
this was exactly what he needed. Simple rules and someone
else's strength, something else to believe in, and preferably in
the form of long, strong fingers inside him, twisting him and
fucking him into a newer (better) shape.
Giles replaced his fingers with his cock without a question,
without even a moment's hesitation, and Oz tried to roll up on
it further, thrust back, anything, but Giles was in to the hilt. And
there was the pause, a long moment for Oz to feel exactly
what he'd wanted and be tortured by it.
When Giles started to move Oz heard himself moaning and
couldn't even begin to understand how to stop. Let his muscles
stretch and groan with their own need and rocked back as much
as he could on Giles' cock, Giles' hard, steady fuck that had his
cock spitting pre-come all over his torso.
"Oh God so good --"
And Giles just kept on, silent and staring down at Oz, watching
him take it, pulling and twisting on his nipples and moving
faster, harder, still going, still so impossibly in control that Oz
thought he could come just by knowing that. On and on
until Giles finally took him in hand, the touch just as crippling
as the first one and let his strokes go ragged and vicious.
Oz came yelling, briefly shifting before falling back, losing hold
of his legs. Giles brought them to his shoulders and kept
going, making Oz sob a little every time he hit his prostate
until finally slamming in hard one last time and coming with
a low groan.
Oz laid dazed, half-lidded and impossibly loose while Giles
used a corner of the sheet to wipe them down. Smiling at
Giles' smile and wondering when he'd be able to walk
normally again. Giles settled in and pulled Oz close, breathing
heat against the back of Oz's neck and just generally making
it impossible to move.
He'd forgotten this feeling somewhere along the way, forgotten
how absolutely necessary it was from the very first time
something other than your own hand got you off. It was a good
and frightening feeling, and one he wouldn't mind wearing
under his clothes for a while.
Not a solution so much as a symptom of one.
Something to hold on to.