It is unlikely, I think, that I will live for long.

Destruction takes on its own form of being; I dissipate and slowly become lost to a wasteland of horrifying nothingness.

I am death, waiting to die. Lost, and yet found just enough to still be. To be, and nothing more. To be nothing.

I have discovered, in the course of discovering, that anything which purports to be nothing is at once something. An essence, when all else has failed.


The whimsical portent of death creeps upon me, tickles my fancy and insists on being entertained.

As well, who am I to deny it?


It was perhaps a mistake to kill Helen. Youth is brash in its decisions, and its notions of invincibility.

She could have warned me.

About the dangers of starvation if nothing else. Exertion of self- control, while it served its purpose in quieting the conflicting roar of infallibly chaotic pressing demands, collapsed upon itself, folded to create a precipice over which it was too easy to fall.

I learn the difference between want and desire, between need and necessity. There is none. It is all demand. All in the request, the undeniable and irrefutable insistence upon inane uselessness.

I should not have killed her. She could have preserved my sanity.


It is hot here; the apartment I inherited from Helen has long since lacked electricity or temperature control. Early winter has turned into early summer, and as the days intensify in their heat, my willingness to remedy my situation diminishes.

My situation being, my lack of being itself. My lackluster existence spent locked away where I kill nothing and concoct fanciful dreams of killing everything.

I know I cannot. I know if I were to do so, I would never stop. And though while I feel no qualms while in the act of killing, in the aftermath the Oz-that-was rears his head and guilt intercedes, just long enough to ruin what joy may have come from it all.

I last fed exactly one month ago: the night before the May full moon. I have fallen, quite unwittingly, into a pattern of feeding once a month, on the night when the moon pulls up into the sky and the wolf comes out to lend the demon the strength to override my will towards starvation.

I have come to despise my existence. The knowledge, particularly in this moment, that once the moon rises I will be forced to kill once more, and it will help nothing.

Yet still I go on.


Had I had the time, I would have re-evaluated my policy towards taking the first person I encounter and returning to my prison. It is the only control I have over the wolf, to avoid cruelty of the likes I inflicted upon Willow.

Not because I did not enjoy it. But its time passed all too quickly, and I was left with only the thoughts of what it had been like.

Hindsight is 20/20, and all; I only regretted grabbing the man's shoulder after the first bit of his blood left my mouth in a fine misty spray.

His face is horrified as he backs away; he holds a hand to his wounded neck, but his anxiety has its source elsewhere. He stares at me, his eyes darkening, and has the good sense to back up while stumbling over words.

He is afraid, I think.

This bothers me. A fact which bothers me even more.


I have fallen.

I must get up.

Helpless, at his feet, though I stand on my own. He saw something, he did, and now he simply stands there, waiting.

For explanations, perhaps. For reasoning to cut through the haze of nonsense that seeing me like this is.

It happened slowly, when it happened. He stared at me, took in what I was. He saw his blood dripping from my lips.

He walked away.

And I could do nothing but follow.

I ache for something new in my life, some guidance through the thoughts that tangle with each inextricably.

I need him to show me the way.

And he does. To his apartment door he led me, in the quiet courtyard I remember as being rather well lit during the days.

Funny, how my thoughts turn to the light I no longer see. I encounter things and always there is the brief query -- what might it have looked like in the sun.

"You know me," he said there, watching me carefully. Trained to watch, and so much more; his eyes darts along with every movement I make.

I nod. "I know you."

"You know I have weapons inside. You know I will kill you if I must."

"I know you."

He opens the door. "Come inside, Oz."


Words are inherently empty; they need voice to bring them to life, but the voice does not define the life.

Not necessarily. His voice, though it catches and errs, imbues certainty to his speech. Honesty.

This man says what he means, regardless of how it sounds.

He says he will kill me. I have no doubt of this.

My doubt concerns whether or not I want it.


"Please, sit." The hand he waves holds a stake; the only man I've seen wield power with both staunch dignity and careless casualness.

I know the instant I would need to make it to his throat (should I choose to do so) would not be enough. I would launch myself into my death.

I hold that thought. In case. I sit. "You're still bleeding."

"Yes, I am." Eyes still latched upon me, he moves into the kitchen area, finding a napkin to press against the relatively minor wound.

Relative, to what I could have done.

He returns, leans against the wall and stares. Penetrating eyes, he has. Deep and analytical; probing. "How long, Oz?"

"Six months." I smile, not because I am amused but to confirm the dawning look on his face.

He understands. "You -- you killed Willow."

Not a question, nothing to answer. "Aren't you going to ask about Devon, too?"

Taunting, gloating. Their source is lacking within me, and yet I manage the tone.

I wonder how long it will take him to decide to kill me.

Or if he has decided already.

He looks away; I got him. "Anyone else that we don't know about?"

"No. I don't do it anymore."

The eyes, again and again, coming back to tear into me. "I beg to differ. My throat would seem to indicate otherwise."

"Your voice would seem to indicate I didn't kill you." I run my tongue over my teeth; they have been denied. "I don't...kill, anymore."

"You, Oz, are a vampire. You only kill."

"How very politically incorrect of you. I maim as well, you know." I am sidetracked. "I have killed four people since Willow. You were meant to be the fifth."

"Why only four? And why wasn't I?"

"I didn't much care for it. And I didn't want to kill you."

"Any particular reason?"

I let my head fall back against the chair I am in. The ceiling is white, spackled; I search for patterns in the rough texture and find none. "Your blood tastes like shit. Because I didn't want to, okay?"

I look back at him as he speaks. "Why Willow? And Devon?"

As he speaks, I can see his muscles relaxing. Something about me is putting him more at ease; he believes that I will not attack. Stupid of him, but not incorrect.

Relaxation on this man, the closer it gets to being total, reads as trust. As understated calm and unobtrusive peace of mind. He leans deeper into the wall, quite a feat considering it has no give, and he regards me not with distrust so much as curiosity. "I didn't know then."

"You didn't know...?"

I sigh. The subject makes me weary; it dredges up uncertainties I would choose to ignore if it were possible. "Tell me, Giles. Ever seen a werewolf become a vampire?"

Something akin to understanding comes across his face. "No, I haven't."

"It's the night before the full moon, Giles. There have been four of them since Willow, and tonight is the fifth."

The look on his face is nearly comical as it all comes together; I picture his brain as puzzle pieces coming together. "I didn't even realize what tonight was."

"People tend to ignore things that don't immediately fit into their consciousness of what should or should not be. You saw me in human form; you ignored the moon. It just happens."

"You believe that things 'just happen'?"

"Yes. Perhaps for a reason. But they do happen."

He frowns, examining my form. "So what 'just happened' with you, Oz? What does happen when a werewolf becomes a vampire?"

I stand and there it is. He is guarded again; he grips the bit of wood in whitening knuckles. "A lot, Giles. A lot."

"Would - would you mind standing over there?"

I move slowly, so he doesn't panic, but I do not back away.

The tip of the wood feels...good, against my chest. I lean into it, close my eyes and feel the sharp point dig through my shirt and threaten penetration.

I imagine it forcing through, sliding into my heart and sitting in that weight. Until I fade away and am no longer me, and all there is, is wood and ash.

How perfect it seems. Something is in my mind, some shred of coherency that recognizes a connection. "Do you want to kill me?" I whisper.

I refuse to release his eyes. The windows to the soul; what are they if you possess no soul?

I wonder what he sees when he looks at me. I wonder why he stares so hard and so long; if there is nothing there, what is he looking at?

I wish I could look in a mirror, times like these. See what it is that has his eyes so dark with some hidden emotion. "It's not a matter of wanting," he says, just as softly. His hand does not withdraw. "Did you know that Buffy is dead?"

I see it now. The added slump of the shoulders, the weakened set of his mouth. Defeat. Loss.

Something entirely separate from Willow. Even her death could not hurt him like this. "No. How?"

"Vampires." His mouth hardens; I can smell the hatred below his flesh. "She found Willow, you know. Killed more of you in the next three weeks than she had in the past year."

"Sounds like she was on a roll. Did she get sloppy?"

I barely notice that the tip of the stake leaving my chest, preoccupied with the strange fact that I am no longer standing.

This section of the hardwood floor is not carpeted, I note with dismay, after my head has encountered it with more intimacy than I would have liked.

"Don't," he hisses. "You don't want to...don't."


Hot breath against cool skin makes for odd sensations. Of tingling. Of boiling fury against ice.

Ice would seem to melt before fire extinguishes.


He's wrong. I do want to. I flip with ease, catch his arms and press his wrists to the floor.

I wonder which of us fears death less, now. He stares up at me and there is something new, something dull and resigned. The marks on his neck have ceased to bleed, but it would be simple to tear them open again.

I kiss him instead.

I have to admire that he is so determinedly hard. No reaction. At all. I get up.


Watching the careful progress of night retreating, I wonder why he let me leave at all.

"Who do you hate more, Giles?" I asked after I let him up from the floor. "Me, or Angelus?"

"Why do you ask?" The words were muttered, his voice low and drained of energy.

"I just wonder. Do Jenny and your own torture amount to more, or less, than Willow and Buffy?"

He sighed and fell into a stool by the counter. "I think you had better leave."

I left. Now, I pull the curtains tightly closed.

I will wait. I told him I would be back.


Night falls. I can feel the moon rise into the sky in its fullest orb, and the expected pull from wolf and demon combined. I ignore it.

I wait for midnight to pass, and walk slowly back to his apartment. He sleeps; I follow the vague scent of alcohol up the stairs.

He is sprawled, misplaced, upon the bed, and only stirs when I open the shades to let the light of the moon pour into the room.

I wait, staring up into the same pull that directs the oceans. To roar up; to come forth in torrents that can drown the weak.

Fighting the very stream of light I stand in, I fail to notice him wake. "What are you doing here?"

"Showing you," I say quietly. "Do you see?"

"Frankly, no."

"It wants me, Giles. For good."

I face him as he sits up. "How so?"

"I can be the demon, or the wolf, or both. I cannot be neither. They refuse to be denied entirely."

"Are you saying you want to be neither?"

"I don't want to be...this." I step out of the light; the pull eases slightly. "What do you want to be, Giles?"

He shakes his head, stares up at me with pain in his face. "I - I don't know...I want to be --"

"You want to be understood." He doesn't move, only tenses slightly as I sit next to him. "More than anything, you want someone to see your pain as what it is. Just pain. Not a problem to be fixed."

He shuts his eyes; I reach and brush a finger across his cheek. "You killed --"

"I know I did." His chin is rough with stubble; it feels nice against my tongue. "I hadn't learned, Giles. I hadn't learned what happens."

His breath is too ragged, too strained; he clutches my out-stretched hand and holds it to his face. "You hadn't learned what?"

"That Oz is still here, and he doesn't like the things I do."

"Oz..." He blinks at me, shakes his head. "Are you going to kill me?"

"Do you want me to?"

"No...Are you going to kiss me?"

I smile, mildly amused. "Do you want me to?" He remains silent. "You have to say it, Giles."

"Yes." I can barely hear it, so low and uncertain it almost isn't there.

I do it; I kiss him. His lips work slower than his hands; he reaches for me while still resisting the fullness. "Do you?" I hiss, letting my hand fall to his leg. "Do you really?"

His touch is needy, clinging, and his mouth says things with mere motion.

There are tears; I see them just before my eyes close and I fall beneath his already over-heated body. He tastes bitter, of old alcohol and expensive cigarettes; I draw on his tongue and force him to continue.

There are things flesh can do that are hard to describe: a tiny muscle in his shoulder twitches under my cool hand; a vein in his neck throbs.

It catches my attention; I pull away from his mouth and roll him into the mattress, pressing my lips to his neck, just aside from the previous night's wounds. "If I bit you --"

"-- I'd let you drink."

It is not a whisper; it is not a groan. It is merely a sound, with air behind it, driving it out and between us.

My teeth slide slip into his skin with the same ease of my knee between his legs: smooth, easy. Pressing down and carving a small niche, and drawing everything from each invasion that he can afford to give.

My fingers slide through his hair; he arches under me. Strange, how his body propels itself against me.

Begging for more of the act which could take his life.

His blood seems to have a life of its own, racing to fill my mouth; to get in every niche and slide between every tooth; to find places I knew not existed.

To make it as hard as possible to stop before I take too much. As if every fiber of his being aches for death, and only his words deny it.

I stop. Withdraw my teeth and gently coax the end of a waning stream of blood from each mark.

Focus my attentions on slowly, carefully unbuttoning his rumpled shirt and scratching my fingers across his chest.

His eyes are closed; his head drops to the side. I lean back in, trail slight, easing kisses along his skin; I can hear his heart rate speed up.

Devon, in this position: I killed.

Willow, in this position: I killed.

Giles, in this position...I cannot. He arches again beneath me, launches his body up with weakened strength and we fall, tumble off his bed and tangle on the floor.

He lands on me, shirt open and mouth searching for mine; it is a simple act to allow it.

A simple act, as many others are. The removal of clothing, nearly instinctual after years of the daily ritual. The passage of hand over skin, curious, seeking. A soft grip; a careless squeeze.

Idle sounds erupting within a breathy cocoon of carpeting and the occasional mound of discarded material.

He is not new to this, to being pierced in this way. He knows where to put things: his legs, his hands. He knows just how curl his back to best allow my thrusts, and he does not hesitate to pull my fingers forward and wrap them around his cock, guiding me when I forget.

That he is there; that I am not rutting down into some faceless soft mass without being.

He is there.

He is.


I wake in the last hour of darkness; I sit up and watch him sleep, warm but pale against the dark carpet.

He breathes; I can hear the air whistle out of his nose.

I get up to draw the blinds.

I will not be leaving. Not now.


I waited until the sun arose to wake him; he started at my light touch and now stares at me with calm patience.

"You stayed."

I nod. "I stayed."

"Why, may I ask?"

His tone is merely curious. I tip my head, regard him with care. "There are things to be done."

"Wh -- Such as?"

I smile, soft but insistent. "No. There is something to be done. You must determine what it is."

He hesitates. "What are my choices?"

He is smart; he understands already that somebody will die today, and it is his choice. The question is a pure formality. "I open the curtains, wake tonight and we leave this house, and we don't come back."

He watches; he does what he does. I reach, and I take his hand. "We can be something else, Giles. I already am."

His eyes close for the last time while he lives; he sighs.

Acquiesce: resign. Consent to any and all.

Be taken.

I move behind him, take his slumped form into my arms.

The blood tastes good. Better. The last of its particular sort.

He dies slowly, lying against me. I tear open my wrist with my own teeth; rock as he pulls in deep gulps with the last of his strength.

He dies slowly.

With me.


He will wake soon. We will...we will be.

We will live.

We will teach each other how, as only we can.

We will.