The fact that the Dingoes had a gig in a real club in LA was somehow less stunning than the fact that Devon was actually on time for it. Xander was backstage with the rest of them, hanging around the fringes and occasionally grabbing a bottle of water or holding a guitar while someone applied makeup or hair dye or, in Devon's case, liberal amounts of pot.

The makeup was something of an attention grabber. Oz had a smear of black eyeliner on both eyelids, and some glittery silver powder dusting his hair and cheeks. A part of him wanted to balk, the voice in his head whispering that men didn't wear makeup, but the larger portion of his mental powers were going towards keeping his hands to himself. The dark colours, the skin-hugging black nylon shirt, they were all conspiring to make Xander behave every bit as vapidly as any of Devon's dumb blonde groupies. The killer was, he didn't think anyone would notice here.

The club itself was filled, not because of the band, but because it was a Friday night in LA and the cover charge was minimal. What at first glance had seemed an equal smattering of the sexes had turned out to be a fairly large contingent of scarily pretty young men and a few girls who seemed more interested in each other than any of the glittering popboys.

"Gonna dance?" Oz asked, sidling up next to him on the decrepit couch. Xander grinned, feeling pleasantly buzzed by the secondhand pot and the skittering pleasure of knowing that his lover was going to be out there in the spotlight. He still wasn't quite sure what to make of that.

He shook his head, laughing as he tipped over and fell into Oz's lap. He looked at the ceiling first, and then at Oz himself, who hadn't even bothered to raise an eyebrow. Maybe it was something in the air. Maybe it was the gently questioning conversation they'd all had on the way here, the one he hadn't seen coming until he'd answered some offhand quip from Devon about driving stick. It was hard to remember that they were still the same people who would go home tomorrow and share a house, but it hadn't made him any less comfortable with the not-so-subtle homoerotic vibe that roiled through the club.

"No. I thought it would be better if people actually listened to you guys, instead of trying to help me out of my epileptic seizure. Sometimes I'm so white it hurts." His finger twirled through a lock of Oz's hair, and a touch of silver came off on it's tip. Devon snickered something from across the room, and Oz casually flipped him the bird. It looked elegant, and Xander began to wonder just how stoned he was. He'd only drunk the bottled water though, and he hadn't been that near the singer. Maybe he was just...relaxed.

"You're sure chipper."

"I'm bouncy. Happy. Glad I came, and glad I was invited."

Oz nodded, and Xander could feel the small movement as s shiver through him. It was delicious, and every sensation felt extended, decadent...he was definitely high.

"Hey, who drank my water," Mike yelped, pushing things around on the table in front of him. His eyes lit on Xander, widened, no doubt at his current position, and then fell to the near empty bottle in his hand.

"This was mine, I think." He sloshed the contents back and forth, wondering why it was such a big deal. There was a cooler of similar offerings next to the door, still half full. It wasn't like he'd taken the last one.

Mike was staring at him oddly though, a curious mix of laughter and outrage managing to escape. Giving it up, he shook his head and laughed, leaning over to pat Xander on the head.

"Well, that explains why you and Oz are suddenly all over each other."

He didn't like the sound of that, but he forced himself to ask anyway.


"My bottle of water, the one you helped yourself to, had a little pick me up in it. Who knows, the ecstasy might improve your dancing, right?"

Xander could actually feel the growl building in Oz's chest before he heard the softest burr of sound, and while that should have alarmed him it was actually more of a turn on than not. It was odd to be protected. Sometimes he wondered if the wolf in Oz would ever overtake the human, but he didn't have the words to ask, and he wasn't sure if he'd care. Right now, the thoughts slipped away like water, rippling away from the center of him and off to whatever fuzzy part of his mind that normally worried about all of them.

"It's okay Oz." He said the words before he realized he was going to, reaching up to push at the stiff spikes of dyed hair. "He didn't mean to."

"I don't care. Are you okay?"

Xander pushed himself up slowly, letting the room spin around him as the edges of it turned into bubbles of a colour he didn't think he'd ever seen before. He didn't feel bad, just lighter than he was used to, and more social, and maybe a little like laughing at the expressions everyone around him, including Oz, seemed to be wearing.

"Fine! I think I might dance. Always wanted to try this stuff, but Sunnydale's a little hectic for it. Just make sure I don't leave with anybody." He grinned, and liking the feel of it, stopped to do it again.

Oz stood himself, ignoring the mc as he called for them and everyone else shuffled towards the door. Xander didn't think that the flash of yellow eyes had anything to do with whatever variant of rave drug was tickling through his body at the moment. Another growl followed it, and Oz wrapped his hand around Xander's arm.

"Nobody but me." Oz hesitated, seeming to shake off the lowered voice and possessive look, but Xander used his height to an advantage and cupped his chin. He pulled himself down with it, anchored himself in the hot mesh of lips as he growled back. There was so much more to a kiss than he'd ever thought, all of it about the texture of another tongue in his mouth, and the roughened feeling of Oz's dry lips pulling hard on his mouth. He wondered if the shorter man could swallow him whole, and fought to taste just one more second of him, finally losing to Devon's angry shout for Oz to get his ass on stage.

"Nobody but you," he promised solemnly, tasting blood he'd drawn and wondering for a second what vampirism was such a bad thing. Coppery, like sucking on a penny, but warm. And wow, wasn't that sick. Shuddering lightly, Xander wiped his mouth on the back of his hand, hoping it was his blood and not Oz's. He wasn't a vamp, and it would do nicely to remember that.

The backstage was empty without the band, and it took him a minute to really adjust to that. He wasn't comfortable at all with how much he relied on them to be around, and he wondered with a sick sense of glee if that made him Super Groupie. And then the world skittered away from his edges again, and he wanted to be out there, out with them. Part of him realized that it couldn't happen that way, so he shuffled towards the next best thing, the dancefloor and two hundred people he didn't know.

Hours could have passed with him out there, and he wouldn't have been able to tell. At some point the ultimate club epiphany dawned on him -- it didn't matter if he danced well or not, only that he was willing to sway and crouch and wave along with everyone else. For a change it wasn't about who did it best, just who did it, and he could manage that. Some 45 minutes later, after Devon grinned at him like a demon and Oz worked magic with his fingers and a guitar string or three, after the singer had flipped off some moron asking for a Twisted Sister cover, after it all, he realized that he was way too thirsty to move anymore.

He didn't reach the bar before Devon's voice reached him, and he knew it was a cover of someone, but he couldn't pin down who. It made him turn though, surge back into the middle of the crowd and push his way back towards the stage amidst the jumping bouncing wall of people.


And Devon a centimeter from Oz's mouth, no, the mic between their lips, and Devon coaxing with those doe-slut eyes to get Oz into the chorus. And low, restrained, hungry, it came. The Wolf, he knew before he could even think otherwise. Never knew what? He should have paid attention to the words, but all he could see were Oz's lips, a strange kind of tunnel vision, and he forced himself back to reality before he had actually climbed up on the stage to steal his monster back.

Mine. And he knew, knew it then and knew it for as always as he could ever have. Oz was his. Devon was too close, and Xander felt himself howl the words as the song ended.

"I love you." An Oz turned as they ducked offstage, surprise there, and hunger, and Xander knew that he'd heard. Wolf ears, he guessed.

The lights came back up, and the manager promised another set in half an hour, and Xander moved away from it all as quickly as he could, because the anthem pounding in his head had nothing to do with drugs or lights or tricks in the lyrics. Half an hour? In half an hour he could make Oz howl like the Wolf never even thought to.