Circlet Razor

Angel knows how the story ends; monster defeated, kingdom saved, damsel returned to the bosom of her family, and that is where the movie screen goes black.

But he knows about the scenes left on the cutting room floor, the cunning of the villain, the way the hero falters and is seduced and felled by that overpowering attractive death. And the maiden is tossed down and impaled most viciously, or perhaps she uses her feminine confidence to bring a measure of security to herself. Prince Charming is laid out on a rack, pried open and explored in ever possible sense of the word.

Now, now, we're not near done, a bit of spine here, there it is..

The cinema tries to reassure the humans that there is justice in some form, eventually there will be a successful foray into darkens and that Light shall spear the Eternal Night at it center, rending it and allowing the protagonists to have a celebratory drink and copulation.

Congratulations of Living, let's have our Happily Ever After

He has never received one of those cards and doubts that they exist anywhere.

If only he had not experienced so much, then perhaps he might accept the guarantees handed out by the PTB, they are like so many used care salesmen, pretty pictures, small-print restrictions and time limits on every offer.

He's only seen the Oracles, but he speculates that some, like Whistler, wear bad suits and strive to be vague and omniscient.

And then there are his friends. They seem to think that he is without anyone else. Taken as a given that he will run to them, for there is nobody else that would accept one such as he.

And the regular implications that he prefers men. Not true, he likes breasts and dewy eyes with lips that form soft pouts, but he also welcomes sinews and hardness. They didn't get that he had been alive for so long that his tastes should not be a thing to joke about.

Though he is so painfully inept at verbal battle with a soul, that it is almost unheard of for him to adequately express himself, and be taken seriously.

Such a sugary violence. He could be standing still and still be breathing the same oxygen that fed his friends, and when they looked at him, it was a death with chocolate sauce that they saw.

A much-loved illusion, death that is courteous and will put one to bed with a hot cuppa'.

No one ever said that the wolf would lay them down gently, teeth might tear and cut, but there would not be any sort of 'tucking into bed' behavior.

Fur and blood would fly instead.


Oz stared without the troublesome concern of manners; here they understood one another, there would not be any rebukes when he did not turn away. The clothes, a covering for the humans, and new shades had come out. He didn't remember a blue shirt, or much color at all.

Sure he'd noticed the fact that Angelus liked to dress well. But Angel just wore dark colors, yet with the color coordination evidenced before him, it was clear that Angel was not ignorant of fashion and matching, simply uninterested or unwilling.

So he looks around, and comfortably abandons thoughts of words.

Those silent must communicate with other means; though for them, teeth were sometimes a far more effective tool.

Oz Remembers. Trees that he's never seen in this lifetime, the smell of earth, turned and soaked with the blood of a kill made with claw and canine know-how. Man has it too easy he thinks, staring around at humans, so out of touch with themselves and their inner, essential strength that they are very nearly useless, except as food.

A casual assessment of the crowd around him told him that all of the bar's patrons were imbibing to supplement the stores already building in their pudgy bodies. He rarely drinks liquor- fouls up the mechanisms, slows him down, so he finds its numbing properties to not be worth the rest of it. Some of the idiots would be so easy to pull down, not even funny how simple it would be.

With Angel, he envied the years of experience which allowed him to convey, with silence, a dip of the head, or, most dangerous, the eyes. The guy said things without chatter, though when Angelus spoke, he incorporated, using gestures to add to his already formidable well of character traits that made him very much not the proper boyfriend material. Especially for some one who hadn't been places.

Oz wonders what the Buffy of college would have said to her demon and how they might ahve handled things. He wouldn't bet on the Initiative over Angelus. The bastard might have been an enemy, but he valued his opponents enough to play with them, pull things out until something snapped- only understands that better now. Though, how to bring it up to Angel-? He doesn't know a good way. The vampire might not appreciate being compared with his alter ego all that much. Brings up bad memories.

Yet, he thinks that this Angel has changed. More collected than he was while in Sunnydale, being held back without protest by the Slayer. Here he has the chance to make himself more whole, with the results of letting go visible around him.

Angel smiles like sunlight dappled with falling leaves. Oz thinks this as the vampire looks at him and beams. Kinda scary for him to be that happy and still not a fatal acquaintance. He'd been having 'ah ha' moments for years, what that billboard meant, dust that used to be bipedal moments ago, and the entire 'furry thing,' which wasn't so much 'ah ha,' as 'in, that's different.' Life changes without notice or sense of justice, so it has to be provided.

He never minded not being the lead in the conflict, that was for people who had more control, more strength, or just the need to be in front. Of people. An ownership thing maybe, the way that Buffy owns Sunnydale. It will be hers when she is dust in the mouths of those who speak of her with the proper reverence.

He is sure that there must be someone who would be able to converse with Angel, while he sits and murmurs a phrase at unpredictable intervals. But perhaps, Angel just wants someone around who doesn't need to be entertained. An individual with whom he can sit without speaking, or not be judged on it. Everyone needs a bit of personal time, and with who he works, that may not be so easy to find anymore. Therefore, he expects nothing in the way of words from Angel.

He doesn't reflect on what 'innocent' means. If he eats the man who harassed him on the street, a reason plods out of the mess of shucked tissue and presents itself to him. Slower every time.

Doesn't lie to himself in those moments. He is the wolf, and he is on furred haunches, tooth shiny laughter from his mouth. Later he may try and feel guilty.

Someday he would like to take Angel hunting; he is sure that the vampire knows how, if he lived on the streets, he would have to know something, and it would be nice to run with someone. Not afraid. Sympathetic, supportive, or just silent. And all of that listening is for him and only him alone. A promise of endless pauses. Lulls.

Distances between words that could fuel cities. Not about love, eternal or fleeting, they have had that, and it didn't work out. So they've moved on and this might be about friends, or just two predators agreeing not to use or conceal their arsenals.

A truce of reciprocating comfort.