World Without End

Oz curled up in the corner of the cage, knees drawn tightly to his chest as he shivered in the coolness of the early morning. The rough stone was cold against his bare skin, and he huddled tighter, trying to conserve what little warmth remained to him. He was pale, and thin; more so than he should have been. The near-constant letting of blood coupled with less than adequate nourishment left Oz weak and trembling. It was not, perhaps, the best situation he could have been in.

But, in his mind, it beat being dead or a vampire. So he did whatever was asked of him, played whatever twisted little game his owners wanted to play, and smiled the best he could. He comforted himself with thoughts of escape that he knew were lies. It wasn't a life, but it was survival, and it was more than enough.

The door to the basement opened, letting in a sliver of light and Oz willed himself not to flinch. Things got so much worse when the vampires thought he was afraid. Fear inspired them, turned them on, fucked him over. Most things did, nowadays.

Oz tried to remember happier times; before the vampires had gained power, when people had been free to roam around at night and have a good chance of surviving till morning. It was easier to stay calm when he could be somewhere else mentally. Anywhere was better than a cage. Anywhere had to be.

The door to his cage opened then, the sound registering somewhere in the back of Oz's mind. He didn't look up. Vampires hated when their playthings made eye contact.

A pair of boots came into view, and still, he didn't look up. The vampire crouched in front of him, then touched his chin, tilting his head up gently. Oz opened his eyes and shivered.

"Cold?" Rupert Giles' voice was soft and accented, his touch gentle, and Oz was torn between the desire to shriek in terror or crawl into the shelter that the vampire's arms offered.

Oz shook his head. "No, sir."

"You shivered. Surely you're not afraid of me?"

Stark, raving terrified, more like it. Oz dropped his eyes, focusing somewhere in the vicinity of Giles' chest. "No, sir. Of course not."

Giles turned Oz's head gently, tsking at the sight of several bite marks on his neck. He touched the marks lightly and Oz shivered again. "Have you been bitten anywhere else?"

"Um..." Oz shrugged helplessly then nodded. Giles did so hate for his pet to be abused.

"Show me."

Oz flinched, shame making him want to hide. Hesitantly he extended an arm, showing the already-healing marks at his wrist and elbow. There were more, but maybe Giles would be angry enough at the marks he had already seen to leave Oz alone for the day. It happened sometimes.

"Where else?"

But not today. Oz hunched his shoulders more and mumbled the answer, hoping that the answer would be enough. There were four popular places for draining blood. The neck, the wrist, the bend of the elbow, and the thigh. The first three were common enough, but the last was generally reserved for a mortal in the service of a single vampire.

Giles unfastened the chains binding Oz to the wall and tilted his head up again. "Look at me."

Slowly, reluctantly, Oz looked into the vampire's eyes. They were normal eyes, a rich hazel color, with wrinkles at the corners. Giles had not been a young man when he was changed. There was a scar on his forehead, barely visible but still there. All in all it was a handsome face, and under different circumstances, in a different world, Oz would cheerfully have given this man anything that he wanted.

Giles was silent, studying Oz's face carefully before leaning forward and kissing him gently. Oz closed his eyes and kissed him back, sinking into the familiar coolness of the vampire's body. The world narrowed down to the feel of Giles against him, Giles' tongue in his mouth, Giles' hands gripping his shoulders hard enough to bruise. Everything else faded into insignificance; there was no room for fear, or hate, or anything but the taste of him on Oz's tongue, the pleasure Giles always, always made him feel.

That was the danger of Giles. In his own twisted, sadistic sort of way, he loved Oz, and treated him relatively well because of it. It was a drowning sort of love, as Giles took more and more of who and what Oz was, leaving nothing behind except the tattered remains of a personality. What terrified Oz was that he responded to it, willingly giving Giles whatever he wanted. Oz had no need for an identity. He didn't exist except as Giles wanted him. He was a willing body, a sounding board, a continual source of fresh blood. He was nothing. Giles was all.

The kiss ended suddenly as Giles yanked Oz's head back and growled softly. Oz had a brief vision of inhuman features and then Giles' mouth was fastened onto his neck. A single sharp pain became a continuous, nauseating ache and Oz slumped against the feeding vampire's shoulder. He reached up, touching the soft hair at the nape of Giles' neck, stroking his hand down the smooth skin of Giles' back.

Giles pulled Oz tighter against his body, one hand on Oz's lower back, the other cradling the back of Oz's head, holding him still. Then he was being pushed back, onto the floor, Giles still pressed firmly against him, the rough stones of the floor digging into the skin of his back. He could feel the vampire's growing erection against his stomach and he whimpered, trying to move, to arch up against the suddenly warm body.

He ignored the rushing in his ears, and the way everything in his line of site was fading away to a blinding white. He ignored his body's refusal to cooperate with his mind's commands, ignored the fact that his hands were no longer moving. He struggled for a moment, lifting his head to place a tender kiss against Giles' shoulder, sighing and closing his eyes as he let himself relax back onto the ground.

And then Giles was pulling away, turning Oz over and he couldn't move, couldn't get up onto his knees, could only feel Giles' fingers stroking lightly down his spine, Giles' lips grazing the back of his neck. He heard the command to get up, fought to obey, and failed, falling back to the ground in misery. Oz could feel the slow trickle of blood on his neck and the wetness of tears on his cheeks. He tried again, and again to get to his knees, failing each time. Finally he gave up and just lay there with his cheek pressed to the ground, whispering apologies until even that grew to be too much of an effort.

Then Giles was gone and Oz was left alone and miserable, wondering if someone could die from feeling empty.

A month later he came to the conclusion that no, it wasn't possible. The emptiness went on forever, an ache somewhere in the vicinity of his heart. It didn't grow duller with the passage of time, just shifted forms, now sharp and piercing, now a slow, steady pressure stealing the breath from his lungs. Oz lay in the corner, staring blankly at the wall across from him. It took too much effort to move or sit up. He had failed, and he was all alone again. No one, not even the newly raised vampires, came to him to break the monotony. He was useless, discarded, unworthy of any sort of attention.

Giles came back then, unlocking the chains and picking Oz up easily, cradling him against his chest. Oz curled trustingly into the other man's body, too tired to care that he was probably going to die now and just letting himself pretend that he was being held in love.

He was carried into a washroom and placed gently into the tub. Giles turned the water on, and Oz moaned softly as the heat from the water seeped into him and relaxed muscles that had been tense for far too long. The sound made Giles smile. "Duck your head, love."

Oz slid under the water, closing his eyes as the warmth wrapped around him. Giles tugged him up and smiled again, reaching for the basket of soaps and shampoos the lay on the edge of the tub. He picked one and squeezed a generous amount into his hand. Oz closed his eyes and tried not to move as Giles' fingers combed through his hair. He was good, staying still even when Giles' hands slid below the surface of the water to wash his back and his legs.

Oz looked up, meeting Giles' amused eyes. They stared at each other for a long moment, until Giles leaned forward and kissed him, lifting him out of the water and carrying him to another room. Giles tossed him onto the bed and began to undress slowly, watching Oz's face and body for a reaction. Oz sat up, swinging his legs over the edge of the bed until they were flat on the floor. He was aroused and made no effort to hide it, the shame at wanting Giles long since relegated to a deeply buried part of his mind.

Giles was smiling tenderly as he walked over to where Oz sat on the bed. He leaned over, grabbing Oz's head and kissing him roughly, stealing Oz's breath as he had stolen everything else. Oz felt features twist and shift, and when he pulled away he saw the demon. Giles spoke and Oz obeyed, sliding to his knees and opening his mouth as Giles thrust forward.

Oz reached up, fingers digging into the skin of Giles' hips as he pulled the vampire closer. Oz wanted roughness, wanted the casual brutality he was used to from the other vampires. He wanted to force Giles into a role he could hate, instead of the dangerous warmth that pushed for Oz to give up everything if it would please the vampire. He sucked harder, teeth scraping gently over the tip of Giles' cock.

Giles grabbed Oz's head, pulling him back forcibly before slapping him. From a regular person, the slap would have stung briefly. From Giles, it snapped his head back, sending Oz sprawling onto the ground. Oz sat up, head ringing and looked warily up at the vampire. The look in Giles' eyes was anything but casual. He picked Oz up, throwing him onto the bed before straddling his waist and slapping Oz again. "You," he hissed, "are not in control."

"I'm sorry..." Oz whispered as Giles drew his hand back for another slap. "I'm sorry."

"Shut up." Giles sat back, and frowned at Oz. "Your life, your body, everything about you is mine."


Giles hit him again. "I said, shut up. You are not to speak, is that understood?"

Oz nodded miserably.

"You exist to serve me."

Oz nodded again, burying his face into the bedclothes to stifle a cry as Giles thrust into him slowly. He was burning inside, with shame and anger, and he promised himself that he would endure, because that was what Giles wanted. He wouldn't think, wouldn't act, wouldn't fight. Because Giles wanted his willingess.

"I own you."

Yes. Oz stifled another sob.


Yes. He pushed back against Giles' body, ignoring his body's demand for a respite.


For one moment Oz knew that he hated the man inside him, that he had never loved him. It was dependence, nothing more. But then that moment was gone and Oz's mind whispered an affirmation. His heart was Giles', always, forever.

Giles pulled him up, Oz's back pressed against Giles' chest. He licked Oz's ear and whispered, "And soul," before he bit into Oz's neck.

Oz's eyes widened in shock and pain. His body began to shut down, independent of his will, and his last thought before he slipped into unconsciousness was comprised of a single word. He whispered it, not caring if he died for his disobedience, but needing to respond somehow.


And then he was gone.


As time went on, Oz noticed fewer and fewer faces that he knew. He didn't know what had happened to them and he didn't, in fact, care. All he knew, all that was important, was that Giles grew steadily angrier. The bouts of violence became more frequent, the pain sharper. Sometimes Giles would stare at Oz with this strange, cold look in his eyes, and Oz would shudder, because that usually meant that the next few hours were not going to be pleasant.

It wasn't until the people came to fight the vampires on their own territory that Oz found out what was happening. There was a small group of people fighting back against the vampires and demons, killing any one that they found, saving the humans. The Master was furious, and often told Giles to do away with his human pet, saying that humans couldn't be trusted, that Oz would, one day, betray Giles.

Oz denied it, proving his devotion with his body and his blood time and again, swearing that he would die first. It never occurred to either of them that Oz would ever be able to betray Giles. He was incapable of it.

But then, one day, he did.

The people - Giles had only ever swore in reference to them, and all Oz knew was that one of them was a Slayer - had come to the Bronze, to fight and kill the Master. Oz saw it all from where he was sitting, curled up behind the curtains on the stage. He saw a woman - a slender brunette wielding a crossbow - aim at Giles, who was too busy fighting with two of the other humans to notice.

There was time to yell a warning, to warn Giles to duck, something.

Oz remained silent.

He watched the bolt fly through the air, finding its target and pushing through Giles' chest. He watched Giles look down in shock, and watched as he turned to dust, holding shape for just a moment, and watched as the dust crumbled away to nothing.

There was no expression on Oz's face as he walked out from behind the curtains, stopping long enough to pick up a piece of wood, before he made his way toward the Master. The vampire was busy fighting a petite blonde, trading blow for blow. He didn't see Oz walk up behind him or see him lift the makeshift stake. Oz pushed the stake forward with all of his strength, feeling it tear through flesh and muscle, making its way into the Master's heart. The Master whirled in fury, reaching out to crush Oz's throat even as his body dissolved into dust and his skeleton hit the floor.

It was, all in all, a satisfying sight.

The fight was over soon after that, with most of the remaining vampires running away after the deaths of their commanders. Oz just stared down at the Master's skeleton, shivering.

"Hey, um, thanks." The blonde touched his shoulder and Oz pulled away violently, tripping over the bones on the ground and falling to the ground hard. He scrambled back, putting as much distance as he could between himself and the people around him.

People. People were bad. Oz looked frantically around for something, anything familiar, wanting the reassurance of Giles' body. His back hit the wall and he whimpered, huddling in on himself as the realization of what he had just done sank in. He had destroyed his world. He

The people were gathered around him, their expressions ranging from disgust to pity. The brunette woman that had killed Giles knelt in front of him, holding out her hand. "It's okay. We're not going to hurt you. I'm Jenny."

Jenny. Oz formed his mouth around the word, sounding it out slowly, savoring it. He took her hand, looking at it curiously, waiting for the inevitable slap that would come from speaking out of turn. She just knelt there, holding her hand out steadily, her eyes dark with sympathy. "It's okay..."

Oz lunged forward, his arms going around her waist as he knocked them off balance. He buried his face in the fabric of her shirt, shoulders shaking as he cried. She touched his hair, stroking it, hugging him tightly and whispering reassurances.

"It's okay...shhhh...I promise. It's okay."

And for that moment, it was.