An American Werewolf In Westbury
by Neena

Her scent came to him on the warm summer breeze, calling to him. She was nearby, he knew, but she wasn't alone. Another familiar scent mingled with hers — a scent that called to him in an entirely different way. He longed to see them, to talk to them, but he'd learned it was safer all around if he kept his distance.

He paced up and down along the fence, the tall, cool grass tickling his belly, until he got a fix on her scent. He followed it, tracing her familiar fragrance to a brook that ran along the border of the large estate.

He finally saw her, sitting on a blanket under a large oak tree, her legs drawn up underneath her. She looked peaceful, and he was happy for that. He hadn't seen her at peace in a long time — not since she'd brought Buffy back. Giles came into view, striding towards her from the edge of the stream. He leaned casually against the tree, his brown duster flapping in the breeze. He couldn't hear what he was saying, but he saw the effect it had on Willow, and he felt a pang of jealousy at the closeness they shared.

A low, menacing growl curled his lips, and he fought for control over the wolf. Jealousy was the wolf. It was jealousy that had kept him segregated for so long. It was jealousy that almost killed the only girl he'd ever loved. He had to control it now, or he would risk losing them both forever.

He stalked away, a bitter, metallic tang at the back of his throat. Even after years of practice it was still a battle to control the animal within. Especially here, where the very air was laden with mystical energy.


Willow returned to the coven's common room after taking a long walk around the woods on the estate's property. She kept getting the feeling that she was being watched, but she didn't trust her powers enough to tell anyone. She went over to Giles who sat in one of the high-backed reading chairs, doing exactly that — reading. She took a peek over his shoulder to see what had him so engrossed.

"Tabloids?" she asked in disbelief.

"Yes," he said without shame. "They're surprisingly useful in keeping tabs on the netherworld. See here?" he said, pointing to the front page headline, "Vampire Baby Nurses Mother to Death". If you can weed out the tall tales, there's actually quite a lot of accurate information on demonic activity. Don't laugh."

She couldn't help it — Giles praising the underbelly of literary publications was too funny for words. She giggled uncontrollably, clutching her sides to quell the happy pain.

Giles smiled broadly in return. It was such a relief to see her happy, even for brief periods. Thankfully, they were becoming more frequent, and the moments of suicidal guilt, much less so. The luscious green mid-summer splendour of Westbury had worked its spell on her, figuratively, of course. The coven had taken her under its wing and was slowly restoring her self-confidence. But she had a ways to go, yet.

Willow wiped at her eyes and sat opposite Giles. Her smile faltered as an image of him slamming him into the ceiling of the Magic Box popped into her head. The remembered look of pain and sadness on his face seemed just as vivid to her as the happy smile he now displayed. She wanted to make it up to him. Somehow.

Despite the fact that she'd hurt him so bad, he never gave up on her. He stayed with her — the only man in a large coven of witches — and promised he'd help her for as long as she needed. He hid it well, but she knew he was lonely. The witches were a secretive lot, and although they respected him, they kept their distance. And Willow knew she made poor company these days.

She managed a smile that was convincing enough to evade Giles' concern, and secretly wished he would get out more and maybe even meet someone. That would make her truly happy.

Giles made a show of flipping through his trashy tabloid, licking his thumb to turn the pages with a dramatic flourish. She laughed again and picked up the novel she'd started reading earlier that day. Nothing like a good romance novel to take your mind off the unpleasantness of real life.

Giles quietly read his paper, and had to concede that it really was the most horrendous drivel. Tiny articles sandwiched between huge adverts for ridiculous weight-loss methods and hair growth treatments. He was about to put it away in favour of a real book, when a tiny headline caught his eye. "Hell Hound Haunts Hills of Westbury". He read the short article with growing alarm: "The citizens of Westbury, home of the mystical White Horse, have recently become the victims of an ancient terror — the hell hound. Several locals have spotted the enormous beast stalking about late at night, seeking out its next victim. Not ones to be scared off easily, the resident farmers have banded together to form a hunting party to bring down the evil creature before it can kill more than just a few chickens..." He read on to discover that they believed the creature was a werewolf and that plans had been made to hunt the beast during the next full moon.

It could just be coincidence, he thought, although his gut told him otherwise. Werewolf sightings in the vicinity of Willow could only mean Oz. And now his young friend had made himself the target of an angry lynch mob.

Giles turned his eyes to Willow, curled up in a chair, reading. He nonchalantly got up and wandered over to the writing table and pretended to riffle through some notes while he checked out the desk calendar. Giles cursed beneath his breath. The full moon was tomorrow night.

He looked back at Willow, who looked up at him and smiled. He smiled back as best he could.

"Willow?" he asked.


"I-uh — I hope you don't mind, but I thought I might pop down to the pub for a bit. I won't be long."

"Of course I don't mind," said Willow, surprised and a little freaked that he chose now to go out — so soon after she'd been thinking he should do just that. The frightening thought that she might have inadvertently influenced him flashed through her mind.

"Good," he said, checking his pockets for his car keys. "Like I said, I won't be long."

"You don't have to rush back on my account. I'll be fine — I've got a date tonight, anyways."


"Yep. Me and Jane Austin are gonna have a romantic night by the fireplace. Who knows, we may even indulge in some ice cream later."

"Well, if you're sure..."

"Go out and kick back a little," she said, physically shooing him out the door.


Giles lucked out. The first pub he went into — the Spotted Jackal — had a notice on the bulletin board announcing a "full moon gathering". He inquired about it at the bar and the bartender gave him a thorough once over before nodding.

"If you'd like in on the action, be here tomorrow night at sunset. And come prepared," he said and gave a none-too-subtle wink. Giles thanked the man and ordered a pint of Guinness.

Willow was still reading in the common room when he returned and she called to him. "Did you have a good time?"

Giles popped his head into the room and nervously toyed with his car keys. (Damn, how he missed his glasses! What good were contacts when you needed something to fidget with?)

"Yes...yes, it was nice to get out," he said, and was suddenly struck with an idea. "In fact, I, uh, met someone tonight. We're planning on getting together again tomorrow night. That is, if you think you'll be okay here without me?"

"Are you kidding? That's amazing!" Willow practically bounced with excitement at the news. Her wish for him had come true, and right now she was too ecstatic to care about ethics and consequences. "I want details. Who is she? What does she look like? What are you gonna do for your first date? And I'm asking too many questions, aren't I?" she asked in response to Giles' overwhelmed expression.

They stayed up for a while chatting. Willow kept offering advice on what he should wear and what topics of conversation to avoid. Giles assured her that he was over his tweed phase and that the Hellmouth was not a subject likely to come up on a first date.


Late the next afternoon, Giles snuck out of the house and packed his tranquilliser gun into the boot of his car. He also brought some hiking clothes to change into, because Willow would think it odd if he went on a date dressed like a hunter.

He was about to leave when Willow ran up to him.

"I want you to have this," she said, handing him a small clear crystal.

"Willow, you know I can't accept that," he said, knowing she'd get in trouble with the coven if they caught her handing out charms.

"It's just for good luck, Giles. And I'll be hurt if you don't take it."

He took one look at her pouty face and her huge hazel eyes and couldn't refuse. He didn't want her to think he didn't trust her, after all.

Willow waved at the car as it drove away and grinned. Giles was going to have plenty of luck...

She went back into the sprawling manor house humming tunelessly and feeling like she'd finally taken a step in redeeming herself.


Giles and the other "hunters" had been wandering aimlessly for nearly three hours and had found absolutely nothing. Not that Giles was surprised. He'd never seen such a pathetic collection of human beings in his entire life. Half of them were low-brow, piss-drunk miscreants, who were only tagging along on the off-chance that they might get the chance to fire off a round or two. The other half were self-righteous fanatics who believed they were on a crusade to save their community from the forces of evil. They didn't understand, or just didn't care, that the beast they were hunting was a human just like them most of the time.

Giles still wasn't sure what he was going to do if they came across Oz. He'd hoped he'd be able to talk some sense into these people, but he'd clearly misjudged. He could only pray that Oz would just stay out of their way. God knows they were making enough noise to wake the dead.

As it happened, Oz did hear them coming, but the timing couldn't have been worse. The caves he'd been living in were too far away to reach in time, and there was nowhere to hide. He tried to revert to his human form — something he'd mastered long ago — but it wasn't working. The whole area was abuzz with supernatural forces, and it was having an effect on his control over the wolf. The transformation was halted midway, with Oz's mind and soul trapped in the werewolf's body.

Torn between freezing still and fleeing, Oz decided a little too late to make a run for it and took off towards the caves at top speed.

Giles heard the gunshot before he even knew Oz had been spotted. His heart plummeted when he saw the large, dark animal dragging one of its front legs. At least the shot hadn't been fatal. The rest of the "hunters" started chasing the werewolf, one or two of them taking wild shots that came nowhere near their target.

Oz ignored the searing pain in his leg and concentrated on the dark opening of the cave ahead of him. Just a little further and he'd be safe. The next shots spurred him on, driving him to quicken his pace. At last he made it into the cave, and he kept going until he got to the little chamber he called home. From his dark hiding place, he could hear the raised voices of the men arguing outside. He began to shake, partly from the adrenalin and partly from the pain. His leg was dripping with blood, and he knew that if those men waited out there long enough they wouldn't have to shoot him again to kill him. He would die from blood loss.

Outside, Giles was doing everything he could to convince the others that going into the cave would be suicide and that standing around waiting for the werewolf to come out would be futile.

A few of them shone their torches into the inky blackness of the cave. The dank air seemed to swallow the tiny beams of light. Somewhere in that impenetrable darkness was an injured and agitated werewolf. It didn't take long for the drunken thrill-seekers to lose their interest. The fanatics took a bit more convincing. Giles pointed out that the amount of blood on the ground could only mean that the beast was dead or dying, and that there was no sense risking their lives to prove otherwise. Inwardly he prayed he'd been exaggerating about Oz's injury.

When at last the group disbanded, Giles followed them until he was sure they wouldn't notice his absence, then he turned back. He stood at the entrance of the cave and shone his light into the darkness. There was no sign of movement. He checked to make sure the tranquillizer gun was loaded and slowly advanced into the cave, feeling the blackness envelop him like a shroud.

"Oz?" he called every few steps. Finally he heard a sad whimpering that could only be coming from the injured werewolf. Giles ducked into a small chamber opening off the main tunnel and shone his light around the small space. There was a bedroll covered in blankets, and food and water in one corner. Giles knew when he found a well-worn copy of Nietzsche and a Walkman that this was Oz's hideout. He continued to scan the room and nearly passed over the dark lump on the ground until he noticed the lump was breathing.

"Oz — is that you?" he asked, cautiously approaching the werewolf. Even when injured (or perhaps especially when injured), a werewolf was a dangerous animal. It didn't matter to the werewolf if it was attacking a friend or an enemy — if it felt threatened it would kill to protect itself. Giles couldn't see well enough to judge what kind of reaction he was getting from Oz, but he hadn't been ripped to shreds yet, so he supposed that was a good sign.

Giles found a lantern near the entrance and lit it. The warm glow filled the little chamber and he got his first good look at the werewolf in front of him. The fur on Oz's right shoulder was matted with blood. The pain and fear was evident in Oz's lupine eyes. Giles took off his jacket and slowly inched closer.

Oz couldn't believe Giles was doing this. He had no way of knowing that Oz was trapped inside the monster's body. If he hadn't been, Giles would be dead by now. He'd expected to be shot with a tranquillizer, but Giles had put the gun down. He saw the fear in Giles' eyes and knew he was very much aware of the risk he was taking — he was oddly touched by the trust his friend was showing him. When Giles lifted up his head and tucked his jacket underneath it to use as a pillow, Oz tried to think of a way to let him know he was safe. The only thing that sprang to mind was to lick him. So before Giles could pull his hand away, Oz gently licked at the older man's hand.

Giles jerked his hand away, thinking the werewolf was going to bite. Oz just looked up at him with sad puppy-dog eyes — there was no evil in them. Fearing he was being extremely foolish, Giles brought his hand back up to the wolf's face. Oz licked him again and nuzzled his nose against his open palm. Giles smiled nervously, but kept his hand there.

"You're going to be fine, Oz. But I've got to clean and dress that gunshot wound before you lose too much blood. I'll be as gentle as I can, but it's still going to hurt. Do you understand?" he asked hopefully. Oz licked him again in reply.

Giles searched the cave for anything he could use to dress Oz's wound, but all the blankets and clothes he found were too dirty to serve the purpose. He did find a large jug of water, though, and he brought it over to Oz, who was shivering pathetically on the ground.

Giles took off his shirt, wishing he'd thought to wear more layers. He then tore it into long strips to use as bandages.

"Brace yourself," said Giles. Taking his own advice, Giles braced himself and poured the water over Oz's bleeding shoulder.

The werewolf yelped and growled at the pain, scaring Giles. Oz fought to control his reactions, but he couldn't help the odd whimper or snarl as Giles worked on him.

When he was finished, Giles sat back and admired his handiwork. He'd managed to staunch the bleeding, but he'd have to wait till morning to know how well his patient was doing. Until then, he figured he might as well make them both comfortable. Not wanting to move Oz, Giles brought over the blankets from the bedroll and covered him where he lay. He then turned off the lantern and stretched out on the thin mattress, trying to ignore the chilly air on his bare chest and arms.

He was just dozing off when he awoke to a whining noise close to his ear and felt hot breath on his face. Oz had managed to drag himself across the chamber and began licking Giles' face. Then the werewolf curled up next to him on the tiny bed, pressing up close to him to stay warm.

Giles was momentarily at a loss. How did one go about comforting a werewolf? He had no idea; but when he was a boy, he had a big black lab that used to sleep next to him like this, and she always liked...

Oz's eyes fluttered shut, and he was pretty sure that if he'd had a tail it would be wagging. Did Giles realize what he was doing? Oz really didn't care at this point. The large, strong hand stroked firmly along the length of his body, smoothing his fur and soothing him. Occasionally the hand would stroke his head and scratch behind his ears in a way that was strangely satisfying. Oz let out a sigh and slipped off to sleep under the comforting caresses of his former high-school librarian.


Giles awoke in the dark, feeling cold, achy and confused. His eyes were wide open, but he couldn't see, and for a second he honestly thought he'd gone blind. Then he remembered where he was and who he was with, and he suddenly realised that the warm, smooth skin under his hand was not his own. He snatched his hand away from Oz's thigh and the young man leaned back against him.

"You can leave it there, if you want," came Oz's familiar voice out of the darkness. "I don't mind, really...it was kinda nice."

"I, uh...um...I..." Giles stammered helplessly.

Oz felt around on the floor until he found the lantern. He turned it on and rolled onto his back, looking up at Giles. The golden light from the lantern bathed them both in a soft amber glow.

"What you did for me last night, Giles...well, I thought it was incredibly brave," said Oz, fixing him with a steady gaze.

"Or incredibly stupid," Giles replied, fighting the temptation to stare at the younger man's body. Why was he flaunting himself this way? "Wait a minute — you remember what happened last night?"

Oz nodded, "All of it." His usually unreadable face broke into a devilish grin. "You were very sweet. I especially liked it when you sang to me."

"I wasn't aware that I had," said Giles, clearly flustered. "Oz, I'm sorry — I had no idea you'd remember. If I'd known, I never would have..."

"Treated me like a great big puppy?" Oz finished. "It's okay, Giles. Like I said, I thought you were sweet." Acting on impulse, Oz drew himself up and kissed him softly on the lips. That nearly sent Giles into a whole new dimension of awkward embarrassment. He bolted upright and pressed himself against the cold stone wall, crossing his arms over his chest in modesty. Before he could muster up words to express his confusion, Oz intervened.

"Giles, relax, it's okay — I'm backing off. I didn't mean to freak you out. I thought I was getting a vibe back there, that's all. My bad." Oz turned away and started rooting around for some clothes to wear.

Giles was stunned speechless. He watched the slim young man struggle to pull on his pants for a while before clueing into the fact that Oz was injured and needed his help. Overcoming his natural shyness, Giles got to his feet and came up behind his old friend.

"W-would you like a hand?" he asked, clearing his throat nervously.

Oz nodded and turned to face him, allowing his jeans to pool around his ankles. Even in the dim light he could see Giles flush a deep red as he knelt down to retrieve the pants. Oz held onto Giles' shoulder to steady himself as the older man pulled up his baggy jeans. Giles' shaky hands fumbled with the zipper long enough for him to become acutely aware of Oz's arousal. When he finally stood up, he couldn't bring himself to look into the boy's eyes. But Oz still had his hand on his shoulder and refused to let him move away to a 'safer' distance. Giles eventually gave in and met his eyes — Oz's expression was caught somewhere between concern and...something else. Concern won out in the end.

"Are you alright?" he asked soberly.

"I should be asking you that question," Giles answered.

"No. I mean, are you okay with me now? Knowing how I feel about you?"

"You don't beat around the bush, do you?"

Oz shrugged, a wisp of a smile gracing his face.

Giles retrieved his jacket from the cave floor and put it on as he tried to come up with an answer.

"You have to understand that it's a bit of a shock. I honestly don't know what to say," said Giles.

"Then don't say anything. Just think about it. I'll keep my distance like I always have in the past, and if you decide you want to see me again, just leave a signal. I'll find it." Oz busied himself with finding a clean shirt. He could almost hear the battle going on in Giles' head.

"I can't leave you here," said Giles, focusing on a problem he could solve. "You're hurt and those hunters may still be after you. I'll bring you back to the coven. You'll be safe there, and I'll be able to get a better look at that bullet wound."

"I can't go back to the coven with you," said Oz.

"You can and you will."

"I'm not going to put anyone else in danger. There's something about this place, Giles — I can't control the changes while I'm here. If I change at the coven I can't guarantee I'll be able to keep the wolf on a leash like I did last night. Can you help me with this?" he asked, holding out a dingy-looking t-shirt.

Giles took the shirt with obvious distaste. "When was the last time you did laundry?"

"There's a stream not too far away, but I don't have detergent, so this is as white as it gets." He let Giles lower the grungy garment over his head, and even he had to admit it had seen better days. Giles didn't even attempt to get Oz's hurt arm into its sleeve, and the shirt sagged sadly on his slight frame. Giles shook his head.

"That's it — you're coming home with me. No arguments. I can't believe you've been living like this!" Giles started to leave, knowing Oz would follow.

"Giles, wait," said Oz as they emerged from the cave. "Does Willow know I'm here?"


"Do you think we could keep it that way?"

Giles frowned, "Why don't you want her to know you're here? Willow would be thrilled to see you again."

"Do you honestly think so? I've been watching her for a while now. She's doing better, but if I turn up now, out of the blue...I just don't think she's ready for that kind of a shock yet."

"You might be right," Giles conceded. "Seeing you now, especially with a gunshot wound, could cause a major setback in her recovery. Well, I'll just have to sneak you in. My quarters are in a different wing than Willow's, so it shouldn't be too hard to keep you hidden."

Oz decided it was pointless trying to argue with Giles. Besides, the thought of a hot shower and a soft bed was too tempting to resist. And he really didn't want to leave Giles just yet. Not now that he'd finally confronted him — now that he'd got so close...

He followed Giles over the countryside until they came to an unpaved country road. Giles' car sat abandoned on the side of the road, a slip of paper flapping on the windshield.

"Damn," said Giles, plucking the ticket from under the wiper. "Just my luck," he muttered under his breath. So much for Willow's good luck charm, he thought wryly.

They drove the short distance in silence. Giles was busy sorting through the debris left in the wake of Oz's revelation. He knew he should be thinking of Willow and how this might affect her, but he couldn't move past that brief kiss and the leviathan of desire it had awakened in him. Then there was the look in Oz's eyes — that flash of ...something else. How long had he harboured these feelings for him? he wondered. And what made him think the attraction would be mutual? Were his homosexual tendencies that obvious? He thought he'd hidden it pretty well; but then Oz was always more observant than the others. Maybe he'd guessed years ago. Or maybe he'd just taken a huge risk in the off chance he might feel the same way. Giles thought back to his reaction to Oz's advances and winced — he'd handled the situation poorly. Still, it was probably for the best. If things had gone any further, Willow would never have been able to forgive them.


This was Heaven. Oz stretched out on the bed delighting in the give of the mattress and the cushiness of the goose-down duvet. But it wasn't just any bed...it was Giles' bed. In Giles' room. Oz could smell Giles' scent on everything, like he was wrapped up in the older man's arms, and for the first time in years he didn't feel lonely. He'd never felt this way before — with Willow it had been different. With her he was the protector and guide, never pushing, never demanding. But with Giles he felt a constant ache and a desperate need to be close to him. Oz gingerly rolled onto his stomach and buried his face in Giles' pillow. This was Heaven.

Giles, meanwhile, was prowling around the estate looking for restraints to use on Oz for the upcoming full moon. He went straight for a shed he'd noticed on one of his earlier walks. It was non-descript, yet it was padlocked, and therefore highly suspicious. Putting some of his old skills to use, he picked the lock and eased the creaky door open. He was right — there were many things in the shed that the coven might not want anyone to see. Ingredients and weapons used in the black arts lined the shelves and in a trunk in the corner Giles found old-fashioned manacles and chains neatly stored. The keys hung tidily from little hooks on the wall above the trunk. He gathered up what he needed and shoved them into the backpack he'd brought along, then headed back to the house.

He was just about to head up the stairs to his room when he heard Willow's voice behind him.

"Guess I don't have to ask if you had a good time last night?" she said. Giles looked down at himself and saw that he was still shirtless underneath the jacket, and he must have looked pretty dishevelled.

"What happened to your nice suit?" she asked. "No, wait — don't tell me...I'll let my imagination fill in the gaps. Oh Giles! I'm so excited for you! When are you seeing her again? I want details." She fairly bounced with glee.

"Willow, it's not polite to kiss and tell," he answered.

"So there were smoochies involved? Well, duh — you didn't come home last night! Serious smoochies. But I'm not prying," she said, her eyes pleading for more information.

"Good," said Giles. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to have a bath and a nap. I didn't get much sleep last night." Willow's giggles followed him up the stairs.


He found Oz snoozing on his bed. He looked so sweet; his lean features smooth and slack with sleep. Giles hated having to wake him, but he needed to check on his wound.

"Oz," he said quietly. There was no reaction. He put down his backpack and leaned over him. "Oz?" he whispered, and tousled his spiky blond hair, surprised at how soft it felt.

Oz stirred and cracked and eye open to look at Giles. "I don't want to go to school today," he said, lowering his eyelid.

"Oh, ha-ha," said Giles. "Get up. I'll run you a bath and have a look at that shoulder. And I'm burning those clothes. You can wear something of mine until we can go shopping."

Oz obediently crawled off the bed and followed Giles down the long hall to the bathroom. It was immense. A deep, claw-foot tub sat in the middle of the black and white tiled room. Large windows of frosted glass flooded the open space with warm summer sunlight

Giles smiled at Oz's open-mouthed expression. He found it amazing that a bathroom could elicit a greater reaction from his friend than vampires, demons and Hellmouths. Giles slid open the medicine cabinet and gathered up bandages, antiseptics and painkillers. He saw Oz coming up behind him in the mirror and caught that look in his eyes again.

"Okay...let's have a look at you. I-I-I mean, a l-look at your...shoulder," he amended lamely.

Oz's lip curled into a tiny smile at Giles' blunder. He may not be a lost cause yet, he thought.

Giles carefully pulled Oz's filthy shirt off and threw it across the room. He slowly peeled away the makeshift bandages on Oz's shoulder. They were caked in blood, but none of it was fresh. Giles was pleased to note that the wound wasn't as bad as he feared. The exit wound would leave a nasty scar, but the tissue damage was minor, and he could tell with a bit of poking and prodding that his bones were intact. He'd been extremely lucky.

"Well? What's the verdict?" asked Oz. It hurt like hell, but he wasn't about to let on.

"All things considered, I'd say it looks very good." Giles doused the wound with antiseptic, making Oz hiss quietly in pain. "It's all done, Oz. You can let go now."

Oz hadn't realized that he'd been clutching Giles' arm throughout the procedure. He released his grip and flexed his white-knuckled fingers.

"Sorry," he said sheepishly.

"Oz," said Giles with exasperation, "You've been shot! You don't have to pretend it doesn't hurt, and you certainly don't have to apologise for showing it. Now...take these and stop being so bloody heroic." He handed Oz two painkillers and poured him a glass of water. He let a smile slip as their eyes met.

"Alright," said Oz after swallowing the pills, "No more heroics. My arm aches like a bastard, and I don't think I can manage to wash myself. You're gonna have to help me," he batted his eyes up at Giles mischievously.

Giles had walked into that one. He shook his head in mock despair and went to turn on the water.

"Giles...I can't get my pants off."

"You're loving this, aren't you?"

"No...I'm serious. My right arm is pretty much useless, and unlike you, I'm not a leftie. So unless you want me to get into that tub with my pants on, you'd better help me."

Giles rolled his eyes theatrically as Oz came and stood in front of him. Oz placed his left hand against the warm skin at the back of Giles' neck, ostensibly to steady himself while stepping out of his jeans. He couldn't help it if his thumb had a mind of its own and decided to play with the silky soft curls at the nape of his neck. And then it only seemed natural to pull his head down for a kiss.

Giles wasn't sure if he'd lost his mind or if he'd simply lost all self-control. The predatory look in Oz's eyes made him weak in the knees, and when Oz guided his head down for a kiss, he didn't resist. They met each other halfway, sharing hot, hitching breaths as their lips brushed lightly together.

Oz took the lead, gently prying Giles' lips apart with his tongue. Giles welcomed him eagerly with a soft, grumbling moan. Their tongues battled playfully as Giles' hands explored the contours of Oz's back. His skin was smooth and cool under his hands, and his fingertips traced over his ribs and spine like a blind man reading Braille.

Oz broke the kiss at last, coming down off his toes. "So, I guess you've thought about it, then?" he asked with a sly grin.

"No," he answered truthfully. "I'm afraid to think about it. I don't want to think about it."

"Good. Then you'll join me in the bath?" asked Oz, stepping into the rapidly filling bathtub.

"I must be mad," said Giles, his brow deeply furrowed even as he was unbuttoning his jacket. "This is crazy."

"You're thinking. Stop it," said Oz. Giles surprised himself by giving him a quick pat on the behind in response.

Giles carefully folded his pants and placed them on the toilet seat, then he turned off the water and climbed into the tub with Oz. They stood facing each other for an awkward moment, Giles getting used to the thought that this was Oz he was with. It was Oz's hands roaming through his chest hair; Oz's black-painted fingernails gently raking down his abdomen and back up again.

Oz felt more in tune with Giles than he'd felt with anyone. His body instantly responded to the broad, masculine torso under his fingertips. Giles' body fascinated him — the soft spray of chest hair, his long, slender legs and gently rounded bottom — all of it so different than his own body. Then there were the scars. He had no idea there were so many. They were a testimony to his bravery, silently declaring this humble man a hero. He looked hungrily into Giles' green eyes and noticed for the first time the fleck of brown in the left one — so many things to discover. He wrapped his good arm around Giles, bringing their bodies together with a slight bump.

A sharp exhilaration shot through Giles as Oz's body rubbed up against his. He worked hard to shut off the part of his brain that was telling him this was a mistake — Oz was young a beautiful and couldn't possibly find him attractive. He had to keep reminding himself that Oz was the one who'd initiated this, and Oz was the most level-headed person he'd ever met. Giles allowed himself to relax and lowered them both into the full tub. Oz sat back against him, resting the back of his head on Giles' chest and closed his eyes to better enjoy the moment.

Giles looked down and marvelled at the lithe body on top of him. Lathering up his hands with soap, he began massaging Oz's upper body. He was very much aware that they were both becoming aroused and that if he didn't stop what he was doing they would never make it out of the bath. He handed Oz the bar of soap and got a grunt of disappointment in return. As Oz cleaned the rest of his body, Giles squirted a dollop of shampoo into the young man's short, bleached hair and rubbed his fingers into his scalp until he'd formed a thick foam.

"Rinse," said Giles, and Oz slid down so his head was under the water. He rose up shaking his head like a wet dog, splattering foamy water everywhere.

"Stop it, you're getting my hair wet," Giles said.

"Poor baby," Oz replied and splashed a great wave of water into Giles' face. He sputtered and fumed and swore revenge — water flew as they wrestled in the tub, giggling like little children. By the time they were through, there was nearly as much water on the floor as there was in the tub. Oz held his throbbing shoulder; watching Giles cut loose was well worth the pain.

"How's your arm?" Giles asked, concerned.

"I don't know...it's pretty bad. I think I might need you as my personal slave for a while."

"It seemed perfectly fine when you threw that loofah at me."

"That was in the heat of the battle. Now that I've won, I need someone to tend to my war wounds."

"And in what reality did you win that battle? Because you lost in the one I live in," said Giles.

"Okay, you may have won...but it was a lopsided victory." Oz stepped out of the tub and splashed across the wet tiles to the door. "But if you want to claim your spoils of war you're gonna have to catch me first." Throwing the door open, Oz bounded out, stark naked, into the hallway.

"Bloody hell!" Giles hurried after him, nearly wiping out twice on the slippery floor before reaching the door. He took a quick glance down the hallway in both directions to see if the coast was clear before chasing Oz back to his bedroom in the buff.

Giles slammed the door behind him and advanced on Oz who was perched innocently on the end of the bed. Oz smiled beatifically at him. Giles scowled back.

"How am I supposed to keep you hidden if you go streaking down the halls in the nude?"

"What can I say? Deep down I'm just an exhibitionist looking for an excuse," said Oz, lazily batting his pale lashes at Giles.

Giles' scowl softened into an appreciative smile. "I can't say I blame you. With a body as beautiful as yours, it's a shame to keep it covered." Giles felt a wave of heat flush right to the roots of his hair. He couldn't believe he'd said that out loud. "I uh...I forgot the bandages," he said, grabbing his robe from the back of the door before disappearing out of the room.

When he returned, Oz was exactly as he'd left him, right down to the angelic look on his face. Giles wrapped himself modestly in the robe and sat next to him on the bed.

When he'd finished bandaging Oz's shoulder, he looked at the result with pride. "There. That should hold," he said, his hand lingering close to Oz's neck. When their eyes met, Giles shifted uncomfortably and dropped his gaze to his lap.

"Are you thinking again?" asked Oz. "'Cause I thought we decided you should stop doing that."

"It's just...it's been a long time — longer than I'd care to admit — and frankly, I find it hard to believe that you really want this."

Oz sighed quietly and took Giles' hand in his own. "Ever since I left Willow I've kept close tabs on her, lurking in the background, watching her go about her life. At first it was because I was jealous of Tara, I admit. But over time my feelings for her changed. I kept coming back, not because I was in love with her, but because I needed to know she was okay. And after a while I realised I'd stopped watching her almost entirely. I was too busy watching you. I felt like I was the only person who really saw you.

"I saw your loneliness and the sacrifices you made, and when Buffy died, my heart broke for you. I followed you back to England, saw you carving out a new life for yourself — starting to live again — until your duty called you back to Sunnydale.

"I fell in love with you so slowly that I couldn't tell you when it happened, exactly. But believe me when I tell you that I do love you."

Giles was still for a long while, absorbing what he'd heard, then he peeked up at Oz. "When did you become such a chatterbox?" he asked, his eyes twinkling. Oz punched him playfully on the shoulder and pushed him back onto the bed. He pried open Giles' robe, laying him bare before him, then flung himself on top of him, making him grunt in surprise.

"No more talking, then," said Oz, and he clamped his mouth over Giles' in a deep kiss.

Giles surrendered at last to Oz's advances, and delved into the kiss. He swept his hands over Oz's back to firmly cup both ass cheeks. He gave them a squeeze, and Oz countered by nibbling at his earlobe.

"No biting, Oz."

"Sorry...forgot," he murmured into his ear. He resumed kissing his way down Giles' throat to his chest, where he spent some time flicking his tongue over the left nipple. It pebbled when he toyed with it between his lips, making Giles draw in a hissing breath. Oz rested his chin on Giles' chest and smiled up at him.

"No need to look so smug," Giles teased.

"I did that to you," said Oz proudly.

"Yes, you did...and I'd appreciate it if you'd get back to it," he chuckled.

Oz obeyed, repeating the action with the right nipple before continuing his downward trajectory. He paused once to dip his tongue in and out of Giles' bellybutton. He was rewarded with a heartfelt groan. Oz grinned into the ticklish flesh of his stomach, then licked a tantalizingly slow trail down to the springy curls that hugged the base of Giles' erection. There he hovered, his mouth poised millimetres away from the engorged member, his hot breath teasing the sensitive skin. Giles' chest rose and fell rapidly with his growing anticipation. He thought he might be forced to beg — was, in fact, on the verge of pleading unabashedly — when Oz finally touched him. Giles whimpered in relief.

Oz's small fingers gripped Giles' shaft as he ran his tongue over the weeping slit, lapping up his juices. He took him into his mouth as far as he could manage, hollowing his cheeks as he bobbed his head up and down. He could feel Giles' hands in his hair, guiding his movements. He also sensed that Giles was nearly ready to cum. He stopped, ignoring the hands on his head urging him to keep going. He slid up the bed next to Giles and turned his back on him.


Oz gazed at him from over his bandaged shoulder, "This is where you take over." To emphasize his meaning, he pressed his ass against Giles' thigh.

"Are you sure?" Giles asked.

"Please?" he answered, pushing up against him even harder.

Giles shifted his position on the bed so he was spooning Oz. He rained kisses over Oz's throat and neck — wherever his lips could reach. His erection rubbed between Oz's thighs, and he thrust his hips instinctively. It was then he realised they were missing something. He rolled over on the bed and quickly rummaged through his bedside table until he found a long-abandoned tube of lubricant.

Oz watched as Giles slicked his penis with the clear fluid, and when the older man returned to his place behind him, there was a new sense of excitement between them. A wet finger slipped between his cheeks, passing over his sphincter a few times before venturing into the tight opening.

As soon as he dared, Giles removed his fingers from the stretched hole and guided his penis into it. Oz moaned and did his best to relax his muscles around the large intrusion. Slowly, with tiny thrusts, Giles embedded himself deep inside the young man. He set a languorous rhythm, not wanting to rush the moment. With his free hand he took hold of Oz's erection, and stroked him in time with his trusts.

Despite his efforts to keep a slow pace, Giles' body cried out for release, and he quickly lost control. Rocking deeper and faster into Oz's ass, his hand rapidly working the boy's penis, Giles' cried out as his orgasm rolled through him. Oz joined him, silently spurting semen over Giles' hand, his face contorted in an almost painful pleasure.

Outside in the hallway, her ear pressed to the door, Willow grinned widely. Her charm had worked; Giles got lucky. She only hoped whatever woman he had in there realised just how lucky she was.


The shadows began to lengthen in Giles' bedroom as the afternoon wore on. After Giles had brought them both some lunch, they'd spent nearly the entire day just laying in bed and getting to know each other. Oz told stories about his travels that made Giles laugh. Only Oz could manage to make travelling in Tibet humorous. He'd laughed more in one day than he had in the previous two years combined. It felt as if the weight of the world had been lifted off his shoulders.

"Are you hungry?" asked Giles, when he realised it was getting close to dinner time.

"For food? Not really," Oz answered, and playfully nipped at Giles' belly. Giles squirmed under the tickling tongue.

"Remember what I said about biting, Oz,"

"Don't worry, I won't break the skin, I promise." He continued to nibble at Giles' flesh, pleased at the reaction it provoked in him. When at last he'd nibbled his way to the prize, Giles sat up and stopped him.

"What time is it?" he asked anxiously.

"Giles, chill. We've got at least another hour before sunset. Plenty of time for a little..." he finished by taking Giles' hard penis into his mouth. Giles groaned and fell back on the bed. He watched the spiky-blond head nuzzling at his groin and wondered how he'd got so lucky.

It was then that the pieces fell into place. His "luck" was manufactured — brought about by the meddling (but well-meaning) Willow. He was seized by a brief flash of anger, but with Oz's talented mouth working it's magic on him, he quickly let it drop. After all, did it really matter how they'd come together?


Willow was humming quietly to herself as she strolled through one of the estate's many herb gardens. She was still hyped about her match-making success with Giles.

Morgan, one of the youngest Wiccans , passed her quickly, clutching a burlap-wrapped parcel close to her chest. Willow waved, but the girl didn't seem to notice. Davina, Sue and Rachel followed hot on her heels, also carrying off bundles in their arms.

"Hey guys — what's up?" Willow called after them.

Sue waited for Willow to catch up with her "Luanne sensed a dark presence on the property this morning, but it's hidden somehow. We're going to do a spell to reveal it so we can get rid of it." Strictly speaking, Sue knew she wasn't supposed to tell Willow, because, technically, she wasn't a member of the coven. But Sue had never been very good at keeping secrets. And besides, Willow was...well...Willow.

"How is this dark force hiding itself?" asked Willow.

"Well," said Sue, really getting into it. "Luanne thinks it's hiding inside someone, waiting for some kind of trigger to release it. It could be anyone — even you or me!" She seemed excited at the possibility.

"Can I help?" asked Willow. "I've had loads of experience with the baddies — I could be kinda handy to have around if one shows up."

"I don't know," said Sue. "The revealing spell uses some dark magicks, Willow. You know you're not allowed to dabble with that stuff."

"Oh, of course not. I didn't mean 'help' as in 'help with the spell'. I meant more like 'help beat the beastie with a stick if it tries to get away' kind of help. I just want to watch." Willow was itching for some action — even if it was only to observe others performing spells. The chance to watch a real coven at work was an opportunity she didn't want to miss.

Sue seemed to consider it carefully for a moment before happily agreeing to allow Willow to tag along. She brought her to a part of the building she'd never been in before. Willow had always imagined a Harry Potteresque dungeon behind those heavy doors, and was a little disappointed when it turned out to be a sunny (if largely empty) room. It had the feel of a dance studio, with windows all along one wall, letting the sunshine pour in. There were no curtains, and the room was stifling hot. Some of the women started opening windows to let the air circulate.

"Willow," said Luanne, welcoming her inside. "I take it Sue has already filled you in on our situation?" Sue gave her a guilty little shoulder shrug and scurried over to help the others with their preparations.

"She might have mentioned something to me," said Willow, attempting to cover for her gossipy friend. "I just wanted to watch."

"I don't suppose it would do any harm to have you watch. But you must promise to leave if you feel uncomfortable at any time." Willow agreed readily and took a seat near the door.

The others formed a circle in the centre of the room and opened their burlap bundles. From where she was sitting, Willow couldn't see what was in them, but the smell made her glad they'd opened all the windows.


Oz grinned at Giles, who was still panting in the wake of his orgasm. Giles managed to rustle up enough energy to smile back.

"We still have time," Oz said, snuggling up to him.

"God — you're going to be the death of me."

"Relax — I'll do all the work. Just turn over..."

When Giles refused to budge, Oz pushed and prodded at him. "Just turn over..." he repeated. Giles finally gave in and rolled onto his stomach. "Good. I'll take it from here."

Giles heard him digging through his bedside table and smiled into his pillow. The bed dipped slightly on both sides of him as Oz straddled his thighs. Delicate hands started massaging his back, kneading his muscles until he was so relaxed he very nearly fell asleep. Then the hands started on his legs, rubbing and stroking their way up to his thighs, releasing all the tension in his muscles. By the time Oz's greased fingers slipped up between his legs, Giles was more than ready to accommodate him.

"God — where did you learn to do that?" asked Giles, limp and tingly from the massage.

"Oh...here and there," Oz replied, bending down to kiss him softly on the rump.

"Ahhhh..." Giles sighed.

"Wait for it," Oz scolded. He slowly guided the head of his penis into Giles' opening, pushing past the tight ring of muscle until he was fully sheathed inside of him. Giles grunted softly as his body adjusted to the intrusion. It had been so long, he'd forgotten what it felt like to have another man inside him. Giles lifted himself off the bed and propped himself up with pillows to give Oz a better angle. Looking back over his shoulder, Giles watched, captivated, as the young man slowly rode him. It was a sight he could watch for hours, if it weren't for the strain it put on his neck. Reluctantly, Giles gave in to his body's demands and faced forward again.


Willow was engrossed in the ritual that the coven was performing. She was able to translate most of what they were saying, and she wasn't too surprised to find out that the horrid smelling packages contained freshly-slaughtered pig's intestines — an enticement to bring out the hidden evil.

At one point during the proceedings Willow wished Giles could be there with her — he'd be fascinated. But he was busy 'entertaining' his guest.

That's when it dawned on her that the dark force Luanne sensed could be hiding itself in Giles' new friend. In fact, she was the most likely suspect — Luanne only sensed it's presence that morning, and his girlfriend was the only new arrival on their property.

And the coven was about to summon the darkness lurking inside her.

Willow felt the blood drain from her face. In true Scooby fashion, Giles had probably asked out the only woman in Westbury that came equipped with her very own resident evil. Willow quietly snuck out of the room, then bolted down the maze of corridors that led to Giles' quarters. She prayed she wasn't too late.


"Oh...oh God, Giles!" Oz gasped.

'About bloody time', thought Giles, wishing he had even a fraction of Oz's stamina. And he knew he must be imagining it, but Giles could swear the young man had gotten bigger — he could feel himself stretching even more.

"Giles!" Oz uttered. His voice sounded edgy, but under the circumstances, Giles mistook his panic for passion.

Then the pain started.

Oz's leisurely and gently rhythm broke and became fast and frantic. He pounded himself into Giles with enough force to cause tearing. Giles yelled out in pain and shock.

"Jesus, Oz! What are you doing?"

All he got in reply was a deeply inhuman growl. Giles' heart tripped in his chest as he struggled to get out from underneath the werewolf. Sharp claws dug into his back, pinning him in place. The growl became a full-throated howling as the werewolf ground relentlessly into the man beneath him. Giles bit back his screams, fearful of the effect they would have on the rutting beast on top of him. Just when he thought he couldn't take any more, the werewolf's howling peaked, and Giles felt hot, thick seed filling him.

Too scared to move, Giles played dead. Laying as still as he could, he prayed that there was some trace of Oz left — that was his only chance of getting out of this alive. He felt the werewolf's wet muzzle nudging the back of his neck. Giles fought the urge to flinch and remained limp. The nose routed through his hair, sniffing determinedly. Then the howling started again, but a different kind of howl — one so mournful it raised goose-bumps all over Giles' body.

Just then, Giles heard the door bang open, followed by a string of incomprehensible words in a voice he recognized as Willow's. He felt a crackling gust of wind around him and the werewolf was suddenly gone — as if he'd been plucked off of him by a giant hand.

Giles opened his eyes and took in the scene. The werewolf was huddled harmlessly in the corner, surrounded by a blue-glowing barrier. The white bandaging around his shoulder had come unravelled and looped down to the floor pathetically. Giles looked over at Willow who was still in the doorway, breathing rapidly. Her eyes were black with barely contained magicks. Giles tried to get up but found the movement caused him too much pain.

"Giles!" Willow cried, and ran over to him. He sensed her hands hovering over him; sensed, too, her desperate need to heal him.

"No, Willow," he said, calmly. "No more magicks. I'll be fine." He grunted as he tried once more to get up. "Well...I'll be fine once I've seen a doctor, at least," he amended.

Willow glanced quickly at the creature in the corner, deciding it posed no immediate threat. She grabbed the housecoat off the floor and wrapped it around Giles.

"I'm so sorry, Giles. This is all my fault," she moaned.

"Don't be ridiculous," he said. "How can any of this be your fault?"

"Well, there was the charm...and then they did that spell...and I should have known your new girlfriend would turn out to be a werewolf or something." The words were scarcely out of her mouth when the realization struck her. Werewolf. Giles was with a werewolf. She looked at Giles, her black eyes wide, then she turned her attention back to the creature in the corner.

"Willow, if anyone needs to apologise, it's me," said Giles softly.

"Is that...?"

"Oz?" Giles finished for her. "Yes, it's Oz." Giles managed to roll onto his back and winced as he put pressure on his fresh wounds. He cinched the housecoat around his waist modestly.

Willow stared speechlessly at him, a black jealousy forming just beneath the surface.

When Luanne appeared in the doorway, followed by two other women, she could feel the remnants of Willow's magicks and the tension between her and the Watcher. She worked quickly to diffuse the situation, leading Willow out of the room and leaving the other witches to deal with Giles and the werewolf.

"Willow," she said, once they were alone in the corridor. "I know what you must be going through right now..."

"I seriously doubt that," said Willow, bitterly. "That werewolf in there used to be my boyfriend. A few minutes ago I nearly killed him. And when I found out it was Oz, a part of me got so jealous that I wanted to kill Giles. I'm evil, Luanne — I don't think I'll ever be anything but evil again." Big fat tears rolled down her face.

Luanne put a friendly hand on her shoulder. "Willow...you are not evil. What you are is extremely powerful and emotionally fragile. That's a dangerous combination, and that's why you're staying here with us. But at least now you're aware of that. Deal with your emotions first. If you can understand them, you'll be one step closer to harnessing your power."

Willow nodded slowly, and wiped the tears away with her sleeve. She felt drained and sad, but the anger and jealousy were gone now. She tested herself by thinking about Giles and Oz and the awkward situation she'd found them in. Still no anger, and the jealousy was bearable.

"They're not going to hurt Oz, are they?" she asked Luanne, peeking over the older woman's shoulder to look through the open door.

"No. We'll simply contain him until he changes. He'll be much safer here than he would be anywhere else, I promise."

Giles emerged from the room, propped up by one of the young witches. He was pale and shaky, but at least he could walk. He stopped in front of Willow, forcing himself to look her in the eyes.

"Can you ever forgive me?" he asked, his voice scarcely above a whisper. Willow took a moment to think, then drew closer and took over for the girl who was supporting him.

"That depends," she answered, just as quietly. "Can you ever forgive me for what I did to you?" Their eyes locked in a shared moment of regret.

"Willow — I was never angry with you. I knew it was never your intention to hurt me, and I knew when you did, that you would punish yourself more for it than you ever really deserved."

"Well...ditto," said Willow, hugging him gently. She began leading him down the hall. It was going to be a slow and painful journey, but together they could handle it.

"So..." said Willow, a trace of curiosity in her voice. "You and Oz?"

Giles groaned. "It's a long story."

"I've got time," she replied, and smiled up at him. He returned the smile, and knew at that moment, that they would be alright.


Giles awoke the next morning in the hospital. Willow stirred from her uncomfortable pose in the only available chair, and smiled when she noticed he was awake.

"About time you woke up, you sleepy-head," she joked.

"It feels like I haven't slept at all, actually," he grumbled, pulling himself up into a semi-sitting position. In truth, he hadn't slept much. He'd spent most of the night being interrogated by various doctors and counsellors about his injuries and how he came about them. He remained tight-lipped about Oz's involvement, but he knew they'd all assumed he'd been raped and was too traumatised to talk about it. They'd insisted on keeping him overnight for 'observation'. Right now all he wanted was to get dressed and go home with Willow.

"There's someone here who wants to see you," said Willow with a conspiratorial twinkle in her eyes. She called out; "Oz! He's awake. You can come in."

Oz poked his head in the door before timidly approaching Giles. Willow made a discreet exit, giving her friends some privacy.

Oz shuffled his feet, avoiding Giles' eyes.

"Oz?" Giles asked, holding his hand out to him. Oz took it in his own and cautiously peered at Giles from under his lashes. "You do know this is not your fault, don't you?"

"I was there, Giles. I remember what happened. It was my fault — I should have had more control...God! I thought I killed you," said Oz, crumpling onto the bed next to Giles.

Giles squeezed his hand. "Well you didn't. I'll be fine, Oz. But I don't think we should go sneaking around anymore."

Oz sat up, blinking at Giles blankly. "You mean you still want to see me after last night?" he asked, amazed.

"I've had worse dates," Giles said, and they both let out a little laugh.

"You're an incredible man," said Oz, and leaned in to kiss him softly on the lips.

Giles took hold of him and deepened the kiss, playing his tongue over the young man's teeth and tongue, parting only when the need to breathe made it necessary.

Giles looked at Oz oddly. "Oz?" he asked; "if we're going to be openly dating, would you prefer if I call you Daniel?"

"Would you prefer me to call you Rupert?" Oz countered.

"Right. Oz it is, then," said Giles, and picked up the kiss where they'd left off.