Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project
Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project

Back For Good?
By Dolores
For cyberjibara

Oz slid into Sunnydale late in the night, the van quietly throbbing past dormant homes and businesses and shimmering streetlights. The streets were deserted: Darwinian evolution had removed most of the night owls from the town's gene pool and left only those scared of the dark.

Even with the protection of the van (and a loaded crossbow on the passenger seat for good measure) Oz was a little nervous himself. He couldn't be certain the Initiative weren't still around, never mind the vampires and demons -- but on the other hand at this time he was less likely to encounter anyone more emotionally threatening before he'd prepared himself.

He eased to a halt outside of the old High School, because he liked old ruins. Except they'd gone: a crane rose, geometrically grandiose, from a dark jumble of steel girders, half-finished walls and shadow. A red light pulsed at the top, marking the seconds till morning.

They were rebuilding. Cool.

By six am the sun was low in the sky, the new school was bathed in crimson and Oz was feeling the first pinch of fatigue. He drove to the coffee place around the clock to get a pick-me-up mocha and then plan his next move. Proper planning was important: he'd rather avoid another mass confrontation at Giles' place.

He was the first customer of the day, the door reluctantly unlocked by one green-uniformed staff member as another, yawning, lifted chairs off the tables and places them back on the floor. The water was still heating, so Oz politely waited, studying the noticeboard that was thick with many layers of posters advertising various performances at the Bronze. He wondered idly if a Dingoes poster was in there somewhere; he'd put enough up in his time.

The second customer of the day entered and promptly dropped his safety helmet in shock.

"Oz," said Xander, sounding almost awed.

Well, at least it wasn't a mass confrontation.

"Hey, Xander."

Xander fumbled in a pocket and produced a cell phone. "I'm just going to call in sick."


They sat in the van, sipping coffee.

"We could go round to Buffy's. It's a little early but they'll she'll wanna see you. And Dawnie." He paused. "Hey, Oz, this may sound like a weird question but -- do you actually remember Dawn?"

Oz quirked an eyebrow. "I remember Dawn and all the chords to Baby Hit Me One More Time, which she made me learn the last time I babysat her. That scarring runs deep."

Xander nodded. "That's good, that's very good. Jeez Oz, a lot has happened since you left."

"But I'm assuming from the fact that we can go to Buffy's that she is not dead. Which is of the good."

Xander took a gulp of coffee and let out a strained chuckle. "Yeah. Oz, a lot has happened since you left." Off Oz's look he waved a dismissive hand and said, "I'll explain later. Seriously though, it's good to have you back, man. I've -- we've -- missed you."

Oz stared at the steering wheel. "I've missed you guys. But... I don't think I'm quite ready to see the others yet. Not immediately."

Xander nodded and chewed his lip. "Sure, ok, well, we could go back to my apartment. I'll make some breakfast, we can, y'know exchange news. And hey, watch sports and drink beer!"

"At 7am on a Tuesday?"

"I'm feeling very deprived of male friendship just now."

Oz wondered what had happened to Giles and Riley but decided that everything could wait until they got to Xander's apartment. Well, almost everything.

"Xander -- and I'm just being curious here -- what are the chances that being in Sunnydale will result in the military hunting me down so government scientists can electrocute me?"

"Well, this is Sunnydale, so I never say never. But I'd think more or less zero."

A nod. "Cool. Where's your apartment?"


Xander stood as if to address a crowd. "First things first I guess. Buffy, Willow, Dawn and Giles are all still alive. Everything after that is kinda complicated."

Oz sat at the table and chewed placidly on some cereal. "So far, so Sunnydale."

It took Xander the best part of the morning to recount the events of the preceding two-and-a-bit years. He spoke more or less continuously, his monologue punctuated by occasional, brief questions from Oz and the odd raised eyebrow or monosyllabic indications of interest. A double eyebrow flex was achieved only once: Buffy's death and resurrection.

Xander got as far as Tara's death, and then the aftermath. Then, Oz's expression did not change -- if anything he seemed determined not to make any outward sign of emotion. Only once Xander had finished did he react, suddenly standing and walking over to a window, looking out at some point in the middle distance.

"I should have been here."

"No, Oz, really - it was the one and only time I was glad you weren't there. The way Willow was -- she'd probably have turned you into a Pez dispenser for that whole thing with Veruca. She totally trashed Buffy and Giles -- never mind Warren -- she was out of control."

"But you got through."


They were quiet for a moment, Xander unwilling to break the silence first.

"It's funny," Oz said eventually, still looking out of the window, "I couldn't get over her. Like, I think it was something to do with the wolf, the mating instinct or something, because I wasn't ever the possessive type. But after I left the second time, even though I knew it was over, I just couldn't let go.

"Oz, what happened to you? Where have you been?"

"All over at first -- I didn't know what to do 'cause I'd cured the wolf but the reason There's like a couple of werewolf communites in Scandinavia -- up in the north, where there's less people -- and I went there at first.

"I met this guy called Tord, he was a werewolf too, said he knew a witch who lived in the village, and that she specialised in love magic. So anyways, I went to see her with Tord. She didn't speak any English so he had to translate. I asked her to make me get over Willow the way she got over me. Which turned out to be an unfortunate choice of words as Tord's translation was quite literal."

Xander looked puzzled. "She made you fall in love with Tara?"

"No, Xander -- she made me gay."

There was a stunned silence, after which Xander meekly asked: "they can do that?"

"Apparently. I mean, I didn't know anything about it. She said some words, I felt a little tingly and that was it. Then we went back out to the van, and there was like this copy of Rolling Stone on the dashboard and Justin Timberlake was on the cover with no shirt on and I was all, 'he's cute' and then I was all 'woah!'"

This seemed to shock Xander more. "You find Justin attractive?!"

"I know! I mean, I always thought if I were gay it'd be like I'd fall in love with Lou Reed or David Bowie. Respectable glam rock homosexuality. Not a boyband member."

Xander seemed relieved at this news. "That sounds more like the Oz I know. So, wait -- you haven't gone back and asked for the spell to be reversed?"

Oz nodded, and leaned back against the window frame. "I have to admit that was my first reaction. Then I thought that it would be against my liberal political beliefs, 'cause I'd be saying that being straight would be preferable to being gay, and although an unorthodox solution, it worked. I no longer had the desire to be Willow's mate."

"Oz -- that's, that's actually really cool. I don't know many guys who'd think that way."

A wry smile crossed Oz's face. "Actually, I went back the next day. Couldn't be done anyway. It's like a fairy godmother deal: you make your wish and you live with the consequences."

Xander suddenly laughed. "Man! This is weird and yet also kinda cool. Wait -- how gay did she make you? Do you like disco? Musicals?"

Oz tilted his head to the side in contemplation. "I always liked musicals. But I now instinctively know not to wear white socks with black shoes, and I find that I appreciate fully the comedy of the Golden Girls. Otherwise, I'm pretty much the same me -- except that I like guys."

At that, Xander declared that he needed to make a pot of strong coffee, and so he did. Oz returned to the table and drew circles on the wood with his fingernails until Xander returned, feeling oddly elated that he'd finally told someone who knew him before.

When Xander returned, the heady aroma of coffee preceding him, he sat across the table from Oz, and avoided Oz's gaze. He seemed jangly. Nervous. Then he spoke.

"It seems kinda strange that she can just flip you like that. I mean, I never thought it was that clear cut. I mean it never was... it never... it wasn't for me."

Xander left that sentence in the air and poured the coffee.

Oz mulled this new information over. "It is now?"

"No. Well, not really."


"Mostly I'm. . . but there have been times... moments. Incidents. When I wasn't so sure. Not that I've even been entirely sure."

Oz merely nodded and sipped his coffee.

"I've never told anybody else this -- not even Willow, which is stupid because she of all people'd probably understand, but before I wasn't ready and then after I didn't want her to think I was just trying to make her feel better, and anyway I was with Anya and that was a whole kettle of demonic fish I wasn't about to pour and then when I wasn't it really never cropped up and so yeah."

Xander paused for breath mid-babble and Oz said, "ok."

"It's not that I've ever done anything. But I've had feelings. I thought I was in love with Jesse when I was 14, and I kinda thought Riley was attractive and there's this whole thing with Spike that I am so not gonna try to analyse because it would be so wrong I might burst."

"With you there."

"And there was one time in the showers when I was on the swim team, and Larry came in and this was after the whole thing where he came out to me, and he made it quite clear I could, y'know, 'join him' in the steam room if I wanted. . . but I didn't."

"Probably not hygenic anyway."

There was another pregnant pause. Oz waited, and somehow felt he knew what was to be said next. No, that wasn't true: he knew what he wanted Xander to say next: it just seemed like there could be a good chance of it happening.

"Whilst we're being honest, I probably should say that there have been moments where I did think you, too. I know what it's like to kiss Cordelia, and Anya and Willow but I always wondered what it would be like with you." He laughed quietly. "Yes, Sally Jesse, I am the Scooby slut." Then he stared at his hands, flat on the table, breathless with confession.

The sensible part of Oz felt that the action he was now considering was probably ill-judged, but to be fair, he'd never been shy in romantic matters. Besides, we all had to start somewhere.

He leaned across and, as Xander's head lifted at the movement, he caught Xander's jaw with one hand and pulled it close, kissing him squarely on the lips, lingering for a few seconds before sinking back onto his seat.

Xander stared at Oz, lips shiny and slightly parted, cheeks flushed.

Oz said, "My first gay kiss was with you. Poetic, in a Sunset Beach kinda way."

They sat in silence for at least two or three seconds before both lunged across and kissed again. Xander trembled with desire and Oz exalted in expression. They moved so that the table was no longer between them and held close, until Oz broke the kiss, resting his forehead briefly against Xander's then stepping back.

He made an announcement. "I want to go to bed."

Off Xander's part-stricken part-happy expression he continued, "But not like that. It's past lunchtime and I've been awake for far longer than is healthy and I really need some sleep. And also I need to think. I think."

Xander saw the dark circles under Oz's eyes, but also the red lips and the dilated pupils. He swallowed and nodded. "Always the sensible one, that's Oz. Of course. Uh, you can use my bed, I won't be needing it just yet."


Few more words were said then. Oz was taken to the untidy bedroom, shaded by half-open curtains and the leaves of a tree outside the window. Xander took one last look at Oz, smiled a little then closed the door. Oz watched the door for a few seconds then pulled off his clothes, keeping on his boxer shorts, and crawled under the sheets.

He whispered, "woah," then closed his eyes.


Oz awoke, but kept his eyes shut. He knew immediately Xander was lying in the bed next to him: apart from anything else the scent of the other man filled his nostrils.

He waited for a few seconds, remembering how nice it was to have someone next to you in bed, then opened his eyes. He found himself staring straight into Xander's. Their owner yelped in surprise and threw himself backwards off the bed, landing in a heap on the floor.

"Xander, are you ok?"

From the floor Xander replied, "yes, fine. Really sorry if I totally and utterly freaked you out there."

"No freaking here."

Xander pulled himself up back onto the bed. "It's just... I used to really like watching Anya sleep," he said by way of explanation.

Oz shrugged. "It's cool, really. I hope I didn't drool too much."

A giggle of relief. "It was cute drooling, believe me."

There was a moment of silence, and they stared at each other again, awed and excited by the new light into which each had been cast. Their third kiss was slower than the previous two, and Xander's hand felt hot on Oz's bare shoulder.

The hand drifted down Oz's torso, under the sheets, fingertips skimming his stomach and brushing the waistband of the boxers. At this, Oz broke the kiss quickly, and Xander jumped back again as if scalded.

"Oz, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have..." Xander got off the bed and made for the door.

Oz's voice stopped him. "Xander... wait. I'm not usually all about rushing into anything physical. I want to make sure everybody is ready. I'm not certain I am. This has all happened kinda quickly. But, also: this feels good and frankly it's been a very long time since I've been this close to anyone at all, so I'm thinking I might be ready and I'm just really nervous. First time and all."

"My sexual history has been one of impulsive conquest by Faith and Anya, so if anything this has been slow for me. But still, I understand. If it makes you feel better I could go make us dinner -- I make a mean burrito, and I'm sure I have some candles somewhere..."

Oz slid out from under the sheets and walked over to Xander, pushing off his shorts as he went. Xander's gaze drifted down the smooth, alabaster body.

"... or not. Wow, you're really very naked. More naked than any man I have ever seen this close and not been in the locker room. Ordinarily I might have been freaked out by this, but actually: I like."

Suddenly feeling overly clothed, he pulled off his flannel shirt and the tee underneath in one motion. Xander had changed since Oz had last seen him: he was broader and thick from his manual labour, and his muscles rippled with every movement. He watched as Xander pushed off his jeans and his own underwear until both faced each other, naked.

Both were hard and Oz felt giddy with arousal.

Xander kissed him once more, but this time he was more forceful, taking the initiative, which surprised Oz. Xander's experience with Anya was evident and, as Oz was usually the one to be in control an altogether new experience. Part of him -- probably more than a little wolfy -- actually quite like the dominance. For once, he didn't need to be the alpha male.

Xander pushed Oz gently back until they reached the bed and they fell backwards, hands and mouths roaming across bare skin, rubbing the full length of their bodies, cocks tangling together.

They writhed like this for a time, and then each got more bold. Xander reached between them and used a callused hand to press their lengths together. "The mechanics of this," he said between kisses on Oz's neck, "are familiar but it's kinda like tying somebody else's tie. You know how to do your own but it's always more difficult on somebody else, doing it in reverse. You're never sure if it's too tight."

Oz groaned a little. "I have never tied a tie, but I take your point. I'd also like to mention that you're doing very well for a professed amateur."


Later, once Xander had attempted to lick and suck and nibble on every part of Oz's flesh, and Oz had discovered just how sensitive Xander's nipples were, they both took the other in their mouths and tried to remember whatever it was that either Willow or Anya did which made them feel so good. Release followed, if not in unison then close enough that it almost seemed that way.

Later still, they lay in the bed, kissing and running lazy fingers across smooth shoulders.

"I have to admit," said Oz, "this is an improvement on the last time I visited Sunnydale. Although I seem to have a habit of ending up naked whenever I do."

"But this isn't just a visit, right?"

Oz didn't answer, and simply kissed Xander in response.

After a moment's pause, Xander spoke, trying to sound cheerful. "So, ready to see Buffy yet?"

"Pretty much."

"You know Dawn'll so not be impressed if you still lust after Justin. She's arranged a wedding and everything. She's gonna be jealous."

"She's marrying Justin? Does he know about it?"

"No -- but she keeps talking about finding Amy and getting her to cast a spell..."

"Amy's not a rat anymore?"

"Did I not mention that?"

"I've been away for a while."

"Yeah, but now you're back."

"Yeah. Maybe I am."