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

Running Men
By Running Men
For Dolores

He is running in the forest, running; he wants never to stop running; to live. There is a burning hole in his side, where a bullent grazed him, and it stains the thick greenery behind him, in a clear and unavoidable trail.

All he can hope is that he's faster than they are, that his milk-white skin doesn't stand out in this lush jungle place as he imagines it does, that there aren't as many of them as there used to be. All he can hope is that he'll go farther than they're willing to, before he collapses, before too much of his blood has poured out on the black soil to continue.

He can smell them near him, too near, like a pack of dogs on the scent, as if they were the hounds in men's clothing, instead of him. It feels as if they were all around, not just behind, but left, right, above, in front, but it is just panic, but it is--oh.

But it is too late for second chances.


He is running in the forest, running; he wants never to stop running; to bring the monster down. He doesn't even know what it is, what exactly it looks like, and it doesn't matter, because he has orders. He used to make his own choices, but he stopped when he made the wrong ones.

Moving more skillfully than the others assigned to the task, the amateurs, he comes out ahead of the beast, and waits. He knows it will come this way, toward the river, instinctually. He has his gun, not a dart gun but a real one, because they don't bother to stop and study them any more.

And he sees its skin and smells its blood before anything else. It is white like a ghost from his worst nightmares, like a pale thing with fangs from his most powerful dreams.

He doesn't need to call in on the radio, and he's far out of range anyway, so it doesn't matter. He has the monster in his sights, the safety off, so he lets it come closer.

And then--it stops. In front of him. And, "Oh," it says, naked anf defeated, and then he knows who this monster is, and knows he cannot let him die.

"Looks like I'm saving you again," he tells him, and pulls a black rain slicker out of his pack. H drapes it over the solid alabaster shoulders. "Thsi will help you hide, at least, but I need to come with you. I know a way they won't think to go."

The other man (yes, man, no matter what his superiors would say to the contrary) nods. "But you can't come back then, right?"


"You can come with me."

So they're off, just like that, and all of the sudden he really realizes that he's leaving his whole life behind, again, and wonders if he'll ruin everything again, too.

But it is too late for second guesses.


They are running in the forest, running; they want never to stop running; to be free.

And maybe it will never happen. Maybe Oz will end up in another sort of cage, die a different violent death. Maybe Riley will fail at creating his own life, and find another group of masters to use him and bless him with servitude. Maybe they'll both die, shot down, right here in this damp jungle, together, holding hands because Oz was quickly burning out.

But maybe Riley will go back to school and get his Ph.D, become a psychology professor at a small sleepy university. Maybe Oz will open up a record stpre near the campus, and lock himself up in the basement when the wolf surfaces. Maybe they'll stay up late into the night, arguing over the symbolism of Kafka, of Blake, before tangling in the sheets with all the lights on and the thick curtains blocking out the moon. Maybe everything will turn out okay.

But it is too late for second thoughts.