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

And A Globe
By Ari
For Kate Bolin

He used more words than that. And a globe. - Oz, "Phases"

His balled fist is the moon; the globe is the globe (is the globe). He's talking but Oz isn't listening -- he's trying, but Giles has automatically switched to lecture-mode which has put Oz automatically in zone-out mode. It's like class. Listening is an impossibility. Oz realizes this lecture could very well mean death or life for someone one night; if he doesn't know his own nature, then...? Well. He doesn't like how that could turn out. So he tries. Zones in.

"A great deal is known about the effects of the moon on, er, regular humans. But werewolves are rarely, er, studied. In captivity."

That catches Oz out, loops him back. He looks a question at Giles, who ignores it or doesn't notice. He's not really focusing any more than Oz is. Giles moves his fist and spins the globe, and Oz spins with him, not in a dizzy way, but in a loopy way. Like he's just woken up. Like the feeling he's starting to recognize, when the moon just peeks, almost-full, into the sky. The moon's shy (Willow-shy) and the sky's so big.

But later in the night the moon will be everything, and Oz, and the globe, will be nothing.

Giles's fist is big and his hand knotty with age. Oz memorizes the ridges of his knuckles easily. There are different kinds of learning. There's cramming, the night before an exam, sprawled on the floor of Devon's garage and garbling dates and passages and reading bits of Shakespeare and getting distracted by setting them to music when he should be finding examples of symbolism. And there's learning that comes in flashes. Hearing a song for the first time, feeling out an audience before a gig, touching a guitar. He thinks, staring at the veins in Giles's hand, that he's just learned something immense.

Giles's hand is the moon, and Oz is a werewolf.

He tunes in again. "There's always the possibility that you might - er - that the wolf might get loose. If that should happen, I want you to be aware that I wouldn't - nor would any of us - find you morally - ethically -"

"It wouldn't be my fault."

"Precisely." Giles frowns, like he's surprised to find Oz still standing there, like he'd forgotten he was talking to someone.

Weird thing about teachers (and librarians almost count). They're not really human yet. Not for most people. Not for Oz, most of the time. But Giles is human right now. Scared, because he's talking to a potential mass-murderer. And pleased, because lecturing is what he does best. Dispelling information. In this way he's like a dictionary, propped open to w and defining werewolf. Oz knows Giles's knowledge is catalogued carefully, cross-indexed in a brain that's just as age-worn as Giles's hands or face. He imagines the pages of Giles's mental library flipping past him, accordion-style.

If Oz taught Giles about the wolf, he wouldn't use props. No props, no books, just himself and the moon, just hands itching just before the moon breaks the horizon and the wolf breaks free. He knows this moment already, and so he lets Giles's words become a delightful wash, white noise peppered with factoids. Giles himself is too solid to be unnoticed. Giles himself is, suddenly, more than a symbol of the moon (his fist revolving around the globe); he is the moon and appealing in all the ways the moon is.

Where'd that thought come from? Is he going to be thinking this kind of thing all the time now? Will silent-film hetero-kisses cease, will it all be blood just under the surface of his skin? Will he be smelling everyone the way he can smell Giles? The hiss of cologne, the staccato of sweat, the bass thud of maleness?


Oops. "I'm here."

"Sort of," Giles says, and Oz grins, a little ashamed, quite pleased, that Giles knows.

"I mostly sleep through class."

"I don't think you were sleeping." Oz holds his head steady, and Giles's eyes are holding his, and there's a moment when he thinks they might kiss. But then Giles looks away and says with a half-stutter, "The lesson's over, anyhow." He might say, "Run along and play," if he thought Oz would let him.

Oz hangs back, framing it in his mind before he tries it. Something could happen - anything. He's a wolf three nights a month. Vampires. Hellmouth. Anything could happen. So he needs to get it right.


Giles raises an eyebrow.

"Thanks." He closes his hand over Giles's fist - the fist that is the moon. He can feel it - rigid vein, dry tight knuckles, a tiny scar, blood somewhere near the surface. He memorizes it, then lets go.

"Of course. Anytime."