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

By Toes
For RabidX

"I wish Buffy Summers had never come to Sunnydale"

Jesse had left a flower and a comic book on Xander's grave. When he'd visited again the next day, the comic had disappeared and the flower was trashed.

He visited Willow's grave for the first time a week later, leaving a rose and a photo of the three of them together. They disappeared too.

Jesse became a regular visitor to the cemetery over the two years following his best friends' death. Even once he knew the graves he visited were empty, even once he knew that Xander and Willow were in someway alive and killing, he visited weekly. Fresh flowers and the odd present, always during daylight.

He'd first met Jonathon and Oz here. He'd seen them around school before -- he'd seen Oz, at least, he'd never noticed Jonathon -- but hadn't talked to them. Why would he? He was the loner, the boy with the dead friends. Jonathon and Oz were weird, they hung out with the librarian too much, but they were sweet and they made him laugh. Oz had been there to visit a fresh grave with 'DEVON MacLEISH' emblazoned across the tombstone.

Oz had looked up and nodded a greeting, dyed black hair holding Jesse's attention instead of the pale face underneath it. Jonathon's presence by Oz's side went unnoticed. Jesse waved in response, and the pair turned back to their respective mourning.

On the way out of the cemetery, Oz stopped by his side and looked down at the grave in front of him. Moments passed, and Jesse was overly aware of the pulse in his throat.

"Friend of yours?"

"Yeah. He died about a couple of years ago." Jesse paused, not looking up and not saying anything else. Here was the point that Oz would nod politely, give his empty condolences, then walk off and leave Jesse to his grief. Instead, all Jesse got was the nod. Oz stayed standing quietly by the grave, staring at the name, while Jonathon mumbled something to himself before leaving.

Later, when Jesse finally moved himself from the spot, Oz was still there with him. They walked together to the exit, in silence, and only when they were about to part did Oz finally speak. "Come along to the library tomorrow. We can explain it to you."

At the library, a British man told him that vampires existed and had killed his friends. Jesse thought he was nuts, but Oz had smiled at him so he decided to stay.

Two weeks later, he shoved a cross in Xander's face and admitted to himself that, yes, vampires were real. He and Oz chased the vamp away with a mixture of crosses and holy water, saved the girl and took her to the hospital.

Waiting on the uncomfortable hospital chairs, Jesse stared blankly at the beige-coloured wall and wondered why hospitals were always so depressing. He'd never been to the hospital much before Xander had died. After that, it seemed like someone he knew was always ill, injured or dying.

Oz sat neatly in the seat next to him, absently eating a bag of animal crackers. Jesse wanted him to talk. He wanted Oz to babble and ramble and goof around. He wanted Oz to be taller, happier, louder. He wanted Oz's dyed hair to be a natural brown. He wanted Xander back. His Xander, not a monster that killed and attacked innocent women.

"You doing alright?" Oz reached over to his hand and slowly coaxed his fingers into letting go of the cross he was still holding. His grip had been so tight that it hurt to move his hand again, but he didn't look down at it.

"Sure, I'm fine. Good. Great. Never better. Wish all days were like this, actually. Lot more fun to push a cross in your best friend's face than I thought it would be. Might make a hobby out of it. Think they'll make it an Olympic sport if I can work up enough interest?" He talked to the wall, feeling the weight of Oz's steady gaze on the side of his face.

Oz shook his head, a movement Jesse picked up on through his peripheral vision. "That wasn't Xander."

Jesse laughed, bitter and mocking, and he missed the days when laughter was real, when Xander would say something witty and have both of them rolling on the floor, clutching their ribcages with tears of laughter streaming down their cheeks. Or Willow's shy jokes, when he'd never been sure if he was laughing with or at her. He missed it.

"That was him, alright. Saw him. Heard him." Heard his friend's voice cold and dark, uncaring, and had felt his breath hitch. Insults and disgusted words that he hadn't fully heard over the pounding of his heart.

"It wasn't him." Oz repeated, hand reaching up to Jesse's cheek, coaxing him into turning his face and looking into calm eyes that never seemed to lie. "I promise." And that meant something. Jesse listened to Oz's promises more than he listened to Mr. Giles' speeches and words and research.

The hand on his cheek didn't move, and when Oz leant in to kiss him gently, he didn't protest.

It became a ritual for them. Stolen kisses in the stacks of the library, the back of Oz's van, Jesse's bedroom. Oz's mouth was warm and comforting, his guitarist's hands nimble and skilled. Jesse was always startled when he saw Oz on his knees, or underneath him, pale skin and odd hair. Small, compact, scarred. Perfect.

It was a month now, a month since Jesse had thrust a cross in Xander's face and a month since their first kiss. Jesse still wasn't sure what they were doing together, but he understood that it didn't matter. He found comfort in Oz's warm understanding, and that was important in times and towns like these.

It scared Jesse because he wasn't gay. He didn't want to be gay. Sometimes he'd stare at Cordelia, in her newly-designed grey cheerleading outfit, and he'd find himself still attracted to her curves, the soft roundness of her hips, the inviting turn of her smile. Then she'd open her mouth and he'd find himself scurrying away to find Oz playing guitar in the common room.

He dug his nails into the pale skin of Oz's thighs, biting his bottom lip to keep from yelling too loudly. The sounds of their ragged breaths, the soft slap of skin-on-skin, the indie band that Jesse couldn't name, his own moans, Oz's gasps assaulted his ears. He stared down, past Oz's shoulder, at the blue bedspread they were on top of, and realised vaguely that Oz would have to wash his bed sheets after this.

He'd always been on top, every single time in their three months together. Oz didn't complain, and didn't mention it, and he seemed to enjoy it, but Jesse always felt guilty whenever Oz winced at the slight pain of penetration. He never offered to go bottom, though. He didn't think he was ready for that.

He believed they had time, though. Even though the school's population dwindled monthly, and even though Jonathon had been buried last weeks, and even though his two best friends had been killed and turned, he still believed they had time. He still believed they'd get out of Sunnydale and live happily ever after.

His fingers left dark bruises on Oz's hips, bruises he traced after climaxing and kissed lightly in wonder.

Oz ended up in the hospital in December, Xander's bite mark on his neck and suffering from extreme blood loss. The doctors told Jesse not to worry, that he'd be fine, that they'd given him a transfusion and he was going to wake up soon.

Jesse sat by Oz's bedside, hand clamped around a cross again. This time, he didn't have anyone to loosen his grasp, anyone to tell him it was alright, anyone to kiss him and make it better. Xander hadn't killed Oz on purpose, somehow knowing that the mere injury would distress Jesse more.

Staring at Oz's unconscious face, Jesse decided it was about time somebody plunged a stake into Xander's heart.

Jesse dominated the kiss, needy and demanding. Oz's mouth tasted of the chocolate coins they'd been sharing, and vaguely of the brandy Jesse's parents had made him drink at Christmas dinner. It wasn't his usual taste, something Jesse realised sadly. This might be the last time they'd ever kiss.

Tongue exploring, he pushed Oz back against the passenger's seat and moved awkwardly to sit in his lap. The tight space they were in was constricting, and Jesse had never been graceful despite Mr. Giles' attempts to teach them to defend themselves. But he managed to straddle Oz's hips, grinding down and feeling his breath hitch.

He was so hard it was almost unbearable, but he didn't have the time to scratch that inch like he so desperately wanted to. It had to be tonight, he'd decided. The white gauze on Oz's neck had decided for him, the way Oz had uncomfortably told his parents that he'd 'got bit by a dog', the way Oz had stumbled slightly while leaving the hospital that morning, the way he'd needed Jesse to drive him home.

Jesse needed to end this, to end Xander, if he wanted Oz to be safe.

So he kissed Oz in the front seat of his parent's car, kissed him desperately and hungrily, and only pulled back when he thought he might faint from the lack of oxygen. Oz stared up at him for a few seconds with eyes that always seemed to see too much. "What's up?" Oz asked, quieter than usual.

Jesse smiled ambiguously, and kissed the end of Oz's nose. He didn't know which of the hundreds of possible answers to give to that tiny question. There was a pause, but Oz didn't speak another word. He left the silence open and gaping, waiting for Jesse to fill it in for him.

Jesse didn't know how. He didn't know what to say, how to lie. He cleared his throat, coughed, bought what time he could. "Nothing's up. Just..." Just what? What could he say that would stop Oz from worrying? A slight smile pushed its way onto his face at the thought that Oz was worried about him. Oz, Oz who was cool and zen and unflappable, was worried. Over him. He pressed a quick kiss to Oz's mouth, lips strong for a few seconds before he pulled away. "Just nothing."

He climbed out of Oz's lap, back to his own seat, and couldn't stop smiling. It was crazy. He was about to drop Oz off, take his mom's car back home, then head out to take on a vicious, sadistic vampire. What did he have to smile about?

Oz. Oz's calm eyes and the slight frown on his face. That touching concern. "Keep safe, okay?" He asked, as Oz opened the car door and moved onto the pavement.

An odd, undecipherable look came to Oz's face, before there was a slight nod. "Always." When Oz turned and walked up to his house, Jesse felt a pang of longing and regret that he didn't like at all. He watched until the front door to Oz's house opened and Oz disappeared inside, before putting the car in gear and driving away.

The early morning sun rose as it always did. The post was delivered as it always was. The bodies were discovered as they always were. In one of the many Sunnydale cemeteries, a short man placed a rose on top of a gravestone and struggled to stay calm. Only two weeks after Christmas, and already Oz had a new grave to visit regularly.