Oz felt...Well, he felt amused, and the only real way to tell was that it was
hidden in the precise angle of the crook of his eyebrow. Just barely arched and
unwittingly communicating not only his amusement, but also the fact that the
amusement was condescending in the accepting way only Oz could manage.
Not that this girl had the wits to understand that Oz was nodding not at her
story of the first time she's been asked out by her bank teller but at the
accuracy of his observation that she was not the world's brightest specimen of
Maybe he'd just been spoiled. Willow was nothing if not intelligent, but Willow was
not a subject he wanted to ponder just then. Willow was in Sunnydale, busily
convincing herself that she was right and Oz was wrong, and Oz was only mildly
surprised that he didn't really care one way or the other.
So maybe you just know you're wrong either way.
No. She could have understood. She could have forgiven me.
And what did it matter if she couldn't - maybe Veruca had taught Oz more
about Willow than she had about Oz. Maybe Oz knew himself, and it was
recognizing that he'd never really known Willow that was the lesson in the
So this girl was babbling on across from him, on to some other topic that only
she could possibly care about, and Oz found himself amused. Not to the point
that he stopped wishing Devon would tear himself away from his current
groupie-du-jour and declare it was time to leave, but enough to manage to live
through the time until that happened.
Though to be honest, Oz could get a bit tired of living through various
aspects of his life instead of really living them.
But for now, it was okay. Especially since Devon was finally edging his way
through the crowd and draping his arm over Oz's shoulder, in just such a way to
make the girl blink and wonder if she'd been wasting her time. "Ready to load
A brief nod was all that was required to slip away from the girl and join Devon in
the back alley of the small club. Oz found himself mumbling words of gratitude,
but Devon just shrugged. "Saw the I'm-amused-but-get-me-out-of-here
eyebrow. Figured I owed you."
"You don't owe me anything, man."
"So maybe I figured I would be a decent friend and not make you stick around
there any longer."
Oz wished he were better at deciphering the variations of flippant sarcasm in
Devon's voice. Few people ever realized that there were distinct degrees to
every mood Devon could be in, and fewer still ever learned how to identify them.
Oz couldn't decide just then if Devon was telling him to shut up
You should shut up, anyway.
or telling him that he knew more than Oz thought he did. Sitting down suddenly
seemed like an amazingly good idea, so Oz sank down between the open back
doors of his van and looked up at Devon with expressionless expectation. "Spill
"I don't know what you're talking about," Devon replied softly, sitting next to
him, but pulling one leg up so it was inside the van and he was facing Oz's side.
"You think I'm so devastated by Willow I need to be coddled?"
The brush of fingers against his skin was so warm Oz couldn't help but think of
fire and icicles and a lot of melted things like the dregs of a bowl of ice cream,
preferably white chocolate or raspberry or maybe both, and wasn't it so
surprising that he didn't feel all that surprised at the sheer reality behind the
touch. "I think everyone needs to be coddled sometimes, and it has nothing to
do with a certain redhead that I've never cared much for in the first place."
But Oz couldn't help but remember that Devon hadn't crossed this line since
before he got together with Willow, and though it had always been his choice, he
suddenly resented having traded in so many aspects of his life to be with her.
Like the feel of Devon's fingers tracing over the bumps on the back of his hand,
and the knowledge that since the night was so warm, the coldness Oz was
feeling was all himself, and Devon's lips would most certainly be hot on his own.
So Oz shot forward and all there really was to encounter was the soft moist
depth of a mouth that had to be destined to be open, to be spilling out songs
and words and emotions and tongue...oh, yes, it was something akin to a crime
to keep that tongue all to himself.
Devon easily took charge, leaning into Oz's personal bubble and cupping his face
in perfectly steady hands, and Oz was once again reminded that he'd never been
kissed by anyone quite like he'd been kissed by Devon. Memories of lazy
afternoons spent in the van, of tender glances across the top of the mike that
could drive Oz to play just that much better for the promise feeling that mouth
The hand that fell into Oz's lap made him twitch more than a little, and he bit
down softly on Devon's lower lip, pulling it out and away from the gum.
This was out of hand, and Oz knew it.
Who gives a damn?
Oz used his hand as leverage to ease Devon's face away from his, and blinking
was abruptly the only sensible thing to do. "Dev--"
"Yeah. I know. But--"
"But it was nice. Thanks."
"And maybe some time...?" Devon flexed his fingers one last time against Oz's
groin and stood up.
"That better be a promise, Dev." Oz shrugged. "Go find that girl, the one
practically drooling over you. I'll finish this up and meet you guys back at the
"Go. Have fun."
Oz just sat still for several minutes after Devon disappeared into the club,
wishing he had a cigarette or a joint or even a fucking toothpick, just something
to suck on. All there was was his lip, which ended up being oddly fine because it
still tasted of Devon--slightly bitter and reminiscent of spiced rum.
The motions of loading up drums and amps and cords actually helped, mainly
because it was hard to be so damn hard when he was tromping through puddles
in a suspicious-smelling alley, but all the while he couldn't stop staring at the
recently vacated spot on the back edge of the van, something bordering on
regret nibbling its way into his brain. It had been a long time since Devon had
looked at him with so much...possibility in his eyes.
And whose fault is that? Huh?
Closing the back doors, Oz leaned his forehead into them for a quiet moment
because those were the best kind, the ones spent listening to droplets of water
from roofs and cars out on the street and the click of a foot landing behind
Oz turned, not all that certain he should bother fighting whatever it was
creeping up on him, and yet it was a breath of relief that escaped when he saw
only the dark solidity that was Angel's body. "You shouldn't do that."
Angel regarded him with the cool calculation that Oz sometimes envied for its
pure lack of expression. "I shouldn't come hear a friend play?"
Something happened within him at being acknowledged as Angel's friend, but Oz
Only if you ask him nicely, man.
"You heard the show?" Oz blinked steadily.
"Yeah." And there was a glint of something in Angel's eyes, something Oz
desperately wanted to decode as being more than the polite interest he knew
he should take it for. "Sounded good."
And Oz suddenly knew what that glint was, he fucking knew, that Angel had
been in this alley waiting for him, and that he'd seen every bit of Oz and Devon's
little performance, and the only acceptable thing to do then was to keep the
subject far from that area. "How'd you know I was in LA?"
"I try to keep tabs on what's going on back in Sunnydale. You know, in case
something comes up --"
"So you can come riding to the rescue? Swoop in and stop the Hellmouth from
opening, then cut out again?"
Shit. Stop riding him so hard, man.
"I left, Oz. I didn't stop caring."
"Funny way of showing it."
Shit. Fuck. STOP.
Angel's jaw was tightening in a way that had definite potential to scare Oz. His
bordering-on-initial acquaintance with the vampire had not been all that
friendship inspiring, what with the soul-loss and death and mayhem and
whatnot. He didn't feel quite comfortable with any sudden shifts of mood. "Oz, I
came to say hello. Not to be put on a guilt-trip. I have enough of those."
Funny how Angel walking away scared Oz more than he cared to admit, and he
was suddenly stuffing his hands into his pockets and staring at the ground, and
calling out in a voice more plaintive than anything else. "Don't leave."
Angel stopped, turned. "I heard about you and Willow. I'm sorry."
"I'm not." Oz just kept on surprising himself. "We're better off without each
"You don't mean that."
"Don't tell me what I mean or don't mean." Oz's eyes were actually flashing, hot
with anger and something more, something that somehow drew Angel closer.
"Maybe I'm sorry about how it happened, but not that it happened."
"You seem pretty clear on that."
"Yeah, well..." Oz leaned against the van doors again, his entire body curving into
a relaxation that seemed enough to send him melting into the ground. "You
"Yes, I did. So?"
"So maybe you're itching to get out of here before I start kissing you."
Angel smiled, a smile that made Oz realize with bitter lament that he'd never
seen that kind of warm and honestly amused smile on Angel's face. Life was
changing with the speed of a tornado whirlwind that night, and it was oddly
comforting that none of it was for the worse. Like, here Angel was, smiling a
smile that Oz was reasonably sure only Buffy had seen before, if even she had,
and he was reassuring Oz with words that were in danger of being taken for
flirting. "If I were afraid of that, I could have left without saying a word to you."
"Okay, so you got me there. Why did you stick around?"
"Can we go somewhere else to talk?" Angel shrugged. "Maybe my office? It's
quiet. God knows Cordelia would never hang around work this late."
"Sure. I...I'll meet you there in a bit, okay? I have to take the gear back to the
motel, or the guys will think I got jacked or something."
Angel nodded and Oz came to the conclusion far too late in the game that he
had no intention of talking very much. But he nodded, too, then walked around
and got into the van, and only then did he allow himself to groan. He groaned as
he started the ignition, and groaned as he drove the few blocks to the motel.
By the time he finished moving the band's equipment into the room, the sounds
of his frustration had so displaced the silence that he was groaning for the
sake of groaning, and at some point in the midst of it all, he made a decision.
Angel's offices were, as usual, dark and somewhat desolate, and Oz felt
strange just walking in. He found Angel in the actual office, leaning back in the
chair behind his desk with his eyes closed and hands folded over his stomach. "I
didn't think you'd come," he greeted softly, his eyes still closed.
Please don't use the word come.
"I only did because I said I would. I can't stay."
"Of course you can't." Angel finally looked up at him, and the look in his eyes
was so intense Oz couldn't really think of words to describe it, mostly because
his brain function was better diverted to the task of staying on his feet and
clearing the spots of red that had suddenly begun swimming behind his eyes.
"But you will."
Oz blinked, desperately struggling to clear his vision. "I can't."
"I know. You said that already." The smile on Angel's face was different this
time, and yet was another new experience for Oz. It was predatory, feral, but
not in the way that made him think his blood was about to become the evening's
main course. This was a smile that gave Oz the distinct and exhilarating
impression that he was only seconds away from being devoured in another,
more wholly delightful, way, and the feeling was reinforced when Angel stood
up, his lithe body exuding seduction. "Oz. Come here."
I thought I asked you not to say that.
The action of taking the three steps required to reach the point where he and
Angel met distracted Oz just enough so that the first gentle kiss took him by
surprise, and the roll of Angel's tongue past his lips was almost stunning in the
lack of expectation. Oz's eyes flickered closed and he discovered for what
seemed the millionth time in his life that it was a simple delight to let someone
else be in control. Devon had tried and tried to teach him, but Oz had always
resisted the permanent knowledge, knowing on some distinct level that he
never wanted to stop experiencing the wonder of that discovery.
Fingers were creeping under his t-shirt, tugging it up with a purposeful motion
that didn't end until Oz's bare chest and all of his necklaces gleamed in the soft
glow of light that entered from the desk lamp. Then the hands were molding to
his hips, palms running over the jutting shape of his pelvis, and the words that
Angel whispered sliced into the pseudo-silence of Oz's quickened breath and
Angel's lack thereof. "You've done this before."
It wasn't a question, not in the strictest sense, merely a provision of chance
for Oz to contradict Angel's assumption. Oz blinked, his lips glistening as he
spoke. "Dev and I have been friends for a long time."
"So it appeared." Angel dipped in towards Oz's ear, snaked the very tip of his
tongue into the folds of cartilage. He blew a purposeful whisper of air against
Oz's moistened flesh, laughing at the way Oz stiffened, curled his fists at his
sides, and thrust against Angel's leg, visibly hard. "How good of friends are you,
There was absolutely no hope of drawing in a steady breath, and Oz didn't
bother trying. "Oh...you might say the best," he hissed shakily. "Angel, please--"
"Please..." he whispered again, pressing one hand to Angel's cock to provide
such a light caress that Angel's hips swiveled forward. His arms darted out to
jerk Oz close, trap that one hand between them so he could undulate and grind
and suddenly everything was so far out of control it was ridiculous.
Running is an interesting sensation, especially when standing perfectly still.
Then Angel made his move, parting Oz's lips with his tongue and making a
swooping motion that nearly made Oz giggle because he thought of bats and
vampires and long black capes and how Angel could totally get the Dracula vibe
going on if his fangs were extended at just that moment.
No. No fangs. Don't think about fangs.
So he didn't, and that was remarkably easy, and then the wall was behind him
and Angel was in front of him, and there didn't seem to be a floor beneath him.
And all Oz could think at just that moment that there was something oddly
exhilarating about being the smaller of two people, because at just that
moment he was experiencing what Angel never would, at least not within the
confines of a reality that only included Angel and Oz and arms and mouths and
the sweetness of tongue mixed with the pungent odor of Oz's sweaty humanity,
and then of course there were the cocks.
Those seemed to have a life of their own, taking on every double meaning of
libido that Freud could ever have imagined. And Oz finally grasped another
thought, which was merely that Freud would have a field day with them, some
speech with a lot of guttural syllables and theories about life and death, and it
didn't really matter because still, he was the one being lifted and held against
the cool roughness of plaster walls. It was the sheer strength of Angel's arms
holding him there that made it oh so very clear to Oz that he would never quite
possess the strength to show Angel what it was like to be lifted, to be swept
off your feet and into this world where dust swirling in the lamplight can inspire
songs that won't be written until ten years down the line.
Ten years, and no sooner, because Oz couldn't imagine loosening his grip on
Angel any sooner than that. His fingers dug into the smooth cotton of Angel's
black t-shirt, grasping and twisting and eventually tearing it so it split down the
back and Angel let him back on his feet so he could get the scrap of material to
its rightful place on the floor, and it was only when he ended up on his back on it
that Oz noticed there was a sofa in this office.
There was heat in Oz's face that seemed about ready to burn his skin away
from the inside, but that was okay, because the cooling touch of Angel's hands
travelling everywhere on his body was nothing if not a nice contradiction.
Angel didn't appear in the mood to waste much more time being coy, a fact Oz
was grateful for as he shifted to help Angel get his jeans off and down, and
there was abruptly only Angel's leather pants between them, but maybe Angel
wanted to be coy after all, because those stayed in place, so the noise in the
room consisted of Oz's breath, the suckling sounds of colliding tongues, and the
soft creak of new leather bending in ways it wasn't yet accustomed to.
There were hands pressing up under Oz's arms, pushing him so he slithered
backwards until his head was propped up on the arm of the sofa and Angel had
more room to maneuver. Angel lifted one of Oz's legs and draped it over the
back of the sofa, then pushed the other so it was dangling over the edge, and
Oz had to close his eyes and concentrate on breathing because if he watched
Angel lean in to take that first long lap at his cock, he may well stop breathing
altogether. As it was, all internal functioning, aside from the pounding of blood
away from his brain, ceased for the few brief seconds it took to deal with
the reality of Angel's mouth engulfing his dick.
His hands couldn't help but slip through the silk strands of Angel's hair, and he
rubbed his fingertips into his cool scalp. "Angel," he moaned, his voice catching
on some non-existent lump of hormonal cotton. "Angel, could you please --"
Angel pulled back, his lips just barely caressing the dripping tip of Oz's cock as
he spoke. "Patience."
Personally, Oz thought patience was an interesting thing to be preaching if you
weren't the one with a blow torch against every nerve ending, but seeing as how
he could barely suck in the refreshing gulps of breath he was so depending on,
he didn't see fit to say much of anything about it. Still, he couldn't help but
thrust upwards, attempting to buck his way back into Angel's mouth.
Angel chuckled, backing off further, so far Oz nearly lunged. As it was, he
growled and narrowed his eyes in a blaring warning statement. And Angel
teased him even more, taking two fingers and sliding them into his mouth,
slowly letting his tongue flick through, wetting each portion just before it
disappeared between his lips. Cheeks pulling in with the suction, eyes ablaze
with amused cruelty --
What if he fucking lost his soul and is playing with me?
but also tender promise. A gleeful little vow that if trust were given, Angel
would come through with bliss beyond imagine. And the thread of saliva that
stretched from mouth to hand when he withdrew his fingers seemed such
concrete proof of this that Oz just let his eyes slide shut so he could wait.
Wait for the wet, slippery, probing, little nudges that widened Oz for the
maddening thrusts which accompanied the return of the soft lips and even
softer tongue, which in turn ran down the underside of his cock in perfect
unison with the motion of the fingers. Oz couldn't decide which way his hips
wanted to go; whether they should bear down on Angel's hand or drive up into
So he did his best to do both, and the struggle was made easier by shutting off
his racing mind and letting his body go wherever the hell it wanted to, which was
how his leg wound up coming up and hooking behind Angel's knee, clenching it
within the crook in a frantic attempt to store some tension somewhere
besides his cock.
It didn't work, not by a long shot, but luckily, just when Oz thought the fading
within his brain would either become permanent or explode in a blast of furious
ecstasy, Angel grazed his teeth carefully in just the right spot, and Oz
actually wailed. He jerked, then went perfectly still, frozen in an arched position
of release for a long moment before sinking into the plush leather and
welcoming Angel's strength pinning him down.
Vague thoughts seemed to be all Oz was capable of just then, the first being an
intense but brief curiosity about whether or not vampires could get hickeys,
brief only because he realized it didn't matter since he was only suckling lightly
and discovering that even if he didn't sweat, Angel still had his own distinct
And then his mind cleared and he moaned, reaching into the heat between them
to go after Angel's waistband, but he was stopped with a gentle shake of the
head. "Later, Oz. Later...Rest now."
So Oz blinked, a slow blink that only came half-way undone, and then he blinked
again, except it wasn't really a blink since his eyes stayed closed, and he slept.