by Te
January 2001

Disclaimers: If they belonged to me, I'd keep my head down.

Spoilers: Assorted hints and references to Buffy S5 and
Angel S2.

Summary: Daylight and twilight with vampires.

Ratings Note: NC-17 for sex, violence, sexualized violence...

Author's Note: I love them. I'm in love. Third in the. Um
I have to name it, don't I? Proscenium is third in the
_Traveler_ series.

Acknowledgments: For Puca again. <g> And, of course
my Brain. Title from Mighty Mighty. <g>

Feedback: Some things never change --


Oz half-dozes, resting on Willow's flat belly, drifting on
thoughts half-formed. Veruca had, for all her predatory
nature, been soft. There was no challenge, no strengthening
in hunting humans that barely believed you existed.
Veruca had been glossy with kill after kill, skin naturally
smooth and soft. Veruca had left scent markings all over
campus. Her sex, of course, sometimes mixed with the blood
of a kill.

He wants her now.

He'd taken the responsibility to bury her, *demanded* it,
and no one had questioned. He hadn't driven very far, nor
had he buried her very deep.

Oz's fangs had torn her throat open, but in the end there'd
been no silver. He could smell the scent of her healing
even as he'd driven off. It was true, what he'd said to Willow.
He'd had to leave.

Without him there, she would leave Willow alone. And
she had.

Perhaps Giles will let him track her one day.

Oz wonders if she'll accept him bare of fur and very, very

Chuckles into Willow's skin, nibbles at it gently. She's
still unconscious, but has become restive. She moves beneath
him in flinches and writhes. He has a decision to make.


The hunger is... fascinating. The most complete thing he
has ever felt, an agreement among his selves -- hunt the
prey, rend the flesh, crush the bone. It's so incredibly

He wants Veruca to sing it. He wants Devon to sing it,
maybe. He wants to touch Devon all over when he does it,
in the lights. In his body. Wants to roll in him and make
him scream. Fuck him on stage, yes. Yes.

Drusilla has begun braiding the strips of Willow's skirt, eyes
closed, lips pressed together in perfect concentration. There's
something so perfectly beautiful about being here, like this,
with her.

To him, to his demon, Drusilla is legendary. It answers his
questions about art. There is a patch of taut, pink skin on
the inside of her arm.

"Drusilla? What happened?"

The growl starts deep in her chest, animal flat, and it's suddenly
a concern that he is too weak to move very far.

"Daddy. Has been very. Very. Bad." And she turns back to her
work without another word.

Willow's hands clench and unclench, her short lesbian nails too
dull to break the skin, though the blood has come to the
surface, here and there.

Oz has already lapped the head wound clean, sucked at the
stains on Giles' sheets. There is nothing easy, here. This
contentment, this languor, is, in part, a direct result of
Willow's living, breathing presence. Her light and self. She
is a gift from his sire, but she is, just as much, a challenge.

Had he been fully a vampire, he knows she would've been
dead as soon as he woke. But the wolf in him struggles...
the prey is to be brought home *to* the mate, if not
brought down *with* the mate. There are rules for this,
natural as the tide.

For perhaps the first time, Oz truly knows himself as
abomination. There is nowhere he belongs, no clan he can
claim... save those who share his blood.

But Willow is beautiful.


"Fledglings don't heal very fast at all, you know." Spike is
using the globe as sort of a three-dimensional dart board,
driving knives and other assorted sharp things through it,
sending it skittering all over the room. It has that early
eighties sci-fi look to it now, crusted with spikes, dangerous
to touch. Oz watches from the floor of the loft, face pressed
to the fenced railing.

The wood doesn't smell deadly.

"I've only spent the vast majority of my adult life as a
Watcher, so thank you, Spike, for that bit of helpful

"Just sharing the facts of it, pet. I assume you also know what'll
heal you faster?"

"Sire's blood." Oz watches Giles grind his teeth, watches
the mangled cheek bone work. Oz knows how it would feel,
he thinks. He wants to lick it. He wants to taste Giles right
*now*, take the blood that will make him whole --

"Right. You're not gonna get it."

"I didn't think so."

"Unless you apologize."

Giles blinks, swivels to take in Spike.

"And make it a good one, too."

"You want me to... apologize."

"Well, you were disrespectful. Bloody cheek, really."

"Spike, you are..."


"Absolutely nothing like Angelus."

"Too bloody right I'm nothing like the Great Pouf. You saw
what he did to Drusilla."

"Kill him, Spike! Kill him *now*! He's not our Daddy anymore."

"I know, pet, I know."

"And the Slayer, too, oh her stink is everywhere, Spike, and
I hate it hate it hate it!" She's yanking on Willow's skirts,
jerking her body all over the bed and Drusilla's madness is so
amazing, the stark reality of her tears, as both Giles and Spike
come up to comfort, to take in hand. Oz moves back, out
of the way. Watches, and tucks Willow into the corner with
a pillow.

Touches her skin where the skirt has rucked up, barest hint
of stubble on her long, pale legs. Little girl legs on a woman's
body, vaguely knobby, somewhat precious. Beautiful. Oz
slips her mules off and kisses her insteps, drowns out
Drusilla's cries with the shush of his skin against hers, his
mouth on her skin, his tongue.

Dried salt of sweat, aging soap. Willow willow willow, crawls
up, slips her slack legs over his shoulders. Tears her panties
away with his teeth and oh, oh, but there had been hints of
this in the air, but he hadn't dared, hadn't trusted himself, she's
wonderful, her scent, her taste.

Control is an illusion he's chosen to accept as he licks,
sucks at her. Was Tara better at this than he was? A moment
to feel purely male. He has not felt this human in years.

Willow's moans are breathy, sleep-hushed, and Oz wants
to own her dreams, to walk through them with presence,
if not necessarily size. He loves her for this, loves her
so much that his bones creak, his skin cracks and bleeds
with the need to change.

His fangs rip through his gums before he can move back,
and he pierces her --

"No no no..." Over and over, thrashing as he carefully pulls
back, as his tongue drinks in the blood, and her sex.

She's awake.

"... all right, *fine*, I'm sorry. I was a bad fledgling and I'll
never, ever do it again."


"How do you feel?" Oz asks, and once again knows he's the
center of attention. It's strange how it doesn't make his
skin crawl the way it used to. He focuses on Willow,
breathes her in as much as he can. She's almost pure again,
dazed and sanctified.

"Oz? Oz, oh no..."

One beautiful thing for Oz to hold against the world. To
bring him *to* the world, so that he could see it, know it,
and believe in it in bold, beautiful color.

He can kill her now.

And he does.


Oz wakes, blinking. The floor is uncomfortable, but his muscles
unkink almost as soon as he rises. The house is empty,
save for Giles, perfect again and staring at him from the shadows,
devoid of expression.

Oz waits as Giles looks him up and down, and Oz remembers
that he is naked, and has been for some time.


Drops to hands and knees.

Crawls to Giles' feet, and waits again.

"You must never let yourself grow starved, Oz, no matter what
the cause. I realize that you're different, and that the wolf
has needs that can... diverge from our own.

"However, you will not let yourself become weakened again."

"Yes, Giles."

"Are you ready for your punishment?"


"Assume the position at the rail."

The whip is leather, and has been lovingly oiled recently. He is
different now, and can feel the shocking caress trackable
moments before the pain. Again, and again, and Oz fights it,
fights for just enough control to feel *every* stroke.

Loses the world bit by bit to the leather, the slap and wish of
flesh laid open. To the sound of his own cries, and still he holds
on. Again, and again.

Moaning Giles' name, sweat and blood and he can still smell
her in it, what's left of her, and perhaps of himself.

Again, and again, and through the tears he can see that
Spike and Drusilla have returned, positioned the couch for the
best view of.

Him. In extremis.

To be shaped... and that's the last coherent thought before he
surrenders to it at last.


Wakes downstairs, in the great British chair, in Spike's lap,
being thoroughly fucked.

Lifted up and slammed down and utterly filled. His own
moans woke him, he thinks, or maybe the burn of the whipping.
Blood and sweat dripping down his back, blood and sweat
scarcely lubricating the way.

Spike's dick is as much an exclamation as the rest of him,
impossible to ignore. Opens his eyes to look to Giles for
rescue, for direction, for a dick to suck to complete his personal
circuit --

And he's in the chair directly across from them, Drusilla splayed
over his lap and perfectly silent, even as Giles' hands dig
cuts and bruises into her sweet white flesh, even as he
re-opens the powerfully real burn flesh, strips and stripes of
it all over her body, tyger, tyger... burning.

Oz throws his head back and emulates Drusilla's silence as
best he can.

He knows this isn't for him.



Continued in Synaptic.