Set at the end of ‘New Moon Rising’.
Oz is leaving for the second time, but it isn’t any easier.
I don’t own Oz. Yet. I do own the story, though.
Jinan and Master Shantou are from ‘Oz: Into the Wild’ by Christopher.
Fleeing for the second time. It was beginning to have a certain familiarity-
the taste of the steering wheel beneath his hands, the slow, steady thump of
an oncoming headache beginning behind his eyes as he concentrates too hard
on the task of driving. Better that then what lies just beyond thought’s
reach, he knows, the implications and dark suggestions whispered by imps in
Better that than the thought of Willow.
He grips the wheel harder, his pale knuckles whiter, tendons appearing
through the skin like the rising backs of whales. He glares at the road
ahead, seeing nothing. The actions of manoeuvring the vehicle are automatic,
robotic. His aching mind circles in thick, glassy bands, tightening and
spiralling in on itself like a conch shell.
The lab.. whitelight.. pain.. changing, harsh glare of the lamps replacing
the soft and welcoming silver of the moon.. hope.. failure.. he was a
failure, to Master Shantou, to Jinan, to Giles, to Jordy, to Willow. He had
wanted to kill the blonde girl. He had let the wolf rule him for that split
second, and it had almost cost him her life. All this control he had
achieved, just to fail. His journey had been for nothing- back to square
one. He might as well be waking up behind that rock again
(I’d still, I’d very still)
butt-naked and with that slow, heavy feeling of morning unfurling in his
werewolf bones and the sick feeling of bloated satisfaction in his belly. He
might as well be brushing his teeth again, looking in the mirror and sure
that it was someone else’s blood on his gums.
Oz switches on the radio without thinking about it, gets a blast of static
then flicks automatically to the Sunnydale stations. They’re nearly out of
range now, fuzzy and distorted, but the words filter through. The city-wide
powercut that freed him is still in effect, but should be fixed by tomorrow,
when we’re going to see sunny mid-30 weather, a chill in the air by
mid-afternoon to evening, and it’s over to Claire with the sports.. The
reception begins to break up again, but Oz keeps the station on until it
fades into white noise.
There is hardly any traffic on the road at this time, only lone six-wheelers
and hurried businessmen either making their way to or from work. Oz keeps
expecting to see an army regulation troop-carrier pull out behind him.
Sorry, Mr Osbourne, we’ve made a mistake. We’re going to have to shoot you
after all. Haha, what amusement. Oz feels the wolf shift uneasily just
beyond his range of thinking at the mention of the Initiative, flexing it’s
claws and flashing it’s teeth. Oz tells it to quiet down, you sick bastard,
because it’s all your fault and he could be in Willow’s arms right now if it
wasn’t for you, you stupid worthless bloodthirsty beast, all you do is rip
and tear and growl and fuck and eat.. and eat..
Oz pulls up in the next lay-by, opens the passenger door, leans out and
pukes up the thin gruel of his stomach onto the hard dirt. Panting, he rests
his forehead against his arm, not caring enough to wince when the movement
touches an ache. He looks up and out at the stars, just appearing through
the smog of the night.
The moon won’t be full again for another month, but he can still feel it on
his skin, a gentle barely-noticeable heat like when you’re getting sunburnt
but you don’t really register it. It sends prickles down his spine. Oz
fights very hard to stop the wolf lifting itself up, nearly as hard as he
fought when he was trapped in that white-tiled cell, tasting his own sweat
and piss-fear in the air..
Oz retches again, but it’s barely more than acid and spit. He makes a thin
groaning sound and pulls himself back into the driver’s seat, wiping his
chin with his fist.
He sits there for a long time, watching the dim lamplight of the stars and
the cloudy moon, smelling the nighttime breeze as it wafts through the open
door, thinking of nothing, the white noise filling his mind.