Monosyllabic Eccentricity

Title: White Noise
Author: Rebecca
Rating: R
Spoilers: Set at the end of ‘New Moon Rising’.
Summary: Oz is leaving for the second time, but it isn’t any easier.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Oz. Yet. I do own the story, though.
Author's Note: Jinan and Master Shantou are from ‘Oz: Into the Wild’ by Christopher.


Leaving.

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 that darkness.

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.

Leaving.