Monosyllabic Eccentricity

Title: Halfway
Author: Rebecca
Rating: PG
Spoilers: 'Fear Itself', S4.
Summary: Oz's thoughts in the bathtub during 'Fear, Itself'. It's not pretty.
Disclaimer: Still don't own anything. Damnit.
Author's Note: Feedback appreciated muchly


He is stuck- halfway between man and wolf; transformation incomplete.

Foreign teeth press against his lips; his skin burns and itches and he aches to rip his clothes off here and now and scratch his hands (!claws!) through that fiery softness and rake and rake until blood gushes in red runnels and he can step forth of this human being and be free, unfettered again. He pants through a mouth too deep with points, muttering words that even as they echo against the sparse room clench him and anchor him.

ĎNot gonna change.. not gonna change.. not gonna change..í

Simple words, but a tie to his human form, his Ozself, his calm, centred self. They taste like bitter lemons and blood as they fall from his lips, binding and holding him somewhere deep within until they dissolve into a stream of nonsense. His breath rushes past him, letting him catch up in pants and sobs as he feels the cramps and rolling, shifting pains inside that come every time but never last this long, never extend this long. He yearns to let go but cannot, teetering on the knife-edge. His memory sweeps him back to his childhood, leaning his sweaty forehead against the cold dark tile of his auntís bathroom after his first experiences with alcohol make his stomach yowl at him to release itís contents and his mind clamp his throat shut until all he can do is dry-heave helplessly until the next onslaught. A fall and a parachute all at once- the wild wish to fling himself out over some high precipice and the stubborn body that cements him firmly to the ground.

The inside of the bathtub is cold and slick against his back, cooling to the sweat that runs the gauntlet between his shirt and his hot skin. He rocks slightly, a monotonous release to the aching energy that thrums through him, screaming at him to rip himself in two, gouge out his eyes, throw himself from a window- anything, anything to relieve it. He feels like he is about to explode but cannot, held to humanity by the words he chants between sobs and the frustrating tendril of something that hardens around him, tightening but never tight enough. His Ozself cowers at the thrashing identities warring with eachother over the control of his body whilst his Wolfself howls and bays and slavers at this chance at freedom. Always it has been one or the other- wolf-or-Oz, beast-or-man. This in-between place is terrifying in itís uncertainty, itís chaos.

He stares unseeing at the wall before him, far-away and somehow jealous of itís solid and unwavering lucidity that so mocks the utter lack of control he has over himself. Ozís breath hitches in his throat and his words die away momentarily to breathless gasps, and another wave of Wolfself rolls over him and he thinks yes, this is it, going under, help me, oh god Willow but it isnít- the wave rolls back again and Oz almost cries his frustration at it, simultaneously glad that heís still half-himself at least and wroth with the chance of calm that has been snatched away once more.

He moves mindlessly, his head lolling forward as his rocking increases rhythm, tension sweeping through his body in agonising rushes, so that he feels like he is submerged in some heavy, dark river that pulses him along just beneath the surface.

His feeble litany resumes

(not gonna change not gonna change not gonna)

and he squeezes his Ozhumanwolfselfís eyes closed, senseless with fear.