Glance and Glimpse
Author: Princess Twilite
Pre Season 3
Glimpse - moment unguarded. Giles POV
Glance - A moment on the other side of Oz. A moment on the inside. Oz POV.
Not mine, not mine. Fox, Mutant Enemy, Joss and affiliates own the characters within this story and no money has exchanged with its distribution.
I went to a website and damn it, came out inspired. These are companion stories.
He plays music at the club, in the grime-on-red lights, circle the room atmosphere and I sit with my glass of brandy sweating on my left palm. The round table digs into my ribs as I lean forward, focused on him and him alone. The bronze is made of young faces and I stick out like a blood on white snow, during a long, long winter.
I didnít mind overmuch. The cigarette smoke filtering through the air and the tinge of spilled booze could not draw my interest away. Someone hollered out an obscenity, right near my ear. I didnít flinch, heart already plummeting to that low place that Iíve had hidden for all these celibate months.
Buffy and Willow have their chairs turned toward the stage, big grins stretching their young faces wide. The back of their heads bobbed nearly in sync, blonde and red spots in the darkened room. Innocent. If Willow only knew, she might be a lot more wary of me and a great deal less apt to smile.
I know enough of myself to know that later I would think back and be wary as well, frightened at my own audacity even in a vague, smoky place where I could secret my face away into the shadows and PRETEND I wasnít thinking those insane things that I was.
Fissures of awareness string up my stomach, tie it into knots that flail against my heart: bump-bump. My thighs tighten against the chair inside my pants, clenched against the sensation of falling off a cliff.
Had I drank too much? Vertigo was familiar, dragging me toward the edge.
I stay as still as I can, fight HARD against it. I was hot from my overcoat, watching. Drops of sweat fell beneath my collar and down my spine, urging me to arch forward. I did not, could not, because that would draw too much attention to my current expression.
Oz handles music like a lover, smooth, easy.
His hands, pale, drifting across the tune like a woman youíd fuck in the dark and not know her name -- but remember, always remember the way she came.
Sometimes I find myself listening to him when I should be researching, saving Buffyís life or the world, sometimes I donít remember WHAT I am doing. His voice, when he speaks, touches the air as sinuously as a soft, sweet kiss. Never long in existence, but it gets your attention.
You think of it long after it had gone.
But now, with Xander tapping his foot at my side and surreptitiously fantasizing about a never day when he got Buffy and Willow in the same bed as him at the *same* time, I feel like Iím some mistaken schoolteacher.
Iíve stumbled into the wrong building.
Iíve stumbled into the wrong town.
Iíve stumbled into the wrong world.
There must be some place else where I can and do get my satisfaction from that slow, careful mouth that doesnít speak as much as it says. Where I can lie down and have those hands smoothing across my chest and up over my neck, sliding into all those abandoned places that no one else can really touch.
For a moment I pictured how it could be.
Weíd be alone, in my bedroom with the curtains drawn. His skin would be so pale I could see it in the darkness, slicing through it with his flesh. His mouth would be hot, like freshly blown glass, locking over my finger. Iíd brush my hands over his thigh, feel the skin there skitter.
Iíd kiss him.
A chant rises from the crowd at his solo, wild and urgent. My concentration breaks despairingly at the wave of group-elation that splashes against the stage and over their feet and hearts. His skin flashes ivory under the lights, then the palest of red and silvers, ever liquid.
In his element, he wasnít quite so quiet. He was so loud that I should have covered my ears to protect my heart, but I didnít.
I swear I see just a glint of his eyes, winking at me from beneath a string of his hair. I swear it was red, a flash of the animal that intrigues me like a hunter to the prey.
Then it is gone, lost in the strobe lights.
I glance toward Willow, who leans forward in her chair, chin tucked into her hand. Buffy pats her back and whispers something that I canít hear. Something Iím sure Iíd rather not hear.
A curl of smoke drifts from a deserted cigarette at the next table, brushing my face and I think of my lonely guitar. In my silence, left of the applause, I know how wonderfully Oz and I could play together.
It is all about the lights and the scent of sweet, thick alcohol that stings the air like so much music, pouring out over the crowd. People sit at round tables, and stand as though they can hear the music clearer that way. The lights are as red as blood freshly spilled, and as blue as a chilly finger. It shivers over me, but I've yet to feel the cold. Sweat forms freely where my pants hang low on my hipbones.
She has said that these pants should make me trip, but they sure look cute around my ass. I have laughed at that, at the way the blush then moves over her cheeks like a stream of heat has just blasted her squarely in the face.
He has said, with his eyes, that he likes the way they hang.
Finger over finger, I know just how they would like me to touch them and that is my power in this trapped moment. This sultry moment will last me for much longer than an instrumental can play out. When the song stops and their world pulls back together they will still hear it in the back of their minds and see my face before they fall asleep.
They will see my face in shades of light.
Yes, there is power in that and I will taste it until the next time I pick up my guitar and it lets me break the heart inside its strings.
Music. Sex. It is one and the same and requires but a single thing.
My self control.
Self-control, mine at least, is made of shiny Wingtips and the torn up shirt of a band I'd forgotten the name of minutes after I bought their cloth memorial. I was never one to care about such things. Bands, yes. Clothes, not quite. What mattered could be wrapped up in my head, behind the music notes and behind the fear, with either a memory or a scent that just sticks like so much glass in a fossil.
Standing here, with the lights shining down on me, I realize this is what it always comes down to. The next moment, the next taste, the next kick when I get to stand here and fuck the crowd with my guitar. Sounds crude, yes. Do I sound like a bastard? Yes.
Do I actually want to crawl on top of the music-drunk patrons of the club? No, mostly anyway.
Giles sits with Willow, Buffy, and Xander. I curl my lips, just because.
My moment always comes, upon a second, upon a beat and I let the light lead me down the path of spilling it all out, even though no one really knows what the hell I'm saying with my fingers. They will never know and neither will she. God, I hope Willow never finds out who I really am beyond the half-boy, half-wolf who has sworn himself to the good side.
I could not handle losing that much, because I no longer have that much to lose.
The storyteller in me can never sit still for long, and I refuse to speak about it, so it must be the whispers of sound that are doing the talking.
'There are things I love,' I tell them.
Love like the warm apple cider that tastes almost as good as raw flesh. When I touch the strings of my guitar, I touch those wounds I have created and I cleanse them, dry them; I bleed them as an early doctor might have. An early doctor might have called me mad. He might have been right to say so.
Love like the soft, swift sound of her voice when she's excited. Almost as good as running naked into the forest, waiting with the heady dread and anticipation for the change to take place. Almost as good as sliding into someone that very first time, when it was okay to lose control.
When it was just... okay.
'There are things I need,' I tell them.
Need like thick, heavy bars and a large, confining cage. Where I might pace for hours when the moon is fat and round, engorged like my sex hidden beneath pounds of hair that I'll find in the strangest places NOT on my body for days after. When I wake up with my nails bleeding and the floor cold and upturned beneath me as though I'd attacked it in my ABSENCE of control.
Need like the quiet when everyone is loud around me, moving, speaking, and breathing with their heartbeats pounding through my ears. Their scents are an aphrodisiac and I find myself aroused more often than not. Because of this, need has become something that doesn't really matter. Something I can control.
It is something that I MUST control.
'There are things I am,' I tell them.
I am riddled with miniscule scars from things that I do not remember. Tiny white lines that scratch up odd places on my abdomen, as thin as a piece of paper. Nearly invisible, you wouldn't know they were there unless I told you. I wouldn't tell you.
I am hungry all the time. French fries taste like nothing in my mouth, merely left over paste. My stomach is always hollow even after I've filled it with food. It makes quiet sounds that rumble from my gut, up through my throat. I worry myself straight through the lunch line in the cafeteria. It is not a potato salad that I crave. You wouldn't know it unless I told you. I wouldn't tell you.
There are things I hate.
Hate like everything I am.
When I am playing, strumming, stroking these smooth strings, all of that doesn't seem to matter. There is nothing but me and the bass beat, echoing in my ears like a slow, thick heartbeat that goes on a second too long. Every holler from the crowd goes unnoticed as a flea on a dog with so much fur he can't breathe through it.
My foot taps slightly, like it has its own beat, its own song.
He touched my wrist today, just the brush of his finger across the bone.
He thinks I don't notice. He hopes I don't notice. One of these days, I'm going to show him that I notice. I don't know how I'll do it, but I can't lie to myself when I'm playing. I might let him down easy. I might pick him up real high when he isn't expecting it and show him what it is to be wanted by a wolf.
Once a bastard, you might say to me, always a bastard.
You'd probably be right.
Guilt is something I know well and wear bad. So I shed it like a second skin and step right back into who I want to be for her. It's okay for now. My guitar hums and agrees. Vaguely I can hear the crowd rising up in a wave of jubilation.
My music is loud. It screams.
I think of the way she looks at sunrise when she doesn't know I'm looking; I play a particularly sharp note that no one seems to mind. I love her. I do. She's got everything that I want and I'm not leaving without her. Not unless something drags me out of here by my little whiskers.
Still, there is a craving for flesh, a craving for more than waiting. I've always been patient, always controlled, but occasionally need will rear up from its chains and nip at me like a nasty dog with blood in her belly.
There is a flash in my gut, a flash in my heart and I look up, aware of something changing. Past the lights, through the fog of smoke, I see him looking at me like I'm something more than I am.
I am only Willow's quasi-boyfriend.
I am only a hanger-on.
I know I won't be here forever, even though I'd like to be.
I see him grip his glass, sweat soaked, just a little bit tighter like he has a need to hold onto something and it isn't his liquor. Cigarette smoke curls around him, it draws him hazily out like a mid- century portrait of Bogart. He should be painted in black and white.
He should be up on stage, strumming his guitar.
I know just what he is thinking when he shakes his head a little, maybe not even realizing he has done so. I know that his heart is beating faster and I can almost smell fever climbing up his spine and messing with the flesh between his thighs.
We all have a little animal inside and some of us just don't mate for life.
I blink, turn my head down, away from the lights that steal me, and focus on just giving it up and putting it out.