Monosyllabic Eccentricity

On Writing Angel/Oz
by Dolores of Incredibly Pale

We know that Angel likes tough, small blondes. Buffy, Darla, Kate . . . Oz? Well, when he's cracked open the bleach. Rather like, er, Buffy. But he definitely fits into the profile of a likely mate for our Angel. So, for that reason alone, Oz isn't actually that silly a prospect. Plus, they do have lots in common: the dual nature, the strong silent personality, and the vast array of hair products are but three examples of that. Inspiration for getting them together is available elsewhere, but in this section we're going to look at some of the more important issues in writing Angel/Oz and indeed just Angel and Oz. Read on, Macduff...

Their Girlfriends

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of writing Angel/Oz is finding the way of getting them together when, for almost the entire time that they knew each other, they were dating Buffy or Willow respectively. However, so long as you acknowledge the fact that they aren't likely to cheat on either partner for no reason at all then your fic will be believable. In other words, it has to be set during The Wish, after Wild At Heart or elsewhere with the reasons why they are cheating on (or breaking up with) their girlfriends fully explained. Readers will not simply accept that they fancied a quick one. If they do cheat on either Willow or Buffy, it should be remembered that if either woman finds out they aren't going to be happy and you have to make their reactions realistic in that case. Put another way, Buffy is not likely to say to Angel, "Yeah, cool. You go have sex with Oz. I'll be sitting here filing my nails."

Sex and the Curse

Speaking of sex, we might as well look at that now.

Well, probably the first thing to say is that despite the obvious size difference, Oz is not automatically the 'bottom' (i.e. receptive) partner in anal sex. If that's right for the fic, then that's fine. But make sure that you don't automatically have him with his legs in the air. The same applies for oral sex.

The other usual rules for gay rumpy-pumpy should be adhered to, and I can point you in no better direction than Minotaur's Sex Tips for Slash Writers for those.

Then there's the curse.

As any fan of either show knows, Angel will become Angelus if he experiences perfect happiness. This can be drug-induced temporarily, or permanent after sex with someone he truly loves. This always puts a stumbling block in the way of many Angel fics (slash and het) because the writers want the characters to be in love and have sex. The short answer is that Angel can't do that. He certainly can have sex with Oz if they aren't in love, if it wouldn't be perfect happiness, but if he is in love with Oz and they have sex, precedence would suggest that he loses his soul. To not have him do that would, in the words of another slash writer, be homophobic in a way - because it would suggest that Angel can't experience true happiness through a same-sex partnership.

Therefore you either have to incorporate it in an angst-tastic, forbidden fruit kinda way (as the shows have done), or find a way of working around it. If you do find a 'cure' make sure it's a good one, and one that isn't achieved at little or no cost. There's nothing worse in Angelfic when his curse is cured because Willow casts a simple spell, or the Powers That Be sneeze, or something. Angel is well aware that redemption comes with a price, so any circumvention of the curse must be difficult, and it must be realistic. Your readers will thank you.

In a similar vein, don't forget that Oz is part-werewolf, so (depending on when your fic is set) either is hairier at the full moon or will be subject to change if he gets too upset.

The Silence is Deafening

One of the main jokes directed at Angel/Oz fic is that both characters are so quiet that the fics would be tiny for the lack of dialogue. It is an unfair criticism, because both Oz and Angel can be quite verbose when the situation demands it. What neither does is simply fill gaps in conversations for the sake of it, or feels the needs to hear the sound of their own voices (as, for example, Cordelia and Xander do).

In any case, as with any fic, it is often more important for the emotion to be expressed rather than the words, so you can work around the lesser dialogue quite easily. When you do use speech, don't make either character too serious, unless the situation demands it, because they may be quiet, but they are still quite funny.

The Hair

On a final note, if nothing else works for you: they can bond over the hair. They obviously are fixated on it.