In Which A Friendship is Broken
Sorry, it's been a while. On with the show. Mean-Buffy chapter. (like that's new)
Oz had just finished packing up his meager belongings when the front door of Giles' home slammed open. Hn, most doors slam shut. His nose twitched. A scent that had the opposite effect of an Immortal's hit him. Buffy. Where Xander and the others' scents had all demonic entities, his wolf included, sitting up and begging for a taste, a quick romp, an eternal claim, something, Buffy's slayer scent set their teeth on edge and aroused flight or fight instincts.
Resolving to be ready as soon as Xander showed up, Oz went ahead with carrying his bags and his guitar out to the living room. As he neared the voices he mentally groaned though there was no outward change in his expression. She had to be talking about Delvin. Oz wasn't sure he liked the old man, either, but he figured the Immortal had something Xander needed so his opinion was secondary. Buffy didn't have that perspective.
"He killed that man, Giles. Killed him and felt no remorse. AND, he plans to kill more. And have Xander kill. He's evil. That's evil."
Giles sighed and seemed to look around desperately for someone to knock sense into his Slayer. Sorry, Giles, Oz thought. No one here but you and me.
Or not, he amended as the door opened after a quick knock to reveal Xander (Mate, his mind supplied) and the Immortal in question (Pack Leader, the wolf insisted). Giles looked an odd cross between relieved and horrified while Buffy just looked mad.
"Xander. Delvin. You're earlier than I expected," Giles said.
"You! What are you doing here?" Buffy demanded of the new-comers.
Delvin looked pointedly at Xander who sighed and turned to Buffy. "Ms. Summers, my Teacher has informed me that one of the many benefits of taking a Student instead of a head is that when you don't want to deal with someone or something, you may command said student to do so in your stead," he said in a formal tone. Then he grinned. "What's the problem, Buff?"
"Xander," she began slowly as though talking to a child. "He murdered a man. And he doesn't own you, so he can't command you to do anything."
"Buffy," Xander said back in the same tone. "You've been commanding me for years, so what was your excuse. But you're right, he probably shouldn't have killed Mike." He held up a hand to forestall any comments. "I only mean that since the original challenge was for me, he probably should have made me kill him myself."
Oz, hating that suddenly dark look in Xander's eyes, edged around the room and placed a hand on Xander's arm. Buffy noticed him for the first time.
"Oz. I didn't see you there," she said. "What do you think?"
Oz looked from Mate and Pack Leader to Slayer. The way he saw this was clear. She was not part of this Pack.
"Not demons. Not your problem," he said. "Not what Slayers are for."
Xander smiled and put an arm over Oz's shoulders and pulled him close, that darkness dissipating. He was content to stay there under that arm until it was necessary to move. Hn, he'd rarely been this...peaceful...with Willow. He never showed it, but when he was with her he was always tense and afraid of hurting her, never comfortable in the alpha role she wanted him in.
Buffy was eying them like roaches. "What is going on?"
"We're here to pick up Oz's things," Xander replied. "He's moving to the mansion with us."
She smirked cruelly. "My my, just one big happy commune, is it? God, Xander, since that," she jerked her chin in Delvin's direction. "moved to town, don't you see how much he's changed you? Suddenly, you're all over Oz, you're okay with killing humans, you quit your job, yes, I know about that, and you don't care if your friends get hurt. What is Willow going to say?"
Xander never released Oz so the werewolf felt him tense. In anger. Delvin placed a supportive hand on Xander's shoulder and Xander spoke.
"Buffy, we're through, you and me. I'm tired of this. Everyone else has accepted what I am now, but you can't stop. I don't owe you any explanations. If you want to ask Willow about her reaction to Oz being with me while she has her girlfriend, go ahead. But Immortal business, like Oz said, is none of yours. My entire life, is not none of yours." He sighed. "I had hoped...but whatever. You don't like that I'm not yours to control anymore and that tells me what our friendship was all along. Oz, let's get your stuff. Giles, good to see you."
"And you as well, Xander," Giles replied, wiping his glasses, but there was strange sort of pride in his tone. He was probably dreading the coming conversation that Buffy would demand to have as soon as the other three men left.
Xander released Oz and together the two of them retrieved Oz's things.
Delvin finally said something but it was a rapid exchange of Latin with Giles that Oz didn't have a hope of following. Xander seemed to understand all of it, though, because by the end of it, he was frowning thoughtfully. Oz nudged him and allowed his face to soften into a slight smile. Xander returned it and gave him a chaste kiss to go with it.
"Come on, pups," Delvin said. "Let's go home." He nodded to Giles and led them out, still completely ignoring Buffy. As the door closed, Oz heard Giles say, "Buffy, sit down and listen. It's important that you..." And the words were lost with distance and the barrier of the door closing between them.
Oz glanced at Delvin. "Silent treatment, huh?"
"Students have a myriad of uses," Delvin replied with a lofty tone and a large smile.
AN: So, there we have another chapter...thank you to all that have reviewed. Now I want everyone with an unfinished story that hasn't updated it since march to go update it, or mark it as never-to-be-completed. I want to read as well as write, thank you.