The many faces of Buffy: Oz (part 1)
The many faces of Buffy: Oz (part 1)Disclaimer: none of the characters are mine, but belong to their respective owners.
Note: this is a third story in a series. Previous installments should be read first for a better understanding.
“Well, that feels different,” Buffy exclaimed, once Tara (with Willow’s help) cast a spell that gave her a human shape. “A different perspective, a different balance, a different everything...” and she lost her footing and fell face-first onto the carpet.
“Really? Looks similar to me,” Anya said brightly as Buffy glared upwards at her from the floor.
The others just groaned.* * *
“So, how do you like our world?” Dawn asked her big sister/not big sister a brief while later, as the two of them sat on the front porch while the others cleaned up the leftovers from the shape-changing spell. “Is it really that different?”
“Well, it got you in it,” Buffy shrugged, as she tried not to ripple her face and form tentacles. “And it also got Willow in it – no mom – and maybe Giles. Maybe the others, too. Not sure if my universe had Spike in it...”
“Eh, since it had the Master, I have to say yes,” Dawn half-giggled, before turning serious. “Did it have Hellmouths?”
“Yes – that’s one of the reasons why I have – had – tentacles,” Buffy confessed. “Most of our kind does not. They are proper dragons... even if they are undead.”
“Mmm,” Dawn nodded. “Ironic, really, but dragons are creatures that we don’t often see here – must be all that desert...”
“Dragons can live in deserts, in fact some consider it their home,” Buffy replied matter-of-factly, “but I don’t think that it’s relevant here...”
“True,” Dawn agreed brightly, “but what is?”
Before Buffy could reply, she was interrupted by a creaking of a gate, and two people – a young man and a woman – entered into the Summers’ front yard. “Sorry to interrupt your philosophical discussion,” the young man spoke, rather nastily, “but I’m afraid that we’ll have to take over your house for our own purposes.”
There was a pause as Buffy and Dawn just stared at the newcomers. “You know those characters?” Buffy finally broke the silence, just as it was becoming uncomfortable.
“Actually... yes!” Dawn replied, sounding surprised despite her efforts. “That’s Oz! And some strange girl! Hi, Oz!”
There was another pause, and this time it was finally broken by Oz (if that’s was him). “I don’t know you – I don’t know you at all.” “This time he sounded much more plain spoken. “Who are you?”
“Dawn, I don’t think that this man is from this dimension,” Buffy said softly. “I don’t think that he’s human, either – or his companion.”
“Of course not!” Dawn replied, indignant. “Oz is a werewolf! His companion probably is too!”
There was another – brief – pause, finally broken by Buffy. “What’s werewolf?”
Enter incredulous silence, stage left. “What, there are no werewolves in your world?” Dawn fi-nally spoke up.
“Not that I heard of,” Buffy confessed. “Wolves are animals, right? Mammals, to be precise. What are ‘weres’?”
“People – humans – who turn into those animals,” Dawn replied, feeling ridiculous. “Honestly, Buffy-“
“Ahem!” Oz interrupted them, sounding angry now. “We’re still here and I will not tolerate such-“
“We know that you two are here, we know!” Buffy snapped back. “Why are you here exactly?”
“Because we need a place to stay while we take over this world-“
“No,” “Buffy v.2” said more firmly than her original ever did. “This world is not taken over, not even by you.”
“You dare to stand with the chosen of Malar??” “Oz v.2” roared so loudly that it brought forth everyone else from inside the house – even Spike, since the sun was not up yet. More precisely, it was daytime, but the sun was largely hidden by a veil of clouds and dust, so the vampires could be out right now. (Not that they were, or at least the opted to avoid this part of Sunnydale, it seemed.)
“Hey, it’s your old boy,” Spike (speaking of vampires) has commented to Willow.
“No, he’s not!” Oz’s quiet companion spoke up for the first time – and rather loudly, too. “I remember you – he got rid of you when you tried to cast a spell on him to turn into a white hat or whatever!”
“He did not – he got rid of you, just as you were about to get rid of me, you hussy!” Willow, whose nerves were already short and wound tightly, snapped back. “I remember you, too, or rather your voice. It was as screechy as an albatross’s...”
“It is not!” Willow’s new interlocutrix yelled back. “I’m a good singer, thank you very much, while you’re as ugly as a boot-“
“Enough!” Oz’s roar was oddly loud for someone with such a slender build. “I ask you for the last time – will you give way for the chosen of Malar?”
Enter another introspective pause stage left, broken, this time, by Anya. “Malar? The Beastlord? I remember him. He is an Old One, worshipped by some primitive cultures during the Age of Stone. Patron of evil lycanthropes and similar organizations.”
“Are lycanthropes the same as werewolves?” Buffy asked curiously.
“Sort of,” Anya replied, thoughtfully. “Technically phrasing it the other way around would be better.”
“So the werewolves are an organization, not a race, then?”
“Oh no, there’s been a misunderstanding,” Anya shook her head. “They’re a race, sort of, but they also have organizations, just as people, demons and dragons do...”
“And those two want to take over our house for the sake of theirs,” Buffy interrupted the ex-demon. “I don’t like that.”
“None of us do,” Anya agreed. “The Beastlord was rather dumb even by the Old Ones standards. Any werewolf chosen by him would be basically a crude throwback to the Stone Age...”
There was another pause, or rather – a lull in the conversation as “Oz v.2” growled. “You dare to insult a chosen of Malar, human? Then pay the price.” And he shifted.
Into a wolf, true, but a wolf that was considerably larger than a modern one. Considering that it was day, with a full moon nowhere near in sight, this feat was even more impressive.
“Now I am annoyed,” Buffy growled back. “Tara, you sure that I cannot slay him?”
“No,” Tara confessed. “I, um, don’t know what the Vampire Slayer stances on werewolves are.”
“Kill the evil ones that worship powerful demons?” Anya said helpfully, as “Oz v.2” leapt.
“Buffy v.2” slammed at him. As far as wolves and werewolves went, this version of Oz was not only more evil, but also quite a bit bigger (and feral) than the original. However, this version of Buffy was a disguised dragon, as well as a Vampire Slayer; therefore her punch threw the giant wolf clear out of Summers’ front yard and across the street, next to trash.
And the trash exploded. Something, resembling a giant microbe for the lack of a better word whipped outs its’ pseudopods and did its best to envelop and kill the werewolf.
Only Oz was not going down without a fight, but rather he was snarling, biting, and flinging bits of protoplasm all over the street.
“What is that?” his companion gulped.
“A macrobe. It must’ve come from my world,” “Buffy v.2” said wistfully. “They’re annoyances if anything else – see, your friend has already killed his...” She trailed away, as Oz shifted his shape once again. This time, he was a man-wolf hybrid (just as the original usually was), but his body was black and scabrous, while his muzzle was red – a color that is not associated with a wolf’s natural color. In short, this incarnation of Oz had nothing in common with the lycanthrope musician of this world, and that was obvious.
“Now he is channelling the power of Malar,” his companion said sadly. “You’re dead.”
Several bottles of holy water, (that Dawn had the foresight to bring previously) smashed into Oz’s torso. As they hit, “Oz v.2” appeared to be unbothered, but smoke appeared on his torso.
“Holy water hurts him, so he must be a demon,” Spike said sagely, as Oz leapt once again – right into Buffy’s headlock. For several moments the werewolf and the disguised dragon struggled, before there was a crack, and Oz went limp.
“I tore out his brain – he’s dead now,” Buffy said brightly as she demonstrated the organ in question.
Oz’s companion fainted.
“Buffy,” Xander said, doing his best not to retch, “we believe you, so can you please put it away, or even better – throw it away?”
“Okay,” Buffy said brightly, and threw the brain (followed by the rest of the corpse) into the trash, where immediately several of the giant microbes (basically identical to the one that had attacked evil Oz earlier) engulfed it. “Hm. There is a rift leading back to my world, I see,” “Buffy v.2” said thoughtfully. “This is good to know.”
“Uh, what do we do with her?” Dawn said quickly, prodding Oz’s fallen companion.
“We bring her inside, and then we’ll talk,” Buffy instantly replied.TBC