Odd Side Out
Odd Side Out
Summary: Faith hunts down a Scooby gone feral. A certain person, who should be smacked silly, was griping about the lack of good Evil!Oz stories. I couldn't get the idea out of my head, so I wrote one, kinda. This might come as a surprise to anyone who has read all of my work. Or it might not.
Rating: PG-18 or higher. Nothing explicit but this does contain adult situations, torture, suicide and character death.
Warnings: See Rating
Spoilers: Post-Chosen, mention of canon Willow/Oz. Later than Season 1 for Smallville. Nothing specific.
Disclaimer: I own neither universe, isn't it a shame.
"Beware the Fury of a Patient Man." John Dryden
"Well, that's one type of 'No Trespassing' sign."
Faith spoke the words to the wind. Thankfully it was blowing the stench of the dead body away from her. The bounty hunter had been torn limb from limb and the gun had been smashed to splinters.
It was a warning she had to ignore.
Faith stepped around the blood, flies and human remains and walked into the cave. She double-checked the safety on her crossbow and listened. She heard the soft 'plink' of water dripping and the softer 'patter' of little feet.
She heard the gentle strum of a guitar. Her prey was here.
Faith's eyes had barely adjusted to the dark when she spied the candlelight flickering around the bend. She walked on, quiet, but knowing she had been heard all the same. The guitar never stopped.
"If it isn't the wolf."
Oz did not look away from his guitar. "Hey, Faith."
Faith trained her crosshairs on the slight young man and took in her surroundings. The candles were strategically placed to allow for the most light. The ground was dry here and a single blanket was folded in the corner for sleeping. A huge pile of firewood awaited a flame. Rolls of paper, blueprints-she guessed, were neatly organized into piles. There was a canteen near the bed and a small, brown paper bag. Food-probably. Sparse didn't even begin to describe it.
"You've got to stop. Red would never approve."
Faith couldn't argue that. "You can stop, Oz. You can go back. I did."
Oz met her eyes for the first time. Faith blinked. They were so cold, dead. Was that how she looked once?
Then Oz did the last thing she would have expected.
He swung the guitar.
Faith woke up with a blinding headache. What the hell had happened? She had been talking to Oz and then . . . he threw the guitar at her head. She hadn't gotten her crossbow up in time. She must have been knocked out. Faith moved her hands and realized that they were manacled over her head.
The clinks would have alerted Oz to her wakeful state.
She finally opened her eyes. Oz was seated on the floor, one of the blueprints spread our on the ground in front of him. He had rocks holding down all four corners. The broken parts of the guitar had been left where they had fallen. Faith could see the open space where her body had collapsed.
Oz was ignoring her.
Faith tested the strength of her bonds. They held fast. How the hell had Oz hidden these from her?
"They're strong," said Oz. "I've used them."
Faith's arms were stretched high and her feet were chained to the ground. Either way, she could get no leverage. "This is the last time I do a favor for B," she muttered.
Oz looked at her, and for a moment, softened. "How is she?"
Faith shrugged. "How do you think, asshole? Red, Little D, and Giles, not to mention a half-dozen new Slayers are dead. Xander is drugged to his gills and restrained, on a suicide watch. She can't walk, let alone fight. She is guarded, 24-7, against the hordes of demons who want to kill her in her weakened state. And then the last Scooby is going on a killing spree."
"It's revenge," Oz retorted.
"And the two hundred plus people who are dead, how are they revenge?"
"They got in my way."
Faith could not believe that her only resort was to try and talk sense into Daniel Osbourne. "Oz, this is not a good way to honor their memory."
Oz rolled up the blueprint and placed it in a far pile. He took off his shirt, toed off his shoes and then stripped off his pants and underwear. He folded the clothes and piled them on his blanket.
Faith shook her chains. "Sorry Wolf-boy, but this is a little too kinky, even for me."
He closed his eyes and stood there naked. Then fur sprouted and he grew taller.
Faith was chained to the wall in the midst of a perturbed were-wolf. She knew that the wolf would smell fear, so she decided that she was mad. Okay, so she was beyond mad and well into the realms of extremely pissed.
The wolf still ignored her. He stepped on the remains of the guitar on his way out of the cave.
Faith knew now, more than ever, that Oz was in complete control. They were all in deep shit.
"Well, well, well."
Faith woke up to her worst nightmare. It was a bounty hunter in Oz's cave where she was chained to the wall. He was ogling her like she was a feast.
"This is a nice surprise. I track down the wolf and get a chance to take out the oldest Slayer."
"B's the oldest."
The dark-haired man looked insulted. "Please, she can't even stand from what I hear. She doesn't count anymore. No challenge."
Faith smiled grimly. "Then you'll unchain me to make it more sporting?"
He snorted. "I'm not stupid." He raised his gun. "Sayonara, Slayer."
His head jerked oddly. Then his eyes went blank and the gun fell from his fingertips. The body collapsed into the bare arms of Oz. The slight man showed no emotion as he tossed the body to the side. His eyes skimmed Faith's form, checking for injuries. He found none.
Faith could not bear to see those green eyes so cold. She checked out the body. Oz had shoved the broken neck of his guitar into the back the bounty hunter's skull. Oz was still butt-naked as he dragged the corpse out of his hideout.
He returned momentarily and dressed in silence.
"So how many died this time?" Faith asked sarcastically.
"Counting the hunter?"
"Sure, why not?" Faith's attitude was flippant.
Faith strained against her bonds. "Some of them were innocent."
Oz raised an eyebrow. "They worked for Luthor."
"He's the biggest employer in the state, the country even! A lot of people work for Luthor."
Faith growled and jerked. "Luthor doesn't care about those people anymore than you do."
Oz shrugged. "He cares about image."
"And you're destroying that image with every attack." Faith knew how Oz worked. "With every sleazy experiment you unveil and he can't cover up." Luthor had a lot in common with Dick.
Oz rifled through the stack of blueprints and chose one out of the lot. He spread it out on the ground, held it in place with four rocks and began to make notes.
"Oz? Oz! Damnit Oz. Talk to me!"
Oz was back to ignoring her, studying the blueprints and making plans.
And she dreamed.
Giles, Willow and Dawn were standing in a circle across from ten men in black suits. Faith yelled a warning but she could make no noise. She saw Buffy there, trying to get their attention, trying to drag them out.
But she was ignored as well.
Then there was a flash of light, of red, of pain.
All that was left was Faith, standing in the gray, and Buffy collapsed on the ground.
Faith stood by her side. "Get up, B. You have to get up!"
Buffy shook her head. "No, I don't. You fix this."
"Not on my own!"
"We each have our own style, Faith. Use yours. Mine . . . mine just changed."
Faith awoke with a gasp.
Oz watched silently.
Faith took a few moments to catch her breath. Then she made a demand. "Let me help you."
Oz smirked and walked away. He blew out the candles, shuffled to his bed and fell asleep.
Faith dozed. The last ten days had been exhausting. All the brains had been killed in the non-magical attack. That had been surprising.
A bomb. Boom, and they were all dead. Luthor had killed them. The explosion had happened before Red could erect her shields. They had all died instantaneously.
Buffy had been injured rescuing a Slayer from Luthor's clutches. In the midst of the escape, Buffy had felt the death of Willow through their mystical link. Even Faith had felt her death, though not to the same extent.
Buffy had faltered and one of Luthor's goons had shot her in the back.
That made Faith in charge.
Faith and the newly released Slayer, Marie, had dragged Buffy's body away to safety. They had hidden for days, dodging Luthor and the cops on his payroll. The delay had exasperated Buffy's injury.
Marie and Faith had smuggled Buffy into Canada and from there they flew to England. Buffy was now flat on her back. Xander was inconsolable with grief. He had not even been in the same country and he still blamed himself.
Buffy ordered Faith to be in charge of the Council, too. Faith had nearly one hundred newly called Slayers looking to her for guidance and the members of the Watcher's Council, both new and old, jockeying for position and power.
Then things had gotten worse.
One of Luthor's manufacturing plants had been attacked in Georgia. A single person had circumvented the security and killed all the men and women in positions of management. Quickly, quietly and efficiently, they had taken out Luthor's key players. The bloody and broken bodies had led investigators straight for Luthor's secret lab.
Lionel Luthor had had a hard time explaining that one, even as he was blaming Buffy and Faith for the damage.
But people get upset if you're experimenting on human beings without their knowledge.
Then a second Luthor plant had been attacked, same MO in Michigan. Then a third in Arkansas. There was a vacuum in Luthor's chain of command that no one wanted to fill. Each time a new experiment had been revealed and Luthor had more explaining to do.
By the time the fourth plant had been destroyed, Buffy had seen enough on the videotapes to suspect Oz. Faith had been the only Slayer who could take out the grief stricken were-wolf or to talk him down, which was preferable. Faith had jumped at the chance to get away from the politicking of the Council. She would just have to kick a lot of ass when she got back.
Buffy had encouraged the trip. She couldn't stand the thought of anymore death, but she knew that Faith would make the right choice.
Buffy would be worried. She would be frantic. Faith had been out of touch for over a day now. The oldest Slayer was across an ocean and helpless to do anything. Buffy had once been in Oz's head. She knew the thought processes he was capable of.
Oz was intelligent. He was patient. He was driven. He had self control. He lacked the normal big-bad down falls. He didn't have much of a temper, per say. He didn't have an ego. He didn't want wealth. He didn't want power. All together, he was a frightening Big Bad. He didn't even have the courtesy to brag about his plans or accomplishments.
He wanted Luthor to suffer; that much was painfully evident.
And while normally, Faith would jump in and help, if not all out cheer, Oz had killed close to three hundred bystanders on his way to Luthor.
Oz awoke. He lit a single candle. Then he stripped.
Again he folded the clothes neatly and piled them on his thin blanket. He stood in the middle of the cave and changed. The were-wolf ambled out of the cave with nary a backwards glance.
"Oz! Oz, it doesn't have to be like this!"
Faith got no answer and the manacles refused to release her. She cussed like a sailor.
This time Oz did not return for a full day. Faith was extremely hungry and she feared dying of dehydration. Who would find her here?
The one candle Oz had lit for her was flickering and dying.
Faith heard a sound, a shuffle. Oz rounded the corner in his human form, naked. He was limping, he was holding his abdomen against some injury. With his other hand, he dragged the body of Lionel Luthor behind him.
Oz left the body in the middle of the cave as he retrieved another set of chains and manacles. Oz strung up Lionel Luthor against the wall as he had Faith.
He lit a few more candles, dressed, and offered Faith some water and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
"Is it strawberry?" she asked with a smirk.
He nodded. Faith accepted. After all, she was at his questionable mercy. He fed her bite, by bite, careful to keep his fingers away from her teeth.
Then Oz tidied up the cave and sat in the middle. He began to meditate. Faith could do no more than wait.
Lionel Luthor awoke with a groan.
Oz twitched in his meditation and subsided deeper into his trance.
"Where am I?" the man asked.
Faith glared. They might be in the same position but it'd be a cold day in hell before she would assist Lionel Luthor with anything.
Faith stared straight ahead. This was Oz's show. He could answer the man's questions.
It had taken four hours before Lionel had finally shut up. He had cursed and threatened, to no avail. He had tried to bargain and buy off Oz. The problem was he had no idea why Oz was gunning for him.
Oz had meditated through it all. Faith had put herself in as close to a trance as she could.
Now that Lionel simmered into silence, Oz roused himself from his lotus position.
He puttered around the cave for a little while. He gathered ingredients and mixed together something magical. The vibes it gave off made Faith's skin tingle, in the not-good-at-all-tingle feeling. Oz fed and watered Faith again. The water was clean and the PB&J tasted good enough if one was hungry.
Oz never ate.
Both Faith and Oz ignored Lionel and his demands. Oz added a few things to his mixture and then dug out a small package from his pants pockets.
Faith stared at the two small foam cylinders in shock. "Huh?"
"Earplugs. You're going to need them."
Faith shrugged and turned her head so that Oz could put them in. He did gently and efficiently. Then he put earplugs in his own ears.
He picked up a knife and cut all of Lionel's expensive clothes off him. He shoved the knife firm into Lionel's thigh. He pulled the knife out with a twist.
Lionel screamed in pain.
Oz picked up his bowl and spooned the mixture into the hole he had made. He repeated the procedure with Lionel's other thigh.
Lionel never stopped screaming.
Faith was glad for the earplugs.
It had taken close to twenty-four hours for Lionel to die. Oz had fed Faith and given her water every so many hours. He had not eaten and he had not given Lionel anything more than the mixture that ignited fire in the older man's bones.
Oz released the corpse from its chains and dragged it to the woodpile and tossed it atop. Then he gathered all the blueprints and stuffed them in various holes in the pile. He lit each and every one. Then he picked up Faith's discarded crossbow and detached the arrow with its silver tip.
Then he smiled at Faith.
She realized his intent and started screaming and struggling. "Oz! Oz, you don't have to do this! Oz! Stop! Please," she begged.
Oz shrugged and shoved the silver tip into his bleeding, wounded stomach. He fell unto the burning pile. He shuttered and died.
Faith screamed, she cursed.
The bodies and the wood had caught afire. They started to smoke.
Faith coughed and cursed.
"Damn you, Oz!"