Beware Of Owner
by glossolalia

It's always dark these days. Just getting darker. Too much brown in the sky, air crisp in a distinctly non-Californian way. An early November that just goes on and on.

Before, he probably would have wondered why no one noticed. He would have cornered Giles, asked him lots of questions about it, then gone home. Tried to sort out the multi-part answers and kept a dictionary close to hand for looking up some of the weirder words.

Now he just checks the sky all the time. He watches gray flannel clouds and brown light bump and fade against each other. His stomach aches at the way they mix into a dirty, dusky color that probably doesn't have a name.

Most of the kids who are left keep going to school. They just keep organizing pseudo-dances held at high noon, keep holding hands and whispering mean things about other people. They keep giggling kind of high and harsh, like it's not natural for them. They saw it on TV and figured this is what kids do, so they do it.

Larry gave up going to school...attending school a while ago. He thinks it was around the time Marie Laborteaux died the second time. When Oz drove the stake in again and again, and they had to scream at him to stop, but he couldn't, or wouldn't, not until Larry tackled him, wrestled his arm up against his back, and her dust got in his hair, down his throat, smeared all over Oz's face.

That dust looks pretty when you're killing someone you don't know. The way it explodes and hangs there before collapsing: He always thought it was like coming. Release, pause, gone.

That dust tastes like shit, though, like puke and worms and the slime under rocks down by the old creek.

So obviously he still goes to school. Literally, he enters the building that's rapidly not a school anymore, just another shaky haven from the dark. He'll find Giles and Nancy and Oz, hunker around the table, and plan what to kill that night. But bringing his body to school isn't nearly the same thing as attending school.

Even Giles doesn't seem to care that he's not going to class. He just gives Larry a small tight smile and murmurs something about needing his sleep.

He's not using the days to sleep, though.


"Cutting it close, huh?" Oz, stretched out on the long table, sits up when Larry enters the library. "Walking on the wild side again?"

Larry gulps and nods. He wonders just how much Oz can smell on him, just how much he can see out of those narrowed eyes.

Oz unfolds his legs and slides down the table until he's right in front of Larry, snaking an arm around his waist and pressing his face into Larry's shirt. Larry finds himself holding on, fingers digging into the valley between tendons on the nape of Oz's neck, his own neck sagging and head tipping down. Oz smells like lemons, and the varnish on the library's floor, and the tang of dirty tea.

"You're cold." Oz scoots closer, wrapping his legs around Larry's, resting his cheek on Larry's shoulder. "'sup with that?"

"Getting dark," is the best Larry can manage to say. He checks the sky outside the window and nudges Oz by the shoulder. "Cage time, huh?"

He puts his boyfriend in the cage, undresses him, and smoothes down the ruffled hair. "You going to be all right?"

Oz, small and bony and white, looks so beautiful and pure there. Even with the lupine shivers setting in. He starts to speak, but Larry steps back. He's done this enough to know how much time he has, and swings the gate shut just as Oz's eyes darken and fingers lengthen into claws.

"Lov--" The sound falls apart into a snarl and Larry tugs the gate, testing the lock as Oz hurls himself at it.

Larry shakes his head. "Morning, okay?"

This is not a place for love, and Oz just proved it all over again. Tried to say it and growled instead.

No place or time for love. It's too dark out for anything like that. There is groping and a lot of comfort. There's the long stretch of swirling moments where he can forget everything, taste lemons, make Oz beg. When he loses himself in the singsong of moans and touching. And it all feels good, but that doesn't mean anything when you get right down to it.

Get right down to it, he's just a stupid jock. So all he knows, underneath and cutting through him, is that time's running out and he's fumbling the ball.


Getting darker, getting colder, and maybe that's the way it should be. Maybe that's why no one notices. Like days are just little versions of something larger. Days like tiny reenactments of some grand-scale thing. Where it's light and warm when you're a kid, but when you get taller, the light dims and the warmth starts to fade away.

He'd like that to be true. If it was true then whatever he's feeling and doing these days is normal.

Thanks to wolf-duty, Larry's free from patrol tonight and has the library to himself. Whoever thought the school should be a haven must have been smoking crack. It's a public building, even says so right over the doors, 'Sunnydale Public High School'. A haven would be a house, private, your own, where no one comes in except those you invite.

Shit happens, and people are even stupider than they look. Anyone can come into a school. The kid you've jerked off to since you figured out how is now not only your boyfriend but a werewolf to boot. Hell, demons can take over your town and all that happens is curfew gets calibrated to sunset and movie matinees aren't cheap any more.

"Big bad puppy all tied up?" Whisper in his ear, slight chill of pressure behind him, hands running up and down the front of his thighs. "No need to beware of dog?"

Larry walks them into the stacks. "Beware of owner, more like it."

Chuckle without amusement. Larry stops them at the end of the geology aisle, in front of one of the narrow barred windows. He likes it like this. He keeps an eye on the dark, and can only see his own face, wide and moon-pale, reflected in the wavery glass. White Hat? Pussy's more like it; can't even look at what's going on.

"Left me hanging, y'know--" Thrust against his ass, bulge of hard cock riding him, just to prove it.

"Told you. Had to wolf-sit." Larry shivers in the embrace, closes his eyes, but a tsk-tsk of tongue on teeth brings them open again. Another thrust, harder. "Not like you don't know how to take care of it."

"Getting mouthy, are we?" The cold tongue runs behind his ear and flicks against the lobe.

Larry tilts his head forward until his forehead bangs the glass. "You going to do it?"

He's spun around, shoved against the window so it rattles and almost sighs. Lean, mean face in his, tongue darting out as the ridges swell and harden and the eyes go brass. "Do what, pet?"


Most of the time, the demon gets away. Too few good guys and too many bad, and White Hats have to be happy with scaring the majority off. This one, though, never went far. Followed him home, accepted the invite in the morning from a drunk mother, and just keeps coming back.

Larry's a toy, kicked to the curb and floundering in the gutter. Little bites up and down his arms and thighs. You'd think someone would notice. You'd think Oz would smell it, or Giles would peer at him curiously and request a private talk. Something. He's seen enough after-school specials to know that out there this counts as a cry for help.

Strong, warm hero. Immaculate White Hat. Reamed out, sucked deep, pushed to his knees by the hottest demon he's seen since they got Xander Harris.

It's not a cry for help. It's just the way things go when it's always going to be November and no one's looking.


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