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01 May 2009 @ 06:12 pm
Ficlet - Deck the Walls (Faith & Oz)  

Title: Deck the Walls

Author: ClawofCat

Timing: S3, shortly before “Amends”

Rating: G

Pairing: Faith & Oz

Words: 523

A/N: Written for rebcake, who asked for a Faith & Oz drabble. This ficlet is a mixture of what I originally wrote for your request in December and new material. Since I love canon tie-ins, references to events in “Lover’s Walk” and “Amends” abound.




Faith looked down at the two boxes of Christmas lights she held in each hand – same price, same length, same manufacturer. The question was: white or multi-colored? Which would make her shit hole look less like a dump?


White had a classic elegance. Rainbow was unapologetically funky. Too bad CVS didn’t have the sunglass and Santa hat donned tropical fish lights she used to string up around the house in Boston. They always made her Ma smile. It was a good holiday when she didn’t have any color coordinated Christmas bruises.


“I’d go with the colors. Points for variety,” Oz suggested from down the aisle, a box of hair dye and a toothbrush in hand. “Let the dream die if you’re hoping for a white Christmas though.” He poked at the fluffy spools of faux snow and ratty tinsel overflowing on the shelf next to her.


“Nah. The northeast can keep its cold winters. I’m temperate climate all the way,” Faith said and chucked the white lights back into the bargain bin. “You’re scaling back, Osbourne,” she noted, pointing toward the box of red hair dye. “Going for something more natural?”


“I was thinking festive, actually,” he shrugged. The gesture alone made it clear that Oz didn’t wear glum well. Stoicism, mystery, aloofness he emoted with flying colors, but the outward moping was out of place. Faith eyed him thoughtfully.


“Might try kicking that Christmas spirit into gear then,” she joked, nudging his shoulder. His silence sobered her. “Look…” she whispered, pulling him to the side. “I heard about what happened. About Willow,” she clarified. “That’s a tough break.”


He looked at her with some surprise, the upturn of his eyebrows the only indication that he found her insider knowledge out of the ordinary. “It’s been hard,” he admitted.


“I’d be all down for nursing that sour puss of yours, except I think you need some shaking up,” Faith said. “You doing anything right now, cause my calendar is looking pretty clear.”


“Just dropping some gear off at Devon’s. We've got a gig New Year’s Eve.”


Faith slapped him on the back and pulled him toward the check out counter. “What do you know?” she smiled. “I could use an extra pair of hands with these lights. The walls at my place have to be at least eight feet high.”


Oz turned, searching her face. When he realized she was serious, he laughed. “Got a chair? Being vertically challenged might be a drawback.”


“No chair, but I’ve got a pair of shoulders you can squat on if you’re feeling lucky.” Faith grinned. “Come on…” she sang. “Hammers, nails, scotch tape… that doesn’t get your motor running?”


It had been days since the cloud of disappointment and hurt that had followed him around since finding Willow and Xander had thinned. Faith’s plucky attempts at engagement were nothing short of amusing; it was hard to say no to her invitation of hodgepodge decorating.


“If you don’t mind riding in the van, the drum set and amps could use some company.”


He smiled when she arched an eyebrow at him, his car keys already in hand.

louise39: w star  anim twinklinglouise39 on May 1st, 2009 11:17 pm (UTC)
Unexpected kindness and companionship between a slayer and a werewolf. Christmas magic?

A gentle little episode.

ClawofCat: faith redemptionclawofcat on May 2nd, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks. Both of them are a bit down and out by the time "Amends" rolls around. I could see them finding unlikely companionship in each other as the outsiders of the Scoobie group. Oz doesn't seem like a particularly judgemental guy, and I bet Faith likes musicians and respects his unreadable (and guarded?) demeanor.

After writing this, I'd be really interested to know if there are any post-NFA Faith/Oz fics out there. Between her homicidal turn and his self-exile to control the beast, I think they'd have a lot to talk about as adults. Maybe even some common ground.
Rebcake: whoarebcake on May 2nd, 2009 12:49 am (UTC)
¡Yay! Red hair dye for Xmas! Heh. Plucky Faith! (She was, you know. She was really trying to do the "social" thing.) More than stoic Oz, pulled from his own head (an interesting place, no doubt) by someone with an even harder row to hoe. *mwah!* Bellissima!
ClawofCat: fucktherestclawofcat on May 2nd, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
I like writing Faith in any incarnation, but S3 Faith before she totally goes off the deep end is so refreshing. She desperately wants to impress people, fit in, be likeable, and that's an aspect of her personality (or maybe her disguise?) that gets discarded the more unstable she becomes.

Oz, pulled from his own head by someone with an even harder row to hoe.
Exactly. They're both a bit down and out by the time "Amends" rolls around. Faith's tried to kill Buffy after some seriou manipulation by Post. Oz has to deal with cheating Willow. Neither of them are particularly judgemental. Between his music and his unreadable (guarded?) demenor, I think Oz is the type of person that Faith would actually go out of her way to hang with. If they ever do cross paths post-NFA, I would love to see that conversation. They both did a lot of growing up by the end of the series.

Thanks for the great pairing suggestion. I'm glad I got a chance to go back and revisit it. My only question - did I get Oz right? Reading this over, I still don't feel 100% about his characterization/dialogue.
(no subject) - rebcake on May 3rd, 2009 12:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
Mark Hunter: Faith into the fireozma914 on May 2nd, 2009 06:00 am (UTC)
Wow, that was great! Who'd have thought those two could generate such chemistry?
ClawofCat: faith hell to payclawofcat on May 2nd, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you! They're certainly not a pairing I would have ever thought of on my own. After writing this though, they do share some parallels when it comes to "fighting the demon inside." I would love to read a post-NFA fic with them. They would certainly have a lot to talk about.
(no subject) - ozma914 on May 3rd, 2009 07:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
maureen: faith amusedmaureen on May 2nd, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, well done! I've always like the idea of these two as friends though you are right and they've shared precious little screen time together. This was sweet.
ClawofCat: faithsmileclawofcat on May 2nd, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I think both of them were in need of a little sweetness at this point in the season. Maybe a jam session in the CVS parking lot ensued afterward :)
(Anonymous) on May 2nd, 2009 08:57 pm (UTC)

marvellously observed, and perfectly believable, as a missing scene from Season 3. I felt really bad for Oz when I finally got to see their initial break-up (their second in Wild at Heart was the ep that finally clinched my new addiction to Buffy), and though I wasn't initially sold on Faith, when I re-watched her early eps years later I began to see a far more complex character than I;d allowed mysellf to see before.

Well done, and thanks,
Still under Willow & Tara's spell,
Ray Harley, Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland.
Rebcake: hellorebcake on May 3rd, 2009 12:12 am (UTC)
Hey Ray!

It's good to see your thoughtful comments popping up here and there once more! Keep 'em coming!
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on May 6th, 2009 04:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - clawofcat on May 3rd, 2009 02:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on May 6th, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
ClawofCat: faith spraypaintclawofcat on May 3rd, 2009 02:49 pm (UTC)
Turns out Faith does have a bit of compassion in her after all. She's just full of surprises.

Thanks for reading.
KSena: Making a choice by bases_by_maggiekseenaa on May 3rd, 2009 12:14 pm (UTC)
That was quite awesome. :-) Very cute. :-D
ClawofCat: having funclawofcat on May 3rd, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it. Writing Faith's softer side was fun. Also, the conundrum of which Christmas lights to choose seemed so perfectly mundane and stupid, it was hard to pass up that premise.
Snick: OzWillsnickfic on May 4th, 2009 06:44 am (UTC)
Aw. Faith and Oz fluff - neat!

“I was thinking festive, actually,” he shrugged. The gesture alone made it clear that Oz didn’t wear glum well. Stoicism, mystery, aloofness he emoted with flying colors, but the outward moping was out of place.

This bit of characterization here, the contrast between stoicism and outward moping, strikes me as exactly right. Because Oz doesn't show outward emotion hardly at all, and it makes sense that when he finally does, especially this emotion, he wouldn't show it terribly gracefully.
ClawofCat: yayclawofcat on May 4th, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
Aw. Faith and Oz fluff - neat!
An unlikely twosome for sure. But, after writing this, I've decided I like the idea of them together as friends or maybe more. There's a lot of shared ground there. I think, especially post-NFA, they'd really understand the path the other walked.

This bit of characterization here, the contrast between stoicism and outward moping, strikes me as exactly right. Because Oz doesn't show outward emotion hardly at all, and it makes sense that when he finally does, especially this emotion, he wouldn't show it terribly gracefully.
Thanks for the constructive feedback about the characterization. When writing this, I paused over Oz's dialogue the most, trying to think of something suitably Oz-like. When I still felt unsure, I fell back on the idea of body language. Cats aren't super vocal, but they express themselves quite well physically. Faith's an observant girl, so I went that route. I'm so pleased it worked for you. You're the standard for writing Oz as far as I'm concerned. "A Man of Many Colors" is such an excellent gen fic.
brunettepetbrunettepet on May 4th, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
Faith reaching out to jolly up Oz works a treat. I could totally see this scene happening, as well as the impromptu decorating party. Faith could have really used a friend, and I never really thought about who Oz could turn to after Willow's betrayal. I don't think Devon would be much help, other than to pass the bong more solicitously.
ClawofCat: faithsmileclawofcat on May 5th, 2009 02:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed and found it believable. I had to wrack my brain a bit to figure out at what point in time I could have these two meet in an authentic way. Also, the idea that Oz was the one to help her pick out her crummy Christmas lights was an unexpected canon tie-in I liked the idea of. They were both a bit down in the dumps come the new year.

I don't think Devon would be much help, other than to pass the bong more solicitously.
LOL. Word. Though, now that you mention it, Faith might enjoy hanging with the Dingos.
Rebecca: Faith BW Smirk - 43100nikitangel on May 6th, 2009 11:38 am (UTC)
escritoireazul has written a few Faith/Oz post-Chosen fics if you're interested. Well, at least one - it was a Fast & Furious crossover.
Ironlily - Making My Marquevikingprincess on September 1st, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
this is really sweet - compassionate!Faith is completely believable here. good job!
ClawofCat: faith xanderclawofcat on September 2nd, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I think Faith always had it in her. There weren't many chances for her to show a little bit of kindness, but seeing another fringe member of the Scoobies on the down and out might have been the perfect excuse.
Butterfly: [BTVS]willowoz_freezeframesnogged on September 1st, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC)
This was quite awesome

And I think you captured Oz's character well, which is tough to do!
ClawofCat: Ozclawofcat on September 2nd, 2009 03:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. Oz is a tough guy to pin down. It was a challenge for a verbose writer and person such as myself to channel his solemn, taciturn nature. But I think I'd have another go at him in the future, especialy if he has a dynamic girl like Faith to pull him out of his shell.
slaymesoftlyslaymesoftly on September 1st, 2009 09:20 pm (UTC)
Nice one!
ClawofCat: faithsmileclawofcat on September 2nd, 2009 03:13 pm (UTC)

How was Alaska? I know the reading left something to be desired, but hopefully it was as beautiful as I've heard.
(no subject) - slaymesoftly on September 2nd, 2009 07:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
brutti_ma_buonibrutti_ma_buoni on September 2nd, 2009 07:59 pm (UTC)
This is lovely - just what Oz needed, and the sweet side of Faith comes out.
ClawofCat: faith downcastclawofcat on September 2nd, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm sure Faith often wished she had a sympathetic ear to confide in and a friend to get her out of a rut.

I am a bit curious though how that decorating party went. When we see the lights in her hotel room later, it looks like she did a pretty shoddy job putting them up. Maybe she and Oz gave up, went over to Devon's and hit the bong instead ;) Nothing like smoking your sorrows away.
jesterlady: btvsozjesterlady on September 2nd, 2009 09:44 pm (UTC)
I adore this. A perfect little vignette during that season! I love them.
ClawofCat: fuffy windclawofcat on September 3rd, 2009 04:09 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. A fun thing about this ficlet was nearly all of it is dialogue. I tend to write fairly heavy description, so here I was able to really let the character's speak for themselves.