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17 November 2010 @ 10:32 pm
As Willow goes, so goes my nation.  
I'm feeling distinctly grumpy, but I don't want to rain on anyone's parade. So, let's have a completely different parade! I read several awesome stories in the werewolfbigbang, and they got me thinking about werewolves. And about my favorite werewolf ever. Sorry, George and Remus, I'm talking about Oz.

Daniel Osbourne. *sighs wistfully* Buffy the Vampire Slayer's very own teen wolf, Oz was amazing. Here's a few reasons why I love him:

For the way he managed to be effortlessly adorable, witty, and original.

I honestly don't know how it's possible to remain unmelted in the face of Oz's self-deprecating charm as he wins Willow over. To this day, his little animal cracker story puts a smile on my face.

For being that guy.

Not a 'nice guy' because he thinks it'll get him somewhere, but just for being a decent human being who treats others as decent human beings. Witness turning down Willow (twice) because he knew she wasn't actually into making out/having sex with him, and the way he helped Xander up after punching him in Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered. He's just really damned decent, and that's something we don't see a lot of on TV.

For refusing to compromise.

When Wesley was willing to pragmatically sacrifice Willow for the greater good, Oz made sure it could never happen. (This is a little hypocritical of me, because that "let everyone else die as long as my loved one is safe" trope bugs me. But Oz did it with such style.)

For being part of the team.

While he was very much Willow's boyfriend, he wasn't just Willow's boyfriend. He was right in there with the Scoobies, planning and fighting and offering to braid Buffy's hair.

Willow: "Oz, don't you love me?"
Oz: "My whole life, I've never loved anything else."

Damn, that scene. *sniffs*

So, I think we've established that I'm very much in the Willow/Oz=Yay! camp. Which is why it may be a bit odd that I also ship the hell out of Oz/Xander. I can be contradictory like that; I contain multitudes. I get that there's no canonical basis for this pairing, but it doesn't stop me from thinking that Xander and Oz could have been great together. They had a lot of mutual respect, very complementary levels of geekiness, and a certain amount of outsider status.

I prefer my Oz/Xander to take place in AUs where Oz/Willow never happened, or to take place after their breakup, but there's little enough good fic for this pairing that I'll usually take what I can get.


Nice Shirt by glossing
The way this series weaves through the episodes of Buffy is just masterful. The author gets so tightly inside the characters heads. I usually don't enjoy fic involving cheating, but it works here.

The Official "Willow's Ex-Boyfriends" Club, Membership 2 by kindkit
Cute, fun little fic (AU after the fluke) with an great, rambly Xander POV. It entertains me.

Variations on a Five Paragraph Theme by mireille719
Beginning the day after the episode Halloween, this story presents us with a believably teenaged Xander, fumbling his way awkwardly and humorously through new feelings. The structure is unusual and interesting.

Something With a "D" by sublimatedangel
Pre-series encounter between Xander, Oz, and some Kool-Aid. Amy wrote this for me, and every time I re-read it, I get a happy thrill about that. It's almost tangibly vivid, and it has a really good sense of youth and uncertainty.

Umlaut Lust by Meagan
I'm so sorry, but the only place I could find this together was Angelfire. D: I like the evolution of Xander and Oz's relationship in this, and I dig how Xander bonds with the band. (I don't dig the absence of his bonds with Willow and Buffy, but I guess I can't have everything.)

ETA: Ha! Found a couple more.

The Night Is Young and There Are Umbrellas In Our Drinks by musesfool
Xander/Oz/Willow having warm, fun birthday sex. &them;

Kryptonite by Sheila Perez
I LOVE this one. It has the slow, quiet development that makes it a shock when you realize how short it is. Fab Xander voice.

Pieces of Oz by Abbie
Post-Chosen excellence. Really good Oz POV is rare, but this rocks it. It also does a great job of acknowledging that Oz is a werewolf, and that matters.

Writing Xander/Oz - by Glossing
A little essay with supporting quotes and examples. Also great for people who just ship them , rather than writing them.


Aaaaaand now I'm all frustrated at losing some other good Oz/Xander fic. If I find it, I'll let you know. If you have recs to share (especially newer ones, OMG), please do!

Let me leave you with this bit of ridiculousness. Thanks, Seth and Nicky!

not_sally on November 18th, 2010 08:13 am (UTC)
OMG, to this day I still love Seth Green because I adored Oz. I still cry rivers when I watch him go away in the show, he was one of the best characters EVER.
But hey! I ship Oz/Xander as well, and there was as much of a 'canonical basis' as any other pairing ever shipped! They were the dudes! Xander even talked about missing him. In the end it all comes down to good writing. The right author can find a five second exchange to be worthy enough of a pairing and make it work so you feel those characters are and have always been soulmates, so... Anyway.
Thank you for the recs and the clip (That was so awesome how come I'd never seen it before OMG and Charisma! yay on a multitude of levels \o/).
allyndra: Ozallyndra on November 18th, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)

There's enough connection between Xander and Oz that I don't think shipping them violates their characters in any way. In fact, I could (and would) argue that Xander had at the very least mild crushes on both Oz and Riley. But Oz was so very into Willow on the show that I can't tinhat Oz/Xander, no matter how much I love them. But that's what we have fic for! Filling in the blanks and playing with the What Ifs.

Seth Green is awesome in many, many ways, but I agree; Oz is the reason I love him so much.
cutest gravedigger: TV: Buffy: Oz/Willow: Werewolf in love.earlofcardigans on November 18th, 2010 02:17 pm (UTC)
One of my favorite bits of Oz is in Angel when he takes him that ring and keeps telling Angel how pale he is. I loved Oz for his weird sense of comedic timing. Well and for every other reason for loving Oz ever.
allyndra: Smile Timeallyndra on November 18th, 2010 02:25 pm (UTC)
"Sometimes we're laconic."

Heee, yes! Oz was really charming and smart and talented, but he was also weird, and that's what I love about his humor.
cutest gravedigger: TV: Buffy: Rah Rah. I'm a cheerleader.earlofcardigans on November 18th, 2010 02:30 pm (UTC)
"Well, a gathering is brie, mellow song stylings; shindig: dip, less mellow song stylings, perhaps a large amount of malt beverage; and hootenanny, well, it's chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny."
allyndra: Ozallyndra on November 18th, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC)

The nose hole seems sad and full of self-loathing.
Everybody wants a thrill: Stitchwithduckskelly_girl on November 18th, 2010 02:26 pm (UTC)

Best little animal cracker speech ever. I also loved how he so calmly told Willow how beautiful her smile was.

OZ was awesome to the tenth.

I'm more Xander/Spike or Spike/everyone than OZ/Xander but when it comes to Buffy, its all good.
allyndra: Making Facesallyndra on November 18th, 2010 02:42 pm (UTC)
Monkey pants!!! <3

I'm a multi-shipper in the Buffy-verse, too, but I tend to go more of a Xander/'Everyone in the known universe' route. As you say, it's all good. :DDD

sublimatedangel on November 18th, 2010 04:58 pm (UTC)
I share your Oz love so much. SO MUCH. And aww that you rec'd me, hee :D It makes me want to write new Xander/Oz because there needs to be more of it in the world!
allyndra: Ozallyndra on November 18th, 2010 05:31 pm (UTC)
Yay for Oz love! *revels in it* He's really one of my favorite television characters ever.

I have little mental lists of fics that I love (because I never remember to bookmark things), and Something with a "D" is always right there on my mental list of Xander/Oz awesomeness. For the record, I totally support any writing of Xander/Oz that you might be moved to do. *nudges keyboard under your hands*

Edited at 2010-11-18 05:31 pm (UTC)