Sometimes having a boss obsessed with music was bad. In the past month,
Xander had been treated to three days of nothing but the Red Hot Chili
Peppers before John Frusciante left ("Except Blood Sugar Sex Magick
doesn't count. Rick Rubin is evil," according to Erick), a week of '80s
new wave (Xander was thankful that someone had managed to talk Erick out
of his theme week brainstorm during that little experience), and the Frank
Zappa episode. For starters.
On this particular day, though, he found himself thanking whatever forces
had given him this particular boss with this particular obsession.
"Hey, gang, meeting in two minutes." Adam turned on the cd player.
Xander sighed, wondering what Erick had left in the player -- what musical
nightmare he was going to be subjected to this time around.
First, he heard record scratching, then drums, then guitars and
synthesizers. Then a female voice, crooning familiar words.
Supposed to happen
I was happy
And then the cd player stopped. "Meeting time." Erick dropped a box of
donuts on the table, distracting Xander from the music. "I have some bad
news. Our lease is expiring, and we can't find another spot. So we're
closing at the end of next month."
Xander sighed again. The one job he liked and that he seemed good at --
he even got along with all of his coworkers -- and now he was losing it.
On the up side, he wasn't quitting, and he wasn't getting fired, so it
wasn't going to leave a nasty mark on his employment history. On the down
side, this meant no more packages and letters from Oz.
Oz. That song. Xander stopped listening to Erick's speech.
Finally, the meeting was over, and Xander opened the cd player, anxious to
see what had captured his attention -- and Oz's. To his dismay, there
were no song titles on the cd itself. Then he realized he had no idea
what song it was anyway, so lack of song titles didn't really make a
difference. He picked up the cd case. Red, black, and white with...
sperm? Um, okay. But just like the cd was missing titles, the booklet
was missing lyrics. He sighed. There was just one thing he could do.
Actually listen to the music.
The first song wasn't it. That one opened with drums and guitar. But the
second one -- that was it. And so he listened to the lyrics.
Supposed to happen
I was happy
You seduced me
I'm in love
A few days later, there was a pile of cards next to the register,
explaining that QuikFoto was about to be a former full-service film
processing center. Sadly, Xander dropped one in Oz's latest box.
And then he added Erick's Sugarcubes cd to the package as well. He could
always buy a replacement.
Three days later, he received an envelope containing two pieces of stiff
paper. Plane tickets. No letter. Just more small letters on the back of
If I built it, would you come?
To his surprise, there was no message under the stamp.
The closing party for QuikFoto was brief. There was simply no need for
and elaborate farewell. Erick handed out final paychecks, and that was
it. The stock -- film, disposable cameras, albums, and so on -- had
already been redistributed amongst the employees, much to their surprise.
Xander made one stop -- at the bank to cash his check -- before going to
the airport. He spent the entire flight wondering if he was doing the
right thing. He hadn't even told anyone where he was going. His only
comment was that he was finally going on that trip he had missed out on
over the summer. The silent debate kept his mind off the small child
reading aloud on one side of his seat on the plane and the large man
snoring loudly on the other.
Finally, he reached his destination. He gazed around the boarding area,
searching for someone that seemed to be waiting for him. Considering the
bizarreness of their correspondence, he found it hard to believe that Oz
himself would be there. But to his surprise, Oz was indeed there.
"Hey." Oz nodded at Xander and then turned his attention to their shoes.
"Hey, yourself." Xander noticed Oz's obvious reluctance to talk. And
nudged one of Oz's feet with his own. "Can we get out of here? It's kind
Oz's head snapped up. A slow smile spread across his face. "Sure."
Two hours later, after a drive made without conversation, they arrived at
Oz's cabin. It looked just as it had in the pictures Xander had developed
except for the fact that the guitar had all six strings. "This is a nice
Oz shrugged. "It's home."
Xander waited for more, but Oz did not continue. Xander sighed. "Look,
you can obviously express yourself in words, so what's wrong?" Oz
shrugged again. "Oz?"
At Xander's softer, gentler tone of voice on the last word, Oz lifted his
gaze to Xander's. "Do you understand?"
"I think I do."
"You think?" Oz shook his head and turned his eyes to the trees outside
his window, back to Xander. "Either you do or you don't. I can't go
"And you can't actually say it."
Oz shook his head. "Why do you think... Never mind."
"No, Oz." Xander touched Oz's arm, urging the smaller man to turn and
face him. "Why do I think what?"
"You're a smart guy." Oz crossed his arms and lowered his eyes to the
floor. "I have faith in you."
The words silenced Xander for a long moment. Where had he heard them
before? Then he realized he hadn't heard them. He had read them. "So is
this where I tell you what I think?" Oz nodded. Xander sighed, resting
his hands on Oz's wrists. "You're not a communicate-with-speech person,
so you write. And for whatever reason, you decided to write to me. But
there were still some things you couldn't say in those letters." Oz
nodded, finally lifting his eyes to Xander's. "You wanted to say them,
but you needed to pretend that they were hidden messages. So you did
something you saw in some spy movie as a little kid. Am I close?"
Oz smiled slightly and shrugged. And stepped closer to Xander, lifting
his arms -- and Xander's hands -- to his neck. "Does your next move
depend on my answer?"
Xander removed his hands from Oz's arms and placed them on Oz's shoulders.
"Do you want it to?"
Oz sighed. "So this is it. We're just going to stand here and ask each
other questions until the end of time."
"That's not why I came up here. That's not why you invited me up here."
He took a deep breath to steady himself before shifting his hands slightly
and stroking Oz's neck. "And I think you know that." Now he moved one
hand to the back of Oz's head. "And so I'll ask again. Do you want it
to?" He smiled when Oz shrugged. "So."
"You're not disagreeing here." He smiled when Oz licked his lips
"No, I'm not."
Xander pulled his hand away from the back of Oz's head, trailing his
fingers down the smaller man's chin and tilting Oz's head up so their
eyes were locked. "So why are you nervous?"
Not the response Xander had expected. He dropped his hands and stepped
away from Oz. "What, I'm contaminated now?" He grabbed his coat and
began to pull it on. "Maybe I should go for a walk now."
"No, I didn't mean it like that." Oz moved to Xander, pulling the coat
off. "It's just that... You have certain expectations."
"Expectations?" Xander blinked. "Wait. What expectations?"
Oz shrugged yet again. "He's a vampire."
"Yeah, he is."
"And so you're used to a vampire's, uh, abilities."
Xander dropped his coat and began slowly wandering around the cabin, deep
in thought for several minutes. Finally, he stopped in front of Oz, a
half-smile tugging at his lips. "I think I get it now. Performance
anxiety, Oz?" Embarrassed, the redhead once again lowered his gaze to his
shoes. Xander moved his hands to Oz's face, forcing Oz to meet his eyes.
"He and I... We did it once. Months ago. And it was a surprise. And
note what I did immediately afterward. This... Well, this isn't. A
surprise, I mean."
"Afterward." Oz frowned. "What did you do?" Xander just began moving
his thumb against Oz's jaw. Oz blinked. "Wait. You called me. You
Xander nodded, the half-smile attempting to break into a full smile. "Is
that okay?" Oz nodded. "How about this?" Slowly, he dipped his head,
brushing his lips against Oz's. But before he could pull away, Oz moved
his own hand to Xander's head, trapping him in the kiss. Grinning against
Oz's lips, Xander dropped his hands to Oz's shirt hem. One hand went up
under the back of the shirt while the other moved to the waistband of the
pants below the shirt.
But that was as far as Xander's hands went. Dazed, Oz pulled away first.
"What's wrong?" The hand on his spine stroked lazily, but the hand on his
pants did nothing. Xander took a small step back. "Xand? I... I'm
"Shh." Xander removed his hand from Oz's back. "Nothing's wrong. Except
it's hard to see certain things when you're this close to them."
"See things?" Oz licked his lips again, surprised when Xander sighed
softly at the gesture. "Like what?"
"Like this, for starters." Xander unbuckled Oz's belt and pulled it free,
smile widening when Oz's hips thrust forward. "And this." Now Oz's pants
were unfastened and pushed to the ground. "Still okay?"
To his surprise, Oz shook his head. "I need..." He grabbed Xander's
shirt and moved across the room, pulling the taller man with him to his
bed. "And this..." Now he unbuttoned Xander's shirt, revealing the skin
beneath. "Better." Suddenly, he frowned. "Um, I don't have..."
His words were cut off by Xander's mouth, tongue gently lapping at Oz's
lower lip. Finally, Xander pulled away and moved off the bed. "Don't
Xander shook his head. "Just... don't." He walked over to his bag,
unfastening his own pants as he moved. "Remember what I said about this
not being a surprise?" He opened the bag, kicking off his pants while
digging in the depths of the bag. With a grin, he pulled a couple of
items from the bag. "I wasn't a Boy Scout, but as a sworn enemy of
assorted evils, I've learned to always be prepared."
By the time he returned to the bed, they were both naked. "So. Um.
Xander, how do we do this?"
"You're asking me?"
Oz shrugged. "You're the one who's done it before."
"So naturally I should be on the bottom?"
"No, that's not what I meant." Oz ran his fingers down the middle of
Xander's chest. "I meant, you're the one who knows what to do. I can do
this." He moved his head to Xander's chest, taking one nipple into his
mouth and gently pulling it with his teeth. "And this." He firmly
grasped Xander's cock and pumped it. "But after that, I'm a little lost."
Xander noticed that Oz's hand was still stroking him, and Oz's mouth had
moved to his other nipple. As much fun as it was, he realized he should
probably stop Oz. "Hey." Oz's fingers dipped to a spot that Xander
realized shouldn't be stimulated at that particular moment. Xander gently
pulled Oz's hands away. "Hey. You need to stop now."
"Huh?" Dazed again, Oz moved away. "I'm sorry. Too fast." He curled up
in one corner of the bed, pulling blankets up to his chin.
"Well, yeah, too fast, but I don't think I mean the same kind of fast that
you mean." Xander pulled the blankets away from Oz and placed a folded
pillow in the middle of the bed. "Your choice. You or me."
Oz gazed at the pillow for a long moment before nodding and moving into
position over it. "Me."
Gently, Xander ran his fingers over Oz's ass, propped up on the pillow.
"Are you sure? This might hurt. I mean, it was just that one time. That
other person had a lot of experience, so he knew how to make things
"Will you get upset if I tell you to stop?"
"Of course not." Now he moved his fingers up Oz's back, moving them in
small circular patterns. "But I will get upset if you need to stop but
don't tell me." Oz nodded. "Okay. Now, remember, this isn't exactly a
hobby of mine. So feel free to speak up, okay?" Xander unrolled a condom
on his erection. No sense waiting until the last minute for that. He
trailed his fingers down the cleft of Oz's ass, gently spreading the
globes apart so he could alternate soft kisses with gentle licks along the
crease. He smiled at Oz's whimper of protest when he pulled away. He
chuckled when Oz attempted to keep contact by thrusting upwards. "Hey,
you think I'm just going to stop now?" He moved to straddle Oz's legs
and picked up the bottle of lube, applying a generous amount to his
fingers and cock. "Ready?"
In response, Oz moaned a word. Xander frowned slightly, trying to figure
out what Oz was saying. Then the word was repeated. "Xander..."
Xander grinned. "I'm going to take that as a yes." Slowly, he slid one
finger in Oz's tight channel. "Okay, now I'm going to --"
"Xander." Oz was breathing heavily. "Just shut up, okay?
"Oz, I'm sorr --"
"Xander. Quiet. You're distracting me." Oz was silent -- aside from his
breathing -- for a long moment. Xander began to worry that things were
not going right, and then he felt the muscles holding his finger in place
go lax. "Okay."
Now Xander released a breath he hadn't even been aware he had been
holding. He added a finger, waiting until he once again felt muscle
relaxation before gently moving his fingers and stretching the flesh
surrounding them. Carefully, he thrust his fingers in deeper, jumping
slightly when Oz thrust down on the pillow. "Did I hurt you?"
"No." Oz sighed and lifted his hips, driving Xander's fingers back in his
body. "But you could speed things up now."
"Okay." Xander pulled his hand away and pressed his lips to Oz's shoulder
before kneeling behind him. With one hand on Oz's hip, Xander began
slowly sliding his cock into Oz.
Xander awoke in darkness and an empty bed. "Oz?"
"Hmm?" Oz turned away from the flickering light provided by the
fireplace. "Hey. You're awake. I built a fire."
"So you did." Xander watched Oz watch the flames for a long moment.
"Come back to bed?"
Oz shook his head. "You come here."
"Oz, it's cold."
Oz glanced over his shoulder, observing Xander's half-covered form.
"That's why I built the fire." He patted the floor beside him. "It's not
Xander sighed and wrapped a blanket around his body before shuffling over
to Oz. To his surprise, it was warm enough there to discard the blanket.
Sinking to the floor behind Oz, Xander stretched his legs out on either
side of the smaller man's hips and lowered his mouth to Oz's shoulder.
"I could get used to this." Oz's response was silence and continued
staring into the fire. Xander pulled away. "Oz, I'm sorry. I just --"
"Could you really?" Now he turned his attention to Xander. "I mean,
could you really get used to this? Because I could. I was thinking..."
When Oz didn't finish the thought, Xander leaned forward and wrapped his
arms around Oz's chest, pulling Oz back to rest against Xander's chest.
Oz smiled, running his fingers along Xander's arm. "You could move up
here. I don't mean here in this cabin. We could get a little house in
town. You could... I don't know. Maybe you could open a video store.
Or maybe work at that film developing place."
"Film developing place? You mean there's one here that you could have
sent all of that film to?"
"Yeah, I could have." Oz tilted his head and placed a kiss on Xander's
chin. "Actually, that's what gave me the idea to send that film back to
Sunnydale. Remember, I had an ulterior motive."
"Really. And what was that?"
"This." Oz returned to his previous position, leaning against Xander's
chest. "Just this."
They sat in silence, Xander wrapped around Oz, both gazing at the fire.
Finally, Xander spoke. "So how long do you think it would take to find a
place in town?"
Oz stood and walked over to his table, and Xander's heart sank. Then Oz
picked something up and returned to the hearth. "I already checked out
the circled places. The ones with stars are the ones I thought you would
like. If they're not crossed out, they were still available yesterday."
Stunned, Xander stared at the newspaper. "So you've thought this over."
"Yeah. A lot."
"Wow." He stretched his legs out in front of him and unfolded the paper,
examining the ads with stars. "And did you save the help wanted ads for
me, too?" Oz nodded. "Are you going to go get them for me?"
Oz shook his head. "Going through the rental ads should take up enough
time for now."
"Why?" Oz furrowed his brow, confused. Then realization hit, and a sly
grin snuck across his face. "Xander Harris. You just want to watch me
walk across the room naked."
Xander smirked. "And what if I do?"
Oz sighed dramatically and retrieved the other section of paper. "The
things I do for love." He stopped, gazing down at Xander concentrating on
"For love." Xander accepted the paper. When Oz didn't sit down, Xander
smiled up at Oz, still standing next to him. "Oz? Are you okay?"
Nodding, Oz kneeled and straddled Xander's legs, deliberately rocking his
hips against Xander's. As well as he could while sucking Xander's ear, he
murmured, "Yeah. Finally."