Cheesecake And Bohemian Rhapsodies

"I can't help it," Xander began, "It's my nature."

Willow shot Xander a quick critical look, carrying it over to Buffy so her friend would know of her displeasure, "Maybe you need a better nature."

Xander stifled a scowl, and shrugged. He opened up his book, and stuck his face behind it, ambling back over to his tree.

Oz smiled at Xander as he noticed his head peek out over the top of his book, looking over to him.

Oz turned to Willow, his face unreadable. "But we can't have Xander changing his nature on us. His nature is...natural. If he were to change that natural nature, he would be unnatural. Like Astroturf."

He flashed Xander another smile, and Buffy one too as he took a sip of Willow's drink.

Buffy smiled back, nodding. "I think Oz might have a point there. We want our weird Bohemian Xander to have a healthy look of realism, and...uhh, need frequent watering."

Willow gave Oz and Buffy slightly confused looks. "I just don't think he should encourage her so much, is all. It sets us all up for pain, and mockery."

"Not all of us." Oz said softly. He looked to Xander, "Do you like cheescake?"

"It's the best. Why?"

"My mom packed me, like, half a cheescake. Willow doesn't like it. Buffy says it's too fattening," Oz smirked, "wanna share it with me?"

Xander jumped up spastically, "Yeah, baby, yeah!"

Oz reached down, into his brown leather bag and pulled out a tin pie pan, with a white top over it.

Oz was still straddling the bench, turned towards Willow. Xander swung one leg over, assuming the same position behind Oz.

Xander reached in front of Oz, his arm pressed against Oz's chest as he scrambled for the plastic fork on the picnic table.



"I only have one fork."

"I can eat with my hands. My hands are quite skilled."

"I'm sure they are."

Buffy looked at the trio on the other side of the table oddly. Willow looked to her side, to the two boys straddling the bench in a true train fashion.

Oz pushed the cheescake to the table between himself and Xander, and they both started at one side, lifting the folded down tin all around the pan, until their fingers met, and they lifted the white cover together.

"Nobody doesn't like Sarah Lee," Buffy said, her voice wavering as she stared at the white creamy goodness encased in the crumbly graham cracker crust.

"Sure you don't want any, Buffy?"

"I'm sure." Buffy sighed.

Oz cut some of the cheesecake with his fork, and lifted it from the pan. He handed it to Xander.

He cut another peice, put it on a napkin, and slid it over to Buffy. "If you don't eat it, I'm going to simply point at you and laugh all day. I know how annoying that is."

Buffy smiled at Oz, and ate the cheescake as daintily as she could with her fingers.

Oz began to fork at his cheescake, eating it slowly. He smirked as he saw Xander finish his cheesecake, pushing it into his mouth messily.

Oz held up a napkin in front of Xander.

Xander looked at Oz questioningly, "What?" he asked through a mouth full of un-swallowed cheesecake.

Oz pressed the napkin to Xander's mouth twisting it, and letting go. The napkin stayed stuck from all the gunk on Xander's face. Oz laughed.

Buffy laughed.

Willow sighed, and swished her grape juice around in her bottle. "Is lunch over yet?"

Buffy looked at her watch, and sighed, "Two minutes."

Willow got up, grabbed her bag, and started walking slowly towards the building.

Buffy sighed, and got up, tossing the last corner of her cheescake into her mouth as she did so. She trotted after Willow.

Xander placed his hands on Oz's shoulders, and pushed himself up off his seat with their assistance.

Oz turned around and grabbed Xander by the hand. Xander looked up at the girls nervously. They had their backs turned.

"What?" Xander asked.

Oz reached up and wiped a spot of cheescake off of Xander's cheek with his middle finger. He dipped it into his mouth, and then spoke. "Missed a spot."

Xander looked at Oz, not saying a word. He then turned towards the school, seeing the girls disapear inside.

"Oh...and Xander?" Oz called.

Xander turned, "Yeah?"

"I need to talk to you. Later."

Xander nodded.


Oz sprinkled the dried up shrubbery into the pot, and efficiently ordered Xander. "Toad me."

Xander obeyed, and Oz caught the little green-filled bag, going back to work.

"Is it an unpleasant thing to be toaded? I don't have any toading experience, apart from toading you."

"You have to be emotionally and physically mature enough to be toaded. It's really sort of a right of passage," Oz said dryly as he continued sprinkling.

"Passage into what?"

"Why Toadedity, of course."

"Sure that isn't Toadededity?"

"That's too confusing."

"Oz, are we still talking about toads, or is it deeper than that?" Xander asked inquisitively.

"No. We're talking about toads." Oz finished putting witchy herbs into the pot.

"I know, I was trying to be a smart ass."

"You don't have to try, Xander," Oz said, smiling softly to himself as he looked over the list of ingredients.

"What else have we got to do?" Xander asked, propping himself up on the large oak table.

"Our part's done," Oz sighed out, and joined Xander on the table silently.

After a few long moments of silence, Xander began to fidget, scooting back and sitting cross-legged.

"Xander, I have a bad feeling," Oz said quietly enough that he was barely heard, but loud enough to cut the silence like a blade.

"About what?" Xander asked apprehensively.

"Everything, everybody...Willow, us. Willow." Oz pulled his legs up onto the table, bending them and laying his palms on his knees.

"Buffy'll get us through this. And Willow's really learned to fend for herself...this whole spell thing is going to be key. Willow's key," Xander said, his voice cracking from the quietly brooding atmosphere.

"I love her. But, I think she needs someone that makes her say, 'I'm self-reliant enough for the two of us.' I can relate to that personality. Maybe her self-sufficiency is why she's always been drawn to you."

"Oz..." Xander looked struck down, but suddenly he broke in with, "Wait, are you calling me indigent?"

"What?" Oz asked softly.

"Are you calling me"

"Indigent. Well, maybe. Not in a bad way...more of a soul way." Oz looked as intense and contemplative as a turtle. "Where did you learn that word anyway?" he asked, semi-teasingly.

"Giles called me that once. I was bugging him, 'cause I'd been hanging out in the library all night with no desire to go home. He called me an indigent waif."

Oz smiled at that, leaning his head against the palm resting on his knee. He was looking over at Xander quietly.

"What are you thinking now?" Xander asked quietly, and leaned back till he was laying on the table. He rest his head on one arm above his head, and let the other lay out limply. He looked up at Oz expectantly.

Oz leaned back, and lay on his side, still looking at Xander. "I was thinking that I wish I could have gotten a chance to have that talk with you, Xander." He pressed his head against Xander's stray arm.

Xander stared up at the ceiling and said, "Well, we're talking now, aren't we? What did you want to say?"

"I don't remember. I'm sure I don't want to say it anymore. I'm not near as agitated as I was a moment ago."

"You get agitated?" Xander mocked, turning his head to look at Oz.

"Oh yeah." Oz furrowed his brow slightly. "Xander, tell me what happens here, with us. Like it is."

Xander sighed, and turned his head back up to the ceiling stiffly. "We graduate. Yes, even me. The Ascension comes, Buffy thwarts it. And we know what a big help to that I'll be," Xander remarked sarcastically before going on. "Then, I'll leave as soon as I can to get my head together, and as I'm gone you and Willow will grow closer and you'll be happy enough you can almost attempt to smile."

"Xander..." Oz sounded almost pained, but Xander still couldn't bring himself to look over.

"Hey, man. I'm not done here yet...if you weren't always yapping your mouth off some of us could get a few sentences in," Xander began sarcastically. "Anyway, my trip will probably be a bust, and I'll come back chagrined. Neither of us will say anything to each other.." Xander sighed. "And you and Willow will live happily ever after."

Xander waited for Oz to say something. Some grim approval, or disapproval. Anything. When it didn't come, he cautiously looked over to the older boy still resting on his arm.

Oz was staring stiffly up at the ceiling, just as Xander had been. His jaw was set with some emotion that Xander simply just couldn't read on Oz. Maybe it was the mythical agitated Oz.

Oz finally looked over at Xander, his eyes looking almost slightly watery. He licked his pursed lips, sighed, and dived to capture Xander's almost slightly pouting lips with his own.

Oz put his hand on the other side of Xander, looming over him slightly as his mouth continued to part on Xander's softly. Their tongues joined and tangled softly til the tickle made them increase tenacity.

A high pitched, British sounding meep resounded through the library along with the sound of the library doors opening.

Oz pulled away from Xander quickly, and looked up to see Wesley enter the library.

Oz looked at Wesley expectantly, and Xander looked at Oz, shocked that he wasn't as freaked out as he was.

"Everyone's coming," Wesley stutter and sputtered out. "...But Willow isn't with them."

Xander could see the muscles in Oz's neck tighten. He croaked out, "You're agitated."