The Collection

When Oz moved in, Giles knew his record collection would, at least, double.

They spent an evening sorting them, sitting on the living room floor, smoking a bowl and drinking green tea, adding Oz's albums to an already spotlessly alphabetized collection. The Pixies went behind Pink Floyd, Jane's Addiction went before Joplin, Janis, David Bowie's "Earthling" went after "Scary Monsters," because all albums were arranged chronogically within an artist's section.

Oz would occasionally put a few on, introducing new bands and different styles. They'd talk, and laugh, and occasionally kiss sweetly, the mellowest of the uk garage djs playing softly in the background.

They got to the last box of albums when Giles learned yet another aspect of the maddening creature that he now shared a house (and a bed) with.

The box was dusty and had obviously been in storage for many years, but inside of the box was a collection of pristine albums, carefully wrapped in plastic.

Giles pulled one out carefully, and frowned, staring at the artwork on the cover. After a few seconds, he held up the album. "Oz?"

Oz looked up, then smiled. "I wondered where those were."

Giles looked into the box, then looked back up at Oz. "Am I to believe that you have an entire collection of musicals?"

"Original recordings, if I can." Oz took the album from Giles, pulling one album off the stereo and placing it on. He lifted the needle, watching the album rotate, then, gently, dropped it onto the album.

"One hundred million miracles..." a soft voice drawled through the speakers. "Can happen every day..."

"I used to spend hours trying to learn the melody line for this," Oz said softly, looking down at his hands. "It was back when I was first learning how to play guitar. Dad had just skipped town, leaving me...just his guitar. Mom was...pretty angry, and threw out everything that reminded her of him. All that was left were her musicals." Oz's fingers twitched along with the melody line of the song, and he looked up at Giles. "So I kinda have a fondness for them..."

"Oh..." Giles said, looking away for a second. He reached into the box, pulling out albums and looking at the collection. "Do you want to put these with the rest?"

Oz looked down at the albums, then looked at Giles. "Of course," Oz said. "I'm not leaving."

Giles smiled and handed Oz an album.