Just This

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.
This wasn't
Supposed to happen
I was happy
By myself

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.
This wasn't
Supposed to happen
I was happy
By myself
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 the envelope.

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 of crowded."

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 place."

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 partway here."

"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 nervously.

"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 called me."

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 sorry."

"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 worry."

"Xand --"

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 better."

"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 cold here."

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. "Thinking what?"

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 the ads.

"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."