Still Life With Slash

There are other Urges, of course.

Standing up in a filled, silent room to shout out random Whatever-Words is one. The desire blindsides you, and leaves suddenly with you blushing with a nervous clench to your stomach. You find yourself glancing around at the gathered people caught in their own daydreams, imagining reactions and mouths agape with surprise. Or is it awe? (you always hope it's awe. If it was embarrassment on your behalf...that would it turn cause much embarrassment in return.)

Because deep down you know you are not the only one to feel the Urge.

They do too.

We all have.

Pausing at a stop light as you wait for someone to cross the street is another. You realize that all it would take is for you to lift your foot off of the brake....

But fountains are safer and more innocent an Urge than either of those two. More primal, more pure, more decent in the inherent naughtiness. Fountains contain a vibe that's hard to verbalize, tack adjectives on as you will.

A don't contain a life sentence or people avoiding you, obviously.

You know that you are not allowed to enter. It is one of those rules, rather sad and silly. Yet everyone follows them. To not would lead to what?

Social anarchy? You never know.

The two young men that stood in front of a random fountain might have been asking themselves that very question, pondering the ramifications. Maybe musing on how a simple capitalist art piece could stand for freedom of self.

"This is a nice fountain", thought one.

"I'm hungry. I wonder if any vendors are still open?" Thought the other.

The owners would turn it off in a couple weeks, before the outdoor amusement center closed for the season. But for now, it was still active and sending out an invitation to those who passed. Though few vacationers were around now to even notice it. Too overshadowed by rides and attractions, too utterly frivolous. A testimony to what your mother warned you about when it came to sure fire ways to catch a dirty illness.

But these two had stopped to admire how the setting sun played upon it, nonetheless.

Plus, the sidewalk ended a dozen feet further at a fence. On the other side of the fence was a thirty foot drop.

A large round hole was set in the pavement, filled to the brim with water lit by lights beneath the surface. A center column rose to spout a geyser of water that crashed back down into the pool. Not exceptionally intricate a design, but lovely nonetheless.

The taller of the two, Xander, walked over to the edge and squatted at the edge. He let his fingers dangle in the water a few moments before swiveling on his heals to address his companion.

"You wanna turn back, Oz? Go home and see what's playing at the movie theatre tonight?"

Oz simply shook his head. "Naw."

He followed Xander's lead and approached the fountain to kneel by the edge.

They sat there in that manner for a few minutes, staring at the water, until Oz broke the silence.

"Hey, Xander?"

"Yeah?" He didn't turn lift his eyes from the bubbling water to look at Oz. "What?"

"Don't yell at me, okay?"

Xander had to turn his head at this remark, and was met by the sight of Oz tugging at his shoes. The knots had been tied too tightly, and Oz was contorting himself to yank them off without dealing with the laces.

Xander looked up at the darkening sky and addressed it. "This's my buddy, Oz. He has a fascination with public bathing."

Oz chuckled and managed to finally yank off one shoe. "Told you not to yell."

Xander watched while Oz tugged and yanked ineffectively at the other shoe. "Here, lemme help you before you fall in and drown."

"Cool." Oz held his leg out like a little kid, letting Xander do all the work while he glanced over at the water. "Hurry up before I lose my nerve, man. I wanna wade."

"Tough--" Xander gave up on puzzling the knot out, and began to simply tug at the offending shoe like Oz had done. "--shit!"

This sent Oz into gleeful laughter. Xander pulled all the harder at the shoe in response, causing Oz to slide a foot or two along the wet pavement.

"Watch it, Xander. You might pull my foot off. I'd walk funny then. Have to get a solitary platform shoe."

"Yeah, and I couldn't hang with you anymore. A werewolf with one foot might crimp my image a bit. I have standards, you know. Only werewolves with two feet are allowed to hang with the coolness that's Xander Harris."

Xander gave a final, tendon staining yank to Oz's foot and the shoe came off, sans foot luckily. The force sent Xander onto his backside, causing him to yelp with the sudden shock and Oz to yelp with the sudden entertainment afforded.

Oz popped up and walked lightly over to the edge of the pool. Xander lay where he had plopped, watching as Oz dipped a foot into the pool to test the temperature.

"Hey, Oz!"


"Your ass is wet. From the pavement. Looks like you wet yourself, buddy."

Oz shrugged, his back to Xander. "Before you laugh, remember this; you are ALSO presently located with your ass in direct contact with wet pavement."

Xander blinked at this information and decided to follow the wisdom of 'what the hell'. He began to unlace his own shoes.

Of course, with the Urge that close to them, nudging and tickling, it was only a matter of time before more contact would be made with the fountain.

Xander was the first. An accident actually, caused when he saw a half dollar glimmering at the bottom of the pool. He wanted it.

"Xander, man, that ain't cool."

"Oh, like what, Oz? I'll drop a couple of quarters in to replace 'em."

Oz paused walking around the edge of the fountain, and creased his brow in thought. "But..but you see, that ain't the point. The wish was attached to that specific coin, Xander. To take it would, to say you're a cynic when it comes to wishes and--"

"--ah, whatever. You think? You believe in that fairy stuff?" Xander waved his arms in what only could be taken to be a pantomime of a clumsy fairy that needed to take a piss. "Maybe the wish will get double points by me dropping in two coins."

He gestured to the submerged coin, which seemed to be winking through the water with more smugness than Xander though was needed. He shot Oz a pleading look. "Come on, man, I collect half dollars, and--"

And a step backwards, plus a slippery section of marble...and Xander was also submerged in water.

Xander sat up, blinking water out of his eyes. He didn't say anything, just looked around warily to see if anyone had noticed his little tumble. When he was assured that no one had, he returned his focus to Oz, who still stood silent and expressionless as he had before. The only difference being that the crease between his brows was not one of disproval but of contained amusement.

Xander wiped at his face ineffectually, and squinted his eyes against the setting sun to focus better on Oz. "I know what you are gonna say. You're gonna say it was--"


"Yup." Xander sighed. "I can take a hint. The coin shall keep its watery grave and I shall keep my two quarters. Okay?"

Oz nodded. Stretched his arms lazily upwards, acknowledging in his own way how pleasant the setting rays felt on his back.

Then, without further ado, he casually stepped into the pool, as if it was a private jacuzzi in a backyard rather than a privately owned amusement park adornment.

The only explanation a very amused Xander received was, "It's just water. I'll dry."

Xander laughed out loud at Oz, with Oz....who nodded as if to say, "Yeah, I understand."

He probably did understand; of all the friends Xander had, he was the most receptive of random giddiness. The 'carpe diem' attitude--not the outer emotions--of course.

So Xander did seize, and since the day was nearly over and had passed the seizing time margin for better or worse, he could only do the next best thing.

Grab Oz's shoulders and push him down under the water. Push himself backwards out or retaliation's way as a drenched Oz resurfaced to spit a mouthful of water at him.

Oz grinned, little rivulets running down scruffy cheeks to bead up. He gestured at Xander, one finger crooked in a manner that said he was going to repay Xander for the ducking.

"Let's see you try, dude. I WAS on the swimming team, ya know." Xander flashed a playful bird at Oz, rotating his wrist back and forth. "Sit and spin, werewolf-boy. You've met yer match." He was being as random as the situation allowed for, which was plenty. Xander was perceptive of when things had taken a turn for the surreal in such a way that he could Xander-ize (as he mentally called it) to his heart's content. If only he knew the times he shouldn't...

Oz mock growled at him, fully understanding the game. Plenty of wrestling, dash of childlike word-play. No common-sense. Which might be a subjective ideal, anyways. Not a law, just a theory.

Xander replied to the growl by sending a kick of water at Oz's head, catching him in the face.

Oz snorted, then sneezed. Which was so damn unexpected, because for all his bravado Xander knew Oz was quicker and should have ducked. To not laugh wasn't an option.

Oz must have realized that, for as soon as Xander opened his mouth to gasp for much needed breath, it was filled with water. Oz pushed off of him to a distance of a few feet, letting Xander sit up and regroup for round two.

"So, Oz...."


"How are you this fine autumn evening?"

They were now circling each other around the center column now, keep an equal distance between them on both side. Raising their voices to be heard above the pounding water.


"Yeah? What a coincidence."

"Funny how the world works."


Xander had pulled his shirt off during this exchange, an innocent action to most. Xander hoped that Oz was of the most right then. He saw his opening.

"Yeah?" Oz was smirking and happy and wet, and Xander couldn't help but notice how the dimming light cast itself over his form. Catching on the trickles of water, running down the soaked, clingy shirt. Snagged on spikes of reddish hair, pinpointing his stubble.

Nice, but besides the point.

This was war.

"Nothing." Xander shrugged, and with as much speed as he could muster, whipped his shirt at Oz's head.

Oz ducked in time, of course. But Xander was already around to Oz's side of the fountain, going for the legs. If it worked on vampires, it would work on a friend, right?

Oz went down on top of him, apparently answering that question in the affirmative. He twisted around, and after a few moments involving much sputtering, wrestling, and squirming...Xander was firmly under Oz.

Oz was happy, Xander realized. Well, saw, was more like it. Seeing how his view was eyelevel with Oz's crotch for the most part.

Which also should have been besides the point, but for some odd reason, wasn't.

Perhaps because in the typical manifestation of war, your opponent did not normally become aroused while pinning you down.

Maybe. Perhaps. Perhaps there's an angry unicorn on the dark side on the moon too, as it has been said.

And Xander had to decide now, while Oz-lips and Oz-stubble and Oz-teeth in a nice Oz-grin were descending towards his mouth.

Oh, and not to mention the slight grinding against his chest by Oz- hips.

And the decision really wasn't all that difficult, in the end.

In war, take no prisoners, and don't shoot till you see the white of their eyes.

So Xander waited till he could see plenty of Oz's whites, warm water dripping from Oz's hair onto his forehead. Could see how the sun highlighted every lash, defining it in neon.

Then, Xander snaked his arms up to grasp Oz by the back of the head, and pulled then both under the water.

Because the decision hadn't been about a kiss. Oh please, in war there are always spies wanting infiltration into your ranks.

Xander knew that the best way to handle a spy was in depth questioning and research. You need to fully understand them to conquer.

Oz's lips had to be a spy. Had to be.

He just had never had a feasible reason to kiss them before.

Isn't war great?

And then it was Oz struggling with surprise under the lukewarm water, calming magically when Xander pressed his lips to his.

Xander felt Oz's tongue against his lips, solid liquid sensation. He opened his mouth, letting both water and tongue gush in and fill all the crevices.

He couldn't tell if it was his own heartbeat he heard amplified by being under the surface, or the roar of the tumbling water around them.

Oz's tongue left his mouth, and was followed by his body. Xander suddenly realized that perhaps a bit of air might be nice and he also surfaced, gasping in deeply, coughing water.

Oz wasn't looking at him. In fact, his entire face was obscured by the tee-shirt he was yanking over his head.

The water surrounding them suddenly felt nippy in comparison to the warmth in Xander's groin caused by the sight of that pale torso.

Maybe war was overrated. Maybe a truce should be called.

Oz was grinning again at Xander, a wholly delighted grin that left Xander with the fear that Oz had gone and developed facial muscles.

Xander weighed the silence for a moment then abruptly shattered it with a question. "So do I win?"

Oz shook his head to make water fly at Xander. It made Xander want to help Oz. Out of things. Wet things, like clothing.

"You wanna call an end to this water war? It's almost dark, and I know there are reasons that you aren't supposed to swim in the dark. Plus, war of any sort takes too much concentration of the body."

"What?" Xander smirked. "No dedication to the war effort?" That, and there was only three feet of water. Should be safe...


Oz had to be one of the greatest, least dedicated guys he knew.

And that was a point if ever a point there was. A fountain and Xander and Oz, oh my....

Goofy happy now, as if he hadn't been before. Xander felt the beginnings of a reckless idea yawning itself awake in his that included a bedroom and toweling each other off and not-innocent slips of the hand.

He suspected Oz had ideas of the same sort...or knowing Oz, a sort that made no sense until it was over. Then it would seem as if was the only idea that ever could have taken form and been enacted.

They both huddled in the cooling water, grinning like two waterlogged loons..or like two loons who had just shared a kiss and weren't sure quite how to proceed next. Just knowing that proceeding would happen sooner or later before the next sunrise.

As if on cue, they both glanced around them as if looking for some sort of intervention that would walk up and tell them how to best proceed.

None walked up though, and after a few moments in which the only thing happening was the final hues fading from the sky, they turned to face each other again.

And decided to kiss for a while longer (Above water this time. Because water after dark is, you know, dangerous) because they had nothing better to do until they could best decide on how to continue kissing.

"Oz?" Xander was the first to break away with a small clink of teeth.

"Mmm?" Oz licked his lips clean of Xander scented saliva and peered through the darkness at him.

"We're kissing again..."

"Yeah.....yeah! Cool...." Oz slid through the water closer to Xander, obviously planning to partake of the 'cool' again.

"But isn't this where we feel awkwardness?"



Oz waded over to Xander and splashed some more water at him. "We can though. I've never actually done that. New experience and all. Be different."

Xander gave it some thought, in which he though about how Oz's back had felt under his hands and not to the idea of awkwardness.

"Never mind. I--"

"What the hell you kids doing here? Park's closed!" A new voice, interrupting Xander.

He and Oz turned to see a security guard standing a dozen feet away from them, arms crossed.

Oz spoke up quickly, giving an 'whoopsey!' little smile. "Sorry! We'll be outta here. We lost track of time, you know?"

Xander grinned at the guard and nodded, holding back the urge to call him Mr. Intervention.

The guard watched them as they clamored from the water, gathering shirts and socks and shoes.

After lecturing them about the dangers of water after dark, the two left. The guard continued to stand there with as stern a look as possible as they hurried off, apparently wanting to be somewhere quickly.

He could guess where. He had seen quite a bit of the show from a video camera in the guard's office.

He walked around the fountain, shaking his head. This fountain drew more people than one would believe--

"Sorry! Forgot something!" The guard looked up to see Xander.


Xander grinned and held up a quarter. "That's it..."

He flipped it into the fountain. Watched it join the other change. Still life with wishes in pocket change instead of fruit.

Some Urges, some Urges just make no sense.

But that's not the point, is it now?