"Be still. I don't want to hurt you."

Xander was still as he could be, laid out on Oz's bed wearing nothing but his jeans and boxers. His arms were tucked behind his head, fingers clenched around his elbows in a white-knuckled grip as the shorter boy slowly rubbed sticky gel over his bare stomach. His lower lip was firmly between his teeth, held there to stifle his groans as the sensations on his skin hovered between painful and ticklish. If Oz's fingers were a bit less subtle on his skin, he wouldn't have had that problem, but another ounce of pressure would surely as not make him scream like a little girl.

"Are you done yet?"

Oz looked up, his expression losing it's normally unreadable visage. Xander wanted to close his eyes against the sympathy, but it was such a genuine offering that he couldn't.

"This is pretty nasty, Xand. Are you sure you don't want to go see a doctor for it? There's a walk-in clinic up the street in that shopping center."

The subtle pressure involved almost annoyed the dark haired youth, an emotion he fought off quite well. There were a thousand different excuses he could have given as to why he didn't want to go, but they would be just that -- empty lies. The truth was riskier by far, but then, Oz was the one applying aloe to his skin, and Xander hadn't had to ask if he remembered enough about the previous night to matter. It was there between them, like so much else, and sometimes with Oz things didn't have to be said.

Sometimes though, they did.

"Oz, if I see a doctor, I have to explain. I have a string of medical records that nobody has tied together in 18 years, and I'd prefer to keep it that way. It won't happen again, because I'm not going back. Just let me keep this tiny little shred of my dignity? Please? It goes really well with that brown shirt I've got. It'd be a shame to lose it."

A green head nodded slowly, gentle fingers soothing skin as a deceptively low voice teased him.

"Which brown shirt?"

Carefully letting his hands unclench, Xander brought them to rest at his sides. Logic told him that he could have spread the goo on himself, but logic had nothing to do with the familiar clench of lust and lunacy that was spreading through him minute by minute. He tried to pass it off, his self-mocking grin in place before he could even recall wishing for it.

"We can't all dress straight from the pages of Guitar World. Some of us are trying the Salvation Army chic look. It's supposed to be in this year."

"Very nice. It works for you." Xander had to wonder how much aloe three burns needed, but he wasn't in the mood to ask. Oz's fingers just kept on over his skin, soothing little feather-brushes that seemed designed for more than medical necessity. The prone boy found himself watching the werewolf intently, feeling unhappily certain that it would all have to stop soon. In desperation, he considered feigning sleep.

"Xander, if I kissed you, would it wig you out completely?"

Not a chance that he could pretend to sleep through that question. Xander 's eye widened, but to his credit he didn't flinch or change the subject. Perhaps something of Oz's slowly deliberate speech had rubbed off on him, because his answer was very careful.

"Maybe it would, but we won't know till you try." He sat up, dislodging the fingers on his stomach and hiding a wince. He wanted to find out.

Oz's lips hit his at an angle, and their foreheads bumped together slightly. Eventually they adjusted, and Xander could taste pot somewhere at the corners of Oz's mouth. For long minutes they didn't part, trading off the gentle nipping of lips with the warmth of their mingled breath. The guitarist's fingers caught in the hair at the nape of his neck, and his own found pattern and meaning in the small knobs of the other boy's spine. The kiss stretched to the point of no return, and then broke, each of them drawing back reluctantly.

"I'm less wigged than I thought I would be."

Oz smiled, and Xander managed one in return. He started to reach for his shirt, tossed next to him on the bed, but paused to look at his friend before he pulled it on.

"Y'know, the world didn't end. That's a good thing, right?"

"I would think so." Oz's hand was drifting around the sheet, the first sign of nervousness Xander had ever seen in him. For a second he felt powerful, and then he just felt bad. Was that how his Dad felt, giddy with the knowledge that his actions could affect another person? He spared a second to rid himself of that thought, shaking his head. It took another, and the memory of waking up with small, warm fingers touching his own, to make him reach for the guitarists hand.

"Hey. I'm not gonna freak out here. Give me a few minutes and I may remember that you're dating my best friend, but I'm not going to get all "I' m not gay you big perv" or anything. There was kissage involved on my side too y'know."

The hand in his squeezed back, and Xander sighed softly. He'd skipped work, and Oz had skipped school. Buffy and Willow would be out patrolling, and even though it was the last night of Oz's change, he was supposed to help them. He found the thought supremely unappealing, and not because he'd always wanted a puppy. He'd just kissed Willow's boyfriend. He was nearly ready to start on his guilt trip when Oz spoke up.

"Willow and I broke up about a week ago. She's into the college thing, and I'm the same band slacker I always have been. It doesn't make for an ideal relationship. We decided not to tell anybody.Buffy and you haven't had the best of times lately, and it's not like we're not friends."

Xander blinked slowly, nodding in silence.

"I'm sorry. I mean, I."

"It's cool. You want to stay here?"

Xander nodded, wondering how many times he could do it before his brain rattled around loose in his head. Willow and Oz had been Willow and Oz for long enough that he hadn't really considered that they might break up, which was odd since he'd just had squidgy feelings about half of that pair. He knew Oz was watching him, waiting for an answer, that time was slipping away and leading them towards sunset.

"Are you sure you want me to?"

"Yup. You'll have to give up the floor though."

Glancing at the pile of blankets and borrowed pillows, the dark haired youth looked back at Oz quizzically.

"Am I flung to the wolves? Forced to share a room with Devon? Stuffed in the attic.mmmph."

The hand over his mouth stopped his nervous chatter, and he had to admire what little he could see of the black nail polish. It was a nice smooth coat.and he was drifting again.

"I was thinking of the bed. It's not like I need it tonight, and sleeping on the floor of a crypt isn't recommended unless you're a vampire. Chill Xander. You're twitching."

He was, actually, but it was hard to stop. He had the strangest urge, and he wasn't quite sure what to do with it. A second later, he gave up trying to understand, and licked the palm of Oz's hand where it rested lightly over his lips. It tasted salty. Having gained a raised eyebrow for his efforts, he adopted a smirk of his own.

"I have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm hungry." It seemed safe to admit that, both the hunger and the major sense of disorientation he was suffering.

"Food then. And we can go get your clothes and stuff from the basement while your Dad's at work."

Not having thought of the practical side of moving out, Xander was grateful that someone had. He was even more grateful for the chance to move, to relieve some of his nervous energy and remove himself from the temptation that was the rumpled expanse of Oz's bed.

"Thanks. I don't know what I'd do." He snorted, a laugh half-aborted. "It 's true. I don't know what I'd do. Food, before I make an ass of myself."

Oz was respectfully silent, though his hand ran through Xander's hair as he stood up.

"I'll be downstairs when you're ready."

Problem was, Xander wasn't sure what he wanted to be ready for.