by Amz

"Mm. I know what you mean."

She was one of the few people that they felt entirely comfortable with. They sat down to dinner with her and conversation flowed easily. Andora never rushed to fill the silence in with words for the sake of words.

In such a short time, they'd learned that the waitress was similar enough to them to respect the things they cherished and different enough to shake things up a bit. It was an odd and refreshingly unique friendship.

They ate dinner in the dining room or sometimes in the lounge room, at the coffee table as an assortment of music played in the background. Tonight they sat around the coffee table with greasy buckets of fried rice and flutes of sparkling white wine as Velvet Chain, Andora's choice, played softly.

Giles sat up against the couch, twirling the liquid in his glass for a moment. Oz, tired of eating and not fond of the wine, rested his head upon the watcher's shoulder. Giles turned to him with a smile and put his arm around the wolf's waist.

The woman smiled slowly and her forehead wrinkled in thought. "How did you two get together?" She wondered.

"Hm?" Giles looked up at her, his eyebrows gently raised.

Andora shifted until she was leaning into the coffee table, one elbow supporting the hand that held her oval face. "I just realized I've never asked you that before! I don't know how you and Oz met." She glanced at Oz and then turned to gaze at Giles.

"Well, we, ah I-I was a librarian at the time and ... and Oz was a student." Giles nodded.

A slow, sly grin spread over her face. "Wow. So ... did you ever get caught in the stacks?"

Giles spluttered a bit, but a smirk touched Oz's eyes. "Too obvious," he said. "Besides, the carpet was much more interesting in the music room."

Andora laughed lightly. "Okay tell me honestly, how did you two become 'you two'?"

"I suppose if we told you it was a long story you wouldn't believe us?" Giles stroked Oz's back.

"Never." She shook her head, long dark hair flying over her shoulders.

The watcher and his wolf paused to think about their relationship. They then filled her in on their time in Sunnydale, stopping occasionally with looks of sadness, but mostly fond of the overall memories of the time. They left a few things out here and there, but overall, Andora was satisfied with their reflections.

"You came back a few month later," Giles spoke quietly of Oz. "But Willow had moved on and so you left again." They were silent for a moment.

"Where did you go?" The brunette's eyes fell upon the petite lycanthrope.

Oz frowned softly. "Everywhere." He said. "I ended up here," The frown became a slow smile. "And Giles was in a park."


"Oz?" Giles lowered the stake and stepped closer to the cowering figure, watching as fur receded into pale skin and claws slowly faded into worn, unpainted nails. Dull blonde hair emerged from the shadow and the man exhaled a shaky breath.

"Oz." Giles said very quietly, crouching down with care. "It's me. Oz it's Giles." He reached out tentatively, as the wolf relaxed and raised his head.

"I know." Oz stood, taking the hand that Giles' offered. "Can I ask why you're trying to kill me?" He pulled his hand back to clench the waistband of his very, very loose jeans.

Giles blinked. "I ah, s-slaying ... I was after vampires actually and I suppose I thought you were a beast. How did you come to be on this side of the world?"

"Caught a plane." Oz gave a quick nod and looked around. "Thought I'd give England a shot." He turned back to Giles who was putting the stake back inside his jacket. The older man glanced around the empty park bathed in moonlight and smiled sadly.

"Oh I see," Giles nodded. "How do you like it?"

Oz shrugged. "Good as any place, I guess." He frowned a little as he trained his eyes on Giles. "You're ... back visiting?"

Giles scratched his chin. "Actually I live here now." He spoke softly. "I've no reason to remain in Sunnydale."

Oz was confused for a moment, but as he watched Giles, the explanation became clear. "Buffy." He realized. "When?"

Giles was shoving his hands in his pockets now and Oz watched as an incredible sadness washed over the older man. "Not long ago, actually. She was ..." Giles looked away.


"A park?" Andora raised her eyebrows. "What were you guys doing in the park?"

"We were both just out for a stroll, and we happened to bump into each other. We got to talking and I asked Oz if he wanted to come back to my place to catch up."


Giles watched the boy with fascination. This young man had been all over the world, trying to find a cure for the beast that raged within him. Giles thought of the things he'd been through and had nothing but respect and admiration for him.

"Tea?" He said.

"Sure." Oz tilted his head slightly. "I just gotta grab my things ..." He looked around the park. "Over there." And he started walking off to his left.

Giles followed him in confusion. They soon reached a secluded section in the park. Trees grew more thickly here and without the light of the scattered lampposts, it was difficult to see.

Oz slipped into the clothes that he had folded in a neat pile on the grass behind a tree. There were his wallet and keys, which went into the pockets of the extremely oversized pants and finally a belt, to keep the jeans up by themselves.

Giles mostly watched the boy but glanced around quickly, lest they find themselves in the company of vampires. He looked Oz in the eye as the boy straightened up.

"What on earth happened?" He asked.

"Oh. I let the wolf out for a run." Oz murmured.

Giles frowned. "Ah, yes, isn't that dangerous?"

"Not unless I actually get staked." Oz scratched his arm.

"I-I mean for other people," Giles swallowed. "People who come to this park."

"They don't come here when I do. You're the first person I've seen in months."

Giles nodded. "Yes. Oz, you must realize that —"

"I have control of the wolf, Giles." Serene emerald eyes stared up at him. "I've ... still got a long way to go, but I'm, I'm almost there."

When Giles understood the significance of Oz's words, he found himself smiling. "I'm proud of you." He said.

Oz was silent. He had an expression. "Thanks." He whispered finally.


"And then ... something just clicked?" The waitress prodded.

"Well not at first," Giles tilted his head. "At first there were simply long, fascinating stories of Oz's travels and my time in Sunnydale." His relaxed hand stroked lazily through Oz's hair and he frowned suddenly. "It's the strangest thing," he paused. "I don't remember exactly how it happened. Do you?" He bent down to murmur in the wolf's ear.

"Yeah." Oz reached back blindly, to find the watcher's face. "We moved in together."

They laughed lightly.

Andora watched them silently. They expressed their love in her company without being showy or ignorant. They never excluded her presence and the simple touches here and there were sweet to watch. So she gazed at the hand that softly touched the watcher's face, at the head that rested dearly on his shoulder and the other hand that clasped the watcher's fingers by the wolf's left side. She watched those fingers lace through each other beside a chest that rose and fell in time with the chest beside it and she didn't feel intrusive or displeased in any way.

"You have something so incredibly special." Andora tilted her head.

They looked up at her and smiled.

She returned the expression. "Some people want a piece of what you have," she murmured. "Others simply want to watch." She giggled and the flat was filled with her pleasant laughter. The men smiled again, appreciatively and her laughter trailed smoothly away, though creases on the corners of her mouth were happy to stay.

"Let's drink to Saturday's on Church Street!" She raised her glass.


There was of course another group of people who had their thoughts on this relationship, Giles pondered silently.

Out in the crisp air, on the shadowed streets of an early Sunday morning, he draped his right arm easily over Oz's shoulders. Oz slipped an arm around the older man's middle as they headed back to their flat, having just walked Andora home.


Giles had thought he'd imagined the comment. It was so low and gruff that it could very well have been their shoes on the cracked pavement. But this sound was a human voice and if Giles had heard it, that certainly meant Oz had heard it. It also meant he'd heard it a lot better and had probably smelt the obvious disgust in the man, which was probably why he was turning them around now instead of ignoring the bastard and continuing on.

Giles felt Oz tense beside him as the man stepped under the streetlight. The watcher tightened his grasp of the wolf's shoulder and as he glanced down, he saw the boy reach slowly into his jacket.

"I should stake you for that." Oz murmured.

The vampire laughed. "Come on, Shorty! We know you couldn't do that," he stepped closer. "Even if you wanted to."

Oz pushed Giles out of the way and ducked below the vampire's reach in one swift movement. When he turned back, he saw the vamp shake on his game face and lean towards the left, which meant that he'd probably attack from the right for fun. Oz gripped the stake in his fist and waited for the change in the vamp's movement, before striking forward and embedding the piece of wood deep in the demon's heart.

Oz stepped back, forcing down the pull of the wolf and panting to get his breath back.

A frowning Giles stepped through the falling dust. He stood on the pile of ash and turned Oz's face in the light of the overhead lamp. The swelling had receded even further and the area of faint yellow bruise now matched the pale skin of the area surrounding it. But Giles knew he hadn't imagined the shadow. He gently released the tender face and glared at the ground.

"You've been hunting." He said quietly.

Oz eyed him warily. He put the stake back in his pocket. "Well ... Holey here just took the romance right out of the equation."

"Why?" Giles softly demanded, not referring to Oz's comment in the slightest.

Oz shrugged. "I have something in me that can move the right way. I hear them coming and..."

Giles rubbed a hand across his mouth. "You're using the wolf to assist you. You think that by using the powers of the wolf, you're channelling the darkness into an energy that you use to fight. Oz, that doesn't release anything ... if anything, you're feeding the wants of the wolf!" Giles exclaimed.

"Giles, you've been gone for awhile." Oz murmured, looking away. "You haven't seen the things that I can do."

They were silent for a long time.

A chill swept over Giles and a flash of memories from his years in Sunnydale swept through his mind. Times of death, destruction, misery, torture, and loss cursed through his veins.

"Yes I have." The older man whispered, sorrow shadowing his face.

Oz stared into his partner's eyes. He saw the pain there and stepped forward in unease. Tentative arms went around his middle until he was crushing the older man with his desire to reassure.

"Hey, it's okay." Oz said, trying to rub the grief away. "Giles, it'll all be fine."

Giles stared off into the distance at nothing Oz would see if he turned around to look. One hand went down to grip the boy's shoulder and the other messed spikes upon his head. He thought of Willow and her spiral into such dangerous behaviour that had come out of this obsession with her witchcraft. He realized how similar the outcome could be for anyone with such a form of power.

"I don't want to lose you." He whispered into the sweet smelling hair as he laid his chin upon the boy's head.

"Then you won't." Oz told him.

The ashes crunched under the older man's feet and the couple resumed their journey, arm in arm.

Their hearts were heavier than when they had left, but when they returned to the flat, the key still fit into the lock and light still spilled into this home they had created for each other.