Not So As You'd Notice
by Linnearity

It turns out Oz has this thing about boats. That he's read all 10 of the Horatio Hornblower novels and seen the A&E mini-series three times. Of course they do it on a boat.

So if Giles starts to feel a little green and woozy round about mid-morning, its just the boat thats the cause. A tinge of sea sickness thatll soon pass.

Because it certainly cant be the case that hes feeling nervous about this. He knows nervous. It took him six months after he found Oz again to even broach the subject of commitment ceremonies, convinced all the while he forced the words out that Oz would be out the door and gone again in the space between one breath and another.

So he knows nervous. He knows the further six months that have passed since his tremulous, desperate question (and the reply, the glorious yes that never needed to actually be spoken). The six months filled with paper work and paper work and yet more paper work. Not to mention convincing Wes to get ordained so he could perform the ceremony and dealing with the double whammy of Buffys disdain and disbelief and Willows cheery determination to take over the whole proceedings.

He knows waiting all the while, all through the fussing and finagling and finessing, for the other shoe to drop. For Oz to slip away while his back was turned, exit stage left, fade to black. He knows waking up in the middle of the night to having his fingers gently pried off from where theyve gotten wrapped around Ozs arm. Again. Knows dragging his feet as he walks the last few blocks home from work some nights, convinced hes coming home to an empty flat. The knee-buckling relief every time it turns out otherwise.

This cant be nervousness anymore. Its too late for that. Too late now that hes standing here, the waters of Georgian Bay lapping gently at the sides of the borrowed houseboat.

Could be hes holding the small freckled hand a little too tightly, but no one complains. And if his eyes tear up as Wesley asks do you Daniel Osbourne, its probably just a sudden gust of wind off the lake. After all, its not like his voice is quaking as he recites the traditional vows theyd both surprised themselves by picking.

To have and to hold.

Not so as youd notice anyhow.

And then, at last, this doesnt feel like any kind of nerves at all. He bends to press his own lips against the soft flesh of Ozs. Feels the familiar bonelessness overtake him when those decidedly not fragile little fingers reach behind his ear to stroke the nape of his neck. He presses himself closer, reaches his own hand round to find hungrily curving spine, forgets how to breathe.

Of course they do it on the boat.