by Dolores

Snowflakes settled on ginger lashes. Old lips settled on young. Around them their breath curled into the air, twisting in the wind.

Toes were cold, leather boots buried in snow. Fingers were hot, woollen gloves buried in hair. The loch waters rustled in the distance and solitary birds called in the chill air.

Into the kiss, Giles muttered, "Oz."


In the morning, the world was bleak and isolated and beautiful. Rolling hills were white streaked with grey; placid waters black under rolling clouds. The house sat back from the loch as if wary, its temporary tenants halfway between.

Oz had never been to Scotland before. He had seen snow once before. He had kissed Giles twice before. He liked all three.

Giles could feel Oz shiver under his clothing, and pulled back. Sliding an arm around slim hips he guided their owner towards the cottage, which creaked under its white icing. Oz leaned in.


They played Scrabble in the afternoon. Giles laid out 'cat' in plastic letters.


An iron kettle whistled on an open fire. A wooden guitar purred. A Watcher hummed a tuneless tune. Outside the night fell, gently and silent like the snow.


Candles and woodsmoke, bedsprings and mint.

There had never been a more beautiful thing than Oz, naked and pale on crisp white sheets. There had never been a heart so ready to burst, trip hammering in Giles' broad, scarred chest. There had never been so much time, yet so little.


Arms open wide, Oz received and was thankful.