Secret Slasha — The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project
Secret Slasha — The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project

"Of all the cafes, in all the towns..."
By Elizabeth Scripturient
For Trekker

An open mic night? Cruel joke. The best biscotti in town, and the place is hosting an amateur night.


He turns at the sound of his name.

It takes a moment for recognition to dawn -- and not just because of the dark spiked hair with frosted tips.


The young man nods.

"Oz, I--" Giles is suddenly flooded with guilt that in all the years he has forgotten about this quiet young man. How many -- ? He counts back silently. Eight. All that's happened since then.... As he starts to formulate excuses (explanations), he realizes Oz is speaking.

"If you're waiting for someone--"

Giles shakes his head (probably too vigorously). "Oh, no. I had come -- their biscotti is excellent -- I hadn't realized I would be at the mercy of an open mic...."

"That's why I'm here, actually. One of the acts, Lazy Kids and Breadwinners, I'm friends with the drummer."

Giles flushes. "So it would be in poor taste if I made my escape now, wouldn't it? Tell me, though, should I order a Scotch?"

Oz laughs, and it's like a physical blow; he hadn't even known he had missed that.

"They're a little bit punk, a little bit pop, and the guitarist really isn't that good, but I think you'll be okay."

"You associate with bands that have inferior guitarists?" Giles teases. He doesn't know what's come over him, feels like he's drunk already, feels more than anything thirsty.

"I said the drummer was my friend, not the guitarist," Oz says, and the smile on his face nearly breaks Giles.

"Good point. I'll just order a pot of tea, then."

"Mind if I share your biscotti?"

"Not at all."

Giles wants to ask Oz what he had been up to, because that's what you say to fill conversational silences, especially when you haven't seen each other in eight years -- but, well, they haven't seen each other in eight years, so that's a little bit awkward; and he's not entirely sure he actually wants to know. It would also bring up the inevitable reciprocal question of what he has been doing, and the whole point of coming to places like this is to get away from that life for a little while.

The waitress brings two cups.

Giles passes the pitcher of milk to Oz, but he holds up his hand in refusal.

"I see you haven't yet been appropriately Anglicized," Giles says with a half-smile.

"I like the simplicity. Dried leaves in boiling water." He holds the cup, inhaling deeply. "Not worth dying for, of course," he says with an almost laugh.

Giles looks at him quizzically.

"Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."

"Ah, yes."

The first act takes the stage, and though they're very unpolished they're not bad.

The second act is a soloist, and Giles winces at the missed notes and trite lyrics. Oz looks over at him sympathetically. "I promise I won't be offended if you leave."

"What, and leave you all the biscotti?"

Giles isn't sure where the levity comes from, but it works. Oz grabs one of the ones sitting in front of Giles (nevermind that he has an equal-sized pile sitting in front of him) and grins. He pops it into his mouth. "Mmm."

Oh good Lord, Giles thinks; Oz isn't... flirting, is he?

Feeling dreadfully like a teenager, Giles reaches over to Oz's side of the table and grabs one of his.

"You do realize the next step is a biscotti swordfight," Oz says, deadpan. "Perhaps we should take this outside?"

"Won't your drummer friend miss you?"

"Good point. They're up next, so after they're done: you and me. Wait, are we gonna need seconds? 'Cause I'm not sure the drummer and I are that close."

"Perhaps we should call it off. Any way we can do that and still retain our dignity?"

"I don't know. We may forever be pariahs."

"Hmm. A difficult situation. And you know you are the one who started it."

"I've never much minded being a pariah myself."

Lazy Kids and Breadwinners takes the stage, and Oz turns his attention toward them.

"So what did you think?" he asks after they're finished.

"You were right; the guitarist isn't very good."

Oz nods. "Wanna go somewhere and listen to some real music?"

"Did you have somewhere in mind?"

"Your flat."

Giles has a coughing fit into a napkin.

"You've got the best record collection of anyone I know locally," Oz says calmly when Giles is finished.

Giles is silent.

"Did you have a better idea?" Oz asks.

"Well, no."

"So that's settled."

Giles feels helpless as the teapot comes up empty. "I suppose it is," he croaks.

Oz flags down the waitress, asks for some water and the check.

They are silent until they get to Giles' flat. He steps aside to let Oz in after opening the door, an instinct Oz doesn't blink at. Of course, Giles reminds himself, he was in Sunnydale with us, too.

"What would you like to listen to?" Giles asks after he relocks the door.

"I was thinking some Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon."

Giles puts on the record and slides into an armchair.

"I was hoping you'd pick the couch," Oz says, kneeling in front of him.

Giles' breath catches in his throat.

Oz puts a hand on his knee. "Come down onto the floor with me."

"You can't--." In a fluid motion, Oz rises and leans in, silencing Giles with a kiss.

"My bedroom is--" Giles gestures, breathlessly.

Oz takes his hand and walks with him.

Flat on Giles' bed they undress each other carefully, learning each other's bodies.

When Oz takes off Giles' pants and touches him there for the first time, Giles comes almost immediately in Oz's hand. He stammeringly starts to apologize, but Oz cuts him off with a kiss. "It's okay. Now you can relax."

And he does.