Concrete Memory at the Crossroads of the Median Lined Ferris Wheel
written by Beamer
Spoilers: Set some time during season six..
Summary: No summary available.
Dedication: To Greensilver
Feedback Author: Beamer
Author's LJ: Confessions Of A Pop Culture Whore
He rarely thinks of Sunnydale these days. And when he does, he takes it as a sign it's time to get moving.
This time it's been six months since he last thought about the only place he's ever known of as home. Six months in Bristol, living with a couple he met in India, and when he wakes up in the middle of the night, homesick with thoughts of strawberries and red hair on his mind, he knows it's time to move on.
He's never given much thought to destiny, always considered it something you make yourself. So when a car finally pulls to the side of the road outside of Bath, after he's been walking - thumb extended - for hours, he thinks it's simply luck. He's bent down to pick up his guitar case when he hears the car door open, and the driver calls to him.
The voice doesn't stand out like it had back home, but it's hauntingly familiar and he's a little amazed when he looks up to meet a familiar face.
“I thought that was you,” his one time librarian tells him.
“Wow.” It's all he can think of to say, and he's starting to think he may have to rethink his stance on fate because this is just too much to be a simple coincidence to run into a reminder of the very thoughts he's trying to flee. He's trying to decide if there's enough familiarity between the two of them for a hug when Giles approaches and enfolds him in his arms.
“Daniel, it's so very good to see you.”
“Like wise,” Oz says as they part.
Giles doesn't ask him if he needs a ride, because that's obvious, he just takes the guitar case from Oz and leads the way to his car.
“I'm not in the habit of picking up hitchhikers,” Giles says as they pull back onto the road.
“I get that a lot,” Oz states.
“Yes, I suppose you might. Where are you heading?”
Oz thinks on that for a moment. “Just going,” he says finally. Although he was planning on making his way into London and hopping the train across the channel to Paris, working his way as far east as he can get before the rail pass his room mates gave him expires, the thought of spending some time with someone familiar, someone from whom he doesn't need to hide who and what he is overrides the need to run.
* * * * *
They've stopped in a pub not far from where Giles says his home is. It's an opportunity to allow them to catch up, old friends who haven't seen each other in years. Oz is explaining how he's been traveling through Europe, playing guitar on street corners and doing odd jobs to support himself when it hits him that Giles is actually in England, very far away from the hellmouth and slayer he's sworn to watch.
“What are you doing here?” he asks, switching subjects mid sentence. “I mean, Buffy, she's not...”
“No. Buffy is alive and well,” Giles tells him with a slight chuckle, bringing his glass of scotch to his lips. “Now, at least.”
Oz cannot say that he is the least bit surprised to hear that Buffy had died. It was something that they all knew about - her shortened life expectancy. And he can't even say that he's surprised that Willow had finally become so powerful that she was able to bring her best friend back, he'd known that she would get there someday before he'd left the first time. What he is surprised by is the aching and longing thinking of Willow fills him with. He's been running from it for so long, fearing that if he just allows himself the luxury of lingering on the thought of her all the chants and charms in the world won't keep the wolf away.
* * * * *
He knows he should just thank Giles for the ride and continue his way into London, but it's started to rain and he's enjoying the company far too much to pass up the invitation for a place to stay for the evening.
There's a chill in the air. Giles offers to build a fire in the library while Oz browses his music collection. Oz is happy to see that despite all the other changes in their lives, Giles still has not moved into the world of digital music. He finds comfort in vinyl. When he joins Giles on the rug in front of the fire, he brings the bottle of scotch from the liquor cabinet and his backpack. He's a little more than buzzed from the four pints of cider he had at the pub, but it feels good.
Later when they've run out of stories to tell, they're sitting in silence staring into the dying fire. Oz isn't quite sure if it's the alcohol or the high from the hash they've smoked, but he realizes he feels better than he has in many years, and that he's no longer homesick.
“What are you thinking?” Giles asks him. It's when Oz turns to him and sees him laid out on his back, head resting casually on his arm that he realizes just what it is. Giles is comfortable, like an old sweater. When he leans forward to kiss him, Oz expects Giles to push him away. Instead he feels Giles' hand in his hair, pulling him in closer, deepening the kiss.
He knows Giles has been in England for months, but Oz swears he can smell California on him and feel the Santa Ana winds blowing across his skin as his clothes are peeled away. It's only when Giles is spooned up behind him with his cock buried deep in his body that Oz realizes he's found the peace he's been searching for.
And for the first time since leaving Sunnydale he feels the desire to stop running.