Monosyllabic Eccentricity

Title: Moondance
Author: Forget Yesterday
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Post Chosen
Summary: Willow shows up in Tibet, of all places
Disclaimer: I own nothing. NOTHING. All of it belongs to Joss Whedon. Etc, etc. Don't sue, all you'll get is eight pairs of toe socks.
Author's Note: This fic isn’t meant at all to negate the wonderfulness that is Gay!Willow. I love Gay!Willow. But I’ve had Willow/Oz on the brain all day now, for some reason, and season two/three isn’t very fresh on my mind right now. So… yes. Review, flame, or just write


He wakes, some nights, when the moon is full. He doesn’t know if it’s what’s inside him that wakes him, or simply the knowledge that it’s there. Sometimes, as if to challenge it, he walks barefoot to the window to stare defiantly at the impersonal moon. What begins as a challenge becomes a struggle, and he can feel the wolf prowling under his skin. But it has become a challenge he almost enjoys – provoking the wolf when the moon is full, but knowing full well that he, Oz, is in control.

One such night, he gazes at the moon, having has wrestled the wolf down. The wolf is tired and resting. A calm comes over him, and he watches the patterns of misty clouds passing over the pale sphere in the sky.

It’s like a dance. It seems to weave its path among the stars, but it doesn’t. Not really. It’s all a matter of distances and trajectories, millions of miles away, and completely untouchable.

Sometimes – most times – that’s when he thinks of her. There used to be nothing but joy in those memories, and anticipation. Now there is an added pain, a bitterness. Frustration, which feeds the wolf. He’s learned to control that, now.

One such night, an icy breeze chills him through the open window, and suddenly, he smells her.

He smells her, and she smells like high school. Like chaste, careful kisses, and the Bronze, and making love before the world has a chance to end. He hears quiet footsteps leading up to his door, before he ever hears the soft knocking. This is a dream.

But when he pulls the door open in a haze of uncertain emotion, she’s there. And it’s real.

“Oz.”

Her hair is different now – shorter than it used to be, but longer than the last time he saw her. Her skin is paler in the light of the moon, but her hair seems a darker red.

He knows it’s real, because she is more than a memory. She has changed – profoundly. He doesn’t need his heightened senses to tell him that. There is a new sadness about her. And strength. Subtle changes in her expression and the way she holds herself. He only wants to look at her, forever. She starts to speak – quietly, hesitantly, but with gathering speed. He only catches some of the words. He hears them but they mean nothing. She’s saying something about an apocolypse – one that’s passed… something about Buffy, something about Spike, and having a soul – the latter of which he represses for the moment, being able to deal with a maximum of one earth-shattering occurrence at a time.

And she talks for so long, and meets his eyes. Her voice fades, unsure. “Oz?” He gives himself a shake, trying to see through this haze of dreamlike disbelief. He can’t speak. For the first time, she looks afraid. Unsure.

“Oz? I understand that this is probably a little weird… I know I would be weirded out… what with the showing up in the middle of the night, and the… Tibetan hut-ness of it all, and, yeah, there’s the whole me being gay thing, which is still sort of… ambiguous, but… Oz, just say something, OK? I know you’re probably mad, now, and I understand if you’ve, you know, met someone, but…”

He gives his head another shake. “You think I’m mad?”

“Well, no… it’s just that… with the not talking, and the… oh. You didn’t used to talk very much. Not that I forgot! There’s just been a lot of … Xander hang-out time, and Buffy, and Dawn, and I sort of got used to…” She stops herself. “Oz, I missed you so much.”

He hugs her. He feels her warmth, and he smells her hair. “How could I be mad?” he pulls away gently, and looks at the full moon. Her eyes follow his gaze. “I did that for you, remember?”

She wraps her arms around his shoulders, and he wraps his around her waist. They stay like that for a tiny eternity, revolving slowly in a shy sort of dance, nose to nose, and they whisper. She tells him everything, about the magic, about Tara, about Warren, and Kennedy. About the First, and the Slayers… and herself. The power, and the scythe. She asks him, finally, what he’s been up to. So casually, as they rub noses.

He realizes that he’s done nothing, really. Some yoga, and some soul searching, yes… and he has better control of the wolf than he had before…

“Not much.”

“Come on. There must be something,” she coaxes.

“Not really. Not much to do here. Besides yoga. I’m now extremely flexible, by the way. Not that you need to know that…”

The chill of the night air starts to get to Willow, perhaps; she smiles at his modesty, as she sees it, and asks if she can come inside.

Inside, they both spend several minutes pretending to be comfortable, and pretending that neither wants desperately what they think the other couldn’t possibly want.

“It’s awkward.” Willow says sadly. “I hoped it wouldn’t be awkward. I’m a little used to being awkward, but… you were never awkward. You sort of panic when you’re awkward. And I sort of always panic when I’m awkward, and…”

What happens next, Oz shouldn’t dare, but a part of him is so afraid that he’s going to wake up and never finish this wonderful dream.

He’s kissing her. And, oh, thank God She’s kissing him back. Somehow they’re in the bedroom now. The moonlight flows over the rumpled sheets that they fall onto.

“What are we doing?” Willow whispers hesitating.

“Panicking,” Says Oz. “Again.”

“Oh…” She smiles, memories flooding her with nostalgia and hesitant hope. “Okay, then.”

*~*~*

Morning arrives slowly, with first pale light casting across the sky, and followed by a pale pink, and then a fierce, brilliant orange. Oz watches the sky through the window, and he watches Willow sleeping beside him.

When she’s asleep, she looks the same as she did when she was in high school. Lips slightly parted, and a look of utter content smoothing her features. She snores softly and unevenly, her steady breath only occasionally disrupted by a small snuffling sound. He wants to reach out and touch her cheek, but he’s afraid it will break the spell.

Looking around the room, his eyes fall on an object that the sunlight creeping across the floor has finally reached; his guitar. With a sudden excitement, he realizes he has something to tell Willow, after all.

He does touch her cheek. Softly, a light caress with the back of two fingers. Her eyes open slowly. There’s no confusion when she wakes. She knows exactly where she is, and she smiles. “Morning.”

Oz looks at her earnestly. “I’m sorry to wake you. But I remembered.”

“Remembered what?”

”Last night. You asked what I’ve done. I told you I hadn’t done anything, but…” He stops for a second.

“I forgot … but I got it.”

Willow laughs softly, and Oz’s heart glows. “Got what?”

“The e-flat diminished ninth. I finally got it. Fingers intact.”

Willow’s smile is full of yesterdays. “I love you.”