Monosyllabic Eccentricity

Title: Pumpkin
Author: Karen
Rating: G
Spoilers: None
Summary: Oz gets a pet
Disclaimer: I own Pumpkin. Literally. I think she’s behind the couch right now though…
Website: OzMIA
Author's Note: For Pumpkin, wherever she’s hiding.

Pumpkin lay in the palm of Oz’s hand. He wasn’t really sure what to do with the calico guinea pig. “Um, thanks,” he told the lady at the pet shop. And then he walked outside because what else was there to do. So now he was sitting in his living room with the tiny animal looking up at him with her warm brown eyes and a curiously intelligent smirk on her fluffy little face.

“I guess you need a place to sleep or something.” Oz told the small animal.

He placed her on his shoulder and she rode him like a parrot into the other room of Oz’s two room apartment. “How about a shoe box?”

She snorted.

“No? Right, no shoe box. Um, how about one of those aquarium things?”

She snorted again and leaped off his shoulder onto his low flat monk style bed. Straightening out her long body and showing off an orangey patch she was probably named for, she walked like a princess to his pillow. Settling herself on it, she purred coyly up at him.

“Great, now where am I supposed to sleep?” He sat down on the bed and she nuzzled his hand. “Okay, so sharing.” He smiled at her. She winked at him.

A soft laugh escaped his lips. It was a little rusty but turns out his laugh was still workable. He’d been living in hotel after hotel for the last two years and he hadn’t had a lot of chance to practice his laugh since Sunnydale. He’d kept himself separate, hoping to find control of himself. He had no idea why he’d even walked into the pet shop.

Maybe he’d just felt lonely.

Pumpkin nipped at his fingers. “Ow, hey rascal.” Oz raised a hand to scratch behind her two-tone ears. She dropped her head onto his other arm and let out a sigh, chittering like a broken squeaky toy then her whole body exploded into body shaking purrs.

Amazed, Oz just sat there in his two-room apartment and rubbed the tiny furred body. Eventually a calm smile settled onto his face and ran through his body. Muscles tensed for years unraveled, becoming loose cords under his milk white skin. After ten minutes he felt like a little boy again, content just to stroke the tiny animal preening like a princess in his arms. And he stared down into her chocolate eyes and saw serenity in her eyes, reflected from the image deep in his own eyes.

And from then on Oz knew peace.