Monosyllabic Eccentricity

Title: Gimme Shelter
Author: Dinah Belle
Sequel to: You Can't Always Get What You Want
Rating: R
Spoilers: AU Season 7
Summary: Oz and Xander go on a road trip.
Disclaimer: Not mine. I don't actually own anything this pretty.
Author's Note: Many thanks abound to Oreocat for beta-- professional or otherwise, it's greatly appreciated!


They awoke the next morning feeling both shy and completely familiar all at once. Before he had gone to sleep, Oz had made a decision.

"Come with me," Oz said. It wasn't exactly a question. More of a command.

Xander looked up from the comics section of the newspaper he liked to pretend to read. "Where? If it involves the bodily functions I have to say you're on your own there."

Oz smirked. "No. I need to go back to Oregon to get my stuff. I want you to come with me."

"Oh. Does this mean you're staying in Sunnydale a while?" Xander asked. He didn't want to sound too hopeful, but he was.

"I guess it does. There really isn't much of anywhere else for me to be, I don't think."

"Well then. When do we leave?"

"As soon as we can. And hey, pack some long underwear. It tends to get cold up there."

"Shouldn't we tell someone? It might look a little suspicious if we just left for a few days. Trust me, they'd notice and they would ask questions," Xander said.

"Hm. This is true."

"Can it wait a day? Give me some time to work things out and pack and stuff."

"That'll work." Oz told him.

"Um, you know . . . they're gonna wonder why you're staying. And why I'm going with you to get your stuff."

"You know, you're probably very right," Oz agreed. But he left it at that.

Xander sighed. He hoped the gang didn't ask too many questions. He didn't think he was ready to provide answers.

***

Luckily, they didn't. He simply called Willow and told her he was going with Oz so he could retrieve his stuff. All she asked was, "So he's staying in Sunnydale a while?"

"Looks that way."

"At your place?"

"Yeah." Xander hoped a "Why?" or "Are you two foolin' around?" wasn't in order after that. It wasn't. Xander felt Willow's understanding, but she didn't press the issue. And that was a good thing. Because how was he going to explain it to her when he didn't even understand it himself?

"Well, have a safe trip. I'll see you guys when you get back," was all she said.

And so that explained why Xander was sitting in Oz's van in the middle of nowhere, driving toward what sounded like more middle of nowhere. That's when the van thumped, lurched, and moved no more. Car trouble. Wasn't this just typical? It was like some I Know What you Did Last Summer type scenario. Here they were, so close yet so far away, after dark, and stranded. Xander looked over at Oz. Oz just put his head on the steering wheel.

"Well, at least we're in a town," Xander offered.

"Dude, this is so ill. Okay, it's fine. I'll deal. It's cool. We're cool."

Oz got out to look at the van. Xander made a point of looking, too, even though he didn't really know much about cars. He certainly knew nothing about the mysterious Oz-van. That was something no one but Oz understood. Oz tinkered around under the hood for a minute, before declaring, "This looks very fucked. Let's find a gas station."

The gas station attendant actually asked them, "Y'all ain't from 'round here, are you?" when they walked up.

"Uh, no, we're not. My van seems to be quite broken. In that it stopped working. I think a fan belt broke," Oz explained.

"I was just fixin' to close up here. It'll have to wait til morning."

Xander saw Oz's jaw clench a little. He felt Oz was on the verge of a slight breakdown. Not the time for him to be showing emotions.

"That's fine!" Xander jumped in. "It's fine. Is there a place we can stay until then?"

"Yeah. There's a motel down the road a ways. I open up again around nine or so. We'll take a look at it then," the guy told them.

"Okay. We'll be back then. Thank you-" Xander looked at the name tag on the guy's shirt. "Jethro. Thank you, Jethro."

Oz was more speechless than usual on the walk back to the van. "D'you think it'll be all right?" he asked Xander when they got to it.

"Yeah, Oz, I think it's safe to say no one will mess with it." He'd known this guy for how many years, and the only thing he ever seemed concerned with- aside from Willow- was that van. Weird.

They found the motel (or MO EL, as the flickering, battered sign proclaimed) easily enough. The clerk looked at them suspiciously when Xander asked for a single room, but he didn't say anything. When they got to the room, Xander surveyed it. It wasn't too bad on the scale of creepy roadside motels in creepy road side towns.

Oz immediately stripped to his boxers and fell onto the bed as soon as he stepped into the room. Xander joined him shortly after.

"Well, this is turning into an adventure, isn't it?" Xander asked.

"You could call it that."

They lay in silence for a moment. Xander absently reached out and stroked Oz's spiky hair.

"Thank you."

"For playing with your hair?"

"Ha ha. Well, that too. It feels quite nice. But mostly for coming with me. For being cool about things. Pushing me into a tree so I didn't get crushed by that demon."

"De nada, Oz."

Xander kissed Oz again, and found that every time it happened, he liked it a little more and it became a little less weird.

He felt Oz's hand slip down his pants. Oz's hand encircled his cock and Xander just froze.

"Oh. Should I not?" Oz asked.

"No," gasped Xander. "I mean, no not don't do that. No, don't stop." Xander didn't even know how much he wanted this until it happened. When it did, things became more clear. He wanted to explore this with Oz. Because Oz was quiet and gentle and it fulfilled this nebulous fantasy that he had kept half-hidden in the folds of his mind since he was in high school.

Oz began to stroke, gently at first, getting Xander going. Then he went faster and tugged harder. Xander didn't know a lot about being with another guy, but he knew this felt really fuckin' good. He always felt that this was one aspect of sex that women couldn't really master. The key to jerking off was being a little rough, and most girls were afraid to be too rough so they weren't rough enough. Oz, of course, knew exactly what he was doing and it was sending Xander to a place he had never been before. He couldn't help but wonder that if Oz was so good at this, how intense might his other talents be? Xander's hips arched and before he wanted to, with a shudder he could control no more than he could control any other primal force on earth, he came. He instantly felt post-orgasm weariness.

"I'd return the favor," he told Oz, "but I don't think I can move my hand."

"It's all good," Oz told him. "I'll take a rain check."

A soft kiss on the lips, and Xander was asleep. He slept for over eight hours, something that didn't often happen. He awoke when he heard movement in the room, just in time to see Oz emerge from the shower. Totally naked. No towel. He contemplated pretending to be asleep for a little while longer, just so he could watch Oz like this, in an uninhibited state. That didn't last too long, because seeing Oz naked caused him to squirm a little. In a good way.

Oz looked over and raised an eyebrow. "Spying on me?"

Xander looked at him shyly. "Maybe just a little. The view's nice from over here though."

Oz didn't even try to not smile. "I don't blame ya. Show's over, though. We need to get my van fixed and we still have a couple hours left to drive."

"No problem," Xander said, already halfway up. They were both ready and out the door in record time.

Jethro, the surly gas station attendant, was there when they got to the gas station. He looked quite pleased to have held up their travel plans so efficiently. With a blessedly few amount of words, he fixed the van in little time, and Oz and Xander were again on the road.

"That wasn't too bad..." offered Xander.

"I beg to differ. This trip can easily be made in one day."

"But we had some fun alone-time in the motel room..."

"Hm. This is true. Okay, so it wasn't a waste or anything. But still."

The rest of the trip passed in amicable silence. They played a brief round of "I Spy." After about two hours, Xander saw a plot of land and several buildings on the horizon. It looked...well, it looked like a movie-of-the-week rendition of a cult compound. But Oz seemed to be in full control of his actions, and not brainwashed in the least, so Xander wasn't particularly worried about it being such.

"Is that it?" he asked.

"It is." Oz seemed slightly grim.

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah it's just...well, it's going to be hard leaving. I did like it here. It's just-"

"Sunnydale's better?" Xander finished.

"You could say that. I have more there than here." Both boys ignored the implications hidden in that sentence.

They got out of the van and made their way to the front of what looked like the main building. Before they even got there, a woman wearing a long flowing skirt with a tie-dye shirt and a flannel over it swooped out the door and enveloped them in an incense-laden hug.

"Oz, our lupine brother. Welcome back! Namaste."

"Nama-?" Xander inquired.

"It means 'The spirit in me greets the spirit in you.' It's an Indian/yoga thing," Oz explained.

"Ah. Gotcha."

"A big hearty Namaste to you, too, Saffron. How goes it?"

"Blessed, peaceful. The herbs are growing in nicely. We finished the big sand mandala out back. It's lovely, you must see it. And who is your beautiful friend?" she gestured toward Xander.

"Oh. This is Xander, a friend of mine from Sunnydale."

"Beautiful. Will you two join us for some tea?"

"Of course, Saff."

Saffron bustled around in the kitchen making tea while Xander and Oz sat at the large kitchen table. Xander looked at the decor. He had never been to a hippie commune before. But the kitchen was nice. Lots of dried herbs. It wasn't exactly like the stereotypes, but it seemed true that some folks did call themselves off-the-wall nature names and the women didn't shave. If Saffron was any indication, they were a nice bunch, though, and he could see how Oz fit in.

Saffron sat across from them. She poured the tea and nonchalantly asked, "You've come to say good-bye, haven't you Oz?"

He seemed a little taken aback that she predicted this, but he went on. "Um, yeah. Well. Things sort of changed. You know how it is."

"The Goddess works in mysterious ways," Saffron agreed. She looked at Xander slyly and winked. He smiled and winked back. "Well, we will be sad to see you leave, but if it is your karma to leave, who am I to argue?"

"I'll miss it here," Oz said.

"And here will miss you, as well, child. Will you boys be staying here tonight?"

"If you'll let us, we'd like to."

"Of course, of course. It's almost dinner time. The rest of the clan will be glad to see you, Oz."

Xander eagerly anticipated the arrival of the rest of the cast of characters for dinner. He wasn't disappointed. They were all as nice and kooky as Saffron. He sat through the lovely vegan dinner and all he could focus on was Oz. Wanted to touch him, feel that exquisite pain of being so turned on, yet unable (or too afraid) to do anything about it. The post-meal small talk was excruciating. They all wanted to know about the Hellmouth, the demon fighting, Willow's commitment ceremony and her knack for Wicca. Oz seemed changed, for once happy to be talking about Sunnydale and all that happened there. Occasionally, Xander would feel a brush of Oz's hand against his leg and he knew that Oz was in the same state he was. Finally, after at least an hour of rehashing the Tales from the Hellmouth, the conversation lulled. Xander didn't waste any time pointing out the late hour.

"It's late!" he exclaimed. Oops. He hoped that didn't sound too eager.

Oz smirked. "So it is. We should go sleep."

"Sleep. Yes. Exactly what I was thinking of. Going to sleep. Nothin' else on my mind right now but going to sleep," Xander stood up, signalling that this was it. They had to bow out now.

"Okay, that's cool. You guys sleep. Blessed be," Saffron said with a bow of her head.

They both almost rushed out of the living room, glad to finally be alone. They barely made it into Oz's room before they were all over each other. The room overwhelmed Xander. The scent of Nag Champa incense and Oz. All he could hear was their breathing, loud, and their heartbeats, thundering. Hands all over, lips all over.

"I want you," he breathed.

"You have me," was the reply.

It was playing out like some trashy romance novel, but he didn't care. He was so hard it hurt and it just got worse every time Oz moved. Kissing and groping wasn't enough anymore. He wanted contact, contact like they had in that motel room. Slight biting sensations on his neck and he didn't even care that the one biting was a werewolf and things could go horribly awry at any moment. Oz was concentrating his efforts on unbuttoning Xander's shirt. When he felt Oz's tongue on his nipple, his knees nearly gave out and he almost fell right there. He moved over to the bed, pulling Oz with him, never breaking the kiss. Climbed on top and straddled him. Oz's eyes were closed and his face was blissful. So beautiful.

His hands shook as he unbuttoned Oz's jeans, slowly sliding them down revealing Oz's cock and proving to himself that stature had nothing to do with the size of any other part of the anatomy. He leaned down and took the tip into his mouth. God, what am I doing? He didn't know what to do and had to rely solely on instinct to guide him. He tried thinking about tricks Anya had used on him, but that didn't work because it was a bad idea to think of her when he had another guy's dick in his mouth. Judging by the moans from Oz, he was doing just fine. Licking and sucking and he was surprised that Oz came so quickly. It was sudden and forceful and he had no choice but to swallow. Bitter, something he had heard was an indication of pot-smoking. He smiled and slowly crept up the bed, settling in next to Oz. Oz's face was relaxed and euphoric.

"Thanks. I needed that," Oz said with a lazy smile.

"I know it seems kinda gross, considering, but I really want to kiss you."

"So do it," Oz challenged.

Xander leaned in and plunged his tongue into Oz's mouth, even though it was still coated with the taste of Oz's cum. It was kinda kinky and kinda gross, but it only served to turn him on more. Oz didn't seem to mind, as he deepened the kiss, snaking his tongue around Xander's. Oz broke the kiss and slid down Xander's body. He knew what was coming, but nothing could have prepared him for the sensation of Oz's mouth around his cock. It was hot, searing. He reached out and stroked the back of Oz's neck, letting his fingers play in his hair. It produced such a fantastic feeling in him that he wished could last forever. But he couldn't hold it any longer. He came with a final shudder and groan. He closed his eyes and Oz was next to him, curled up with one arm slung languidly over his chest.

"That was...wow," Oz mused.

"Good wow?"

"Best wow," he concluded.

Who could stay up after events like that? The natural progression was to sleep, and both boys were happy to indulge. They slept, again curled up together. Neither knew it, of course, but both were thinking the same thing: for whatever it was, however their relationship could be described, it was nice. A nice feeling. And make no mistake about it, neither of them thought of said confusing relationship as simply messing around, getting each other off. It was more than that, and they both knew it. But they knew it separately, and neither could express it just then.

***

Gimme Shelter: Introspective Interlude.

Oz in the early morning, pre-dawn light. This was a scene Xander could get used to. Gray and pink and a shock of reddish hair. Still kept short, even though the rest of the guys at the commune let theirs go. That's Oz for ya, though- does what he wants. And what about Xander? What did Xander want? Xander wished someone could tell him, because he sure didn't know. Maybe shelter of some sort? Shelter. Sounded good to him.

After things with Anya went south, he swore off dating. There was so much potential for so many people to get hurt that he simply didn't want to risk it. It wasn't safe, and he wanted some safety. He wondered if that was what he felt when he was with Oz. Safety. Shelter. Freedom, definitely freedom. C'mon, how could he not feel freedom? Openly defying all he had been taught by exploring his sexuality? And it wasn't like Oz was some rough trade he picked up in the park. Oz was someone he knew, and the perfect someone to explore this side of himself which he had repressed and let lay dormant all his life. Even though he wanted to, at other times. In high school, he wanted it. Looked at Oz and was so attracted to the cool demeanor, the quiet, the philosopher hiding under the surface. Xander saw all that back then, and was so afraid to let himself think it. Even worse, this guy he (should he admit it?) had a crush on was dating his best friend. When he kissed Willow all those years ago, there was a part of him that did it just to get a little closer to Oz. Perverse, he knew. And now Willow was a lesbian and he was...what was he? Did it even matter? The only thing that mattered was curling up next to a small, pale body in the grey, early-morning light, all soft and muted except for a shock of red hair.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Xander woke before Oz, but he didn't particularly feel like leaving the comfort of the bed just yet. So he just lay there, looking. Oz stirred soon enough though. His eyes fluttered open and Xander knew that the first thing Oz saw that morning was him. It was a weird sort of turn-on, but he felt it.

They dressed and didn't even bother with showering. It didn't seem that anyone else really did either, so it was okay. They went downstairs to get some breakfast. Oatmeal, ironically. Xander and Oz looked at each other and smiled. After tearful good-byes and good wishes for this and future lives, they departed. Xander had enjoyed his experience on a commune, but he was eager to get back home. Oz was in a different state of silence as they drove south. More melancholy.

"You must really like Sunnydale. They seemed quite nice up there," Xander offered.

"They are. But, you know..." Oz trailed off.

"I know."

They continued in silence until the neared the coast. The air was cooler and the scenery was even greener, if that was even possible.

"I want to go to the beach one last time," Oz told Xander.

"Oz, we're just going back to Sunnydale...California still has beaches," Xander reminded him.

"Yeah, but the ones here are less with people and more with nature."

"Ah. Of course. Well, you're the one with the car. So let's go."

They drove to a random deserted beach in a random coastal town. They all looked the same to Xander, and it was too cold and windy to be near the beach, let alone right on it. But he couldn't argue. Once they got there, though, he understood why Oz wanted to go. It was beautiful. Not another person in sight. It was cold, definitely. But seeing the waves crash against the rocks and the lack of tourists and sunbathers made it much more enticing. It was...pristine was the closest word he could come up with. It was the kind of place where you'd want to lose your virginity.

"This is really beautiful."

"See?" Oz smiled over at him and took his hand.

"So we're at the hand-holding-in-public stage?"

"Well, looks like," Oz replied. "Problem?"

"Nah. It's freezing out here. I need any extra warmth I can get. And I realize that sounded like a lame come-on. Any chance you'll believe me when I tell you that it wasn't supposed to be?"

"Nope." Oz moved closer to him. "Better?"

"It just might be." Xander paused. "Does all this still strike you as weird?"

"Very. But not enough to keep me from enjoying myself."

Xander smiled and casually draped his arm around Oz's shoulder. Well, as casually as he could. He glanced to the side to see if he could hazard a guess as to Oz's feeling on it. Naturally, there was little expression on Oz's face. But he didn't seem to be too disturbed, so Xander figured it was okay.

"I just want you to know, um," Xander stammered, kicking at the sand. "I don't just think of this as some experiment. I think of it as something a little more than that."

"Good. Me too," Oz stated, simply.

They didn't go into any further detail. They didn't need to, want to, or see any point in it. Instead, they concentrated on the impossible blues of the water and sky, the dense green forests that coated the landscape. Xander soon became restless and Oz followed suit. It was time to go. They had a long drive ahead of them, and neither fancied having to find some broken-down Bates motel like they had to do on the way up.

The drive was relatively uneventful. Meaning they didn't have car trouble, didn't have to stop and battle any demons, and no one had to dance naked or wash dishes. All of the above were marked improvements on Xander's other road trip excursions. The highlight of the drive was when, in the course of shifting gears, Oz's hand had come to rest on Xander's leg. He looked at Oz, and Oz looked back, but they both knew the hand would stay there and that they both liked it better that way.


Go to Sequel: Mixed Emotions