Across the Universe
None - future fic
Oz helps Giles mark an anniversary.
They're not mine, they never have been and they probably never will be. I promise to put them back when I'm finished although they might be slightly soiled.
Website: Thrown With Great Force
This being Guy Fawkes night here in Britain, I thought I'd mark the occasion. You may be able to tell that I'm in a melancholy mood tonight. I also wanted to write an Oz/Giles fic, and it seemed to fit nicely. For Kate Bolin as we were discussing Oz/Giles a while back, for Puca cos her fic is fabulous, and for Faithtastic because she won awards for her website work and I'm really happy for her. The song from which I take the title is of course by the Beatles, and damn fine it is too.
"This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force." – Dorothy Parker
The firework blazed an emerald trail across the sky then vanished; its brilliant
existence ending as it ran out of gunpowder.
Go to Sequel:
Wild Is The Wind
"It's too warm for this," Giles noted as he watched the flames of the little
bonfire flicker, orange and gold reflecting on his glasses.
"Is it?" Oz asked, not looking up from the delicate task of rolling a joint.
"Most definitely. And we should have baked potatoes, or little sausages."
"Uh-huh. What is 'this', exactly?" A brief glance in Giles' direction, then back
to the cigarette papers.
Giles murmured, "Remember, remember, the fifth of November."
"What are we remembering? I think it's a little early for Thanksgiving."
"It isn't Thanksgiving, Oz. Guy Fawkes night. It's an old custom in Britain."
The Watcher paused, trying to remember his schoolboy history. "In 1605 a man called
Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the King and the Houses of Parliament, but he was caught
before he could do so. Someone betrayed him, I think. Ever since, every November fifth,
all of the villages and towns in Britain are supposed to celebrate his failure by lighting
bonfires and letting off fireworks. I should have an effigy of him on the fire, too."
"So not at all a grim celebration, then," Oz commented, then raised the joint to
his lips to lick the paper.
"That it also happens to be the date three years ago that Buffy met her maker is
entirely by the by."
Oz said nothing in reply, but nodded once, before lighting the joint. He took some languid
draws on it, before passing the smouldering roach to his companion.
The two men sat in silence for a while, looking out over the twinkling lights of
Sunnydale, distorted by the heat from the crackling fire. They smoked the cannabis and
Giles would occasionally let off a firework and indigo or ruby would flash for a few
precious seconds in the night air.
Oz watched Giles in this quiet moment, looked at the lines in the older man's face. There
were more than he remembered, and the shadows created by the flames gave them definition
and made Giles craggier than he was.
It was strange this return to Sunnydale, five years after he left for a second time. Buffy
was dead; Willow away studying in Boston; Xander off to find his fortune in LA; Devon he
didn't know where. There was just Giles. Giles and his magic shop the last remaining relic
of his past.
Giles himself seemed to be quite lost without the others around him. Joyce, it seems, had
moved away after Buffy's death, and the Watcher's Council had no more use for the man. So
Giles no longer had any purpose. No longer did he have anything to drive him, apart from
The truth was, Oz had nothing to drive him either. He took a long draw on the joint, and
watched as Giles lit another firework. This was a fountainy one, and it fizzed sapphire
for a few seconds, raining blue fire on the sandy ground.
Oz turned to face the older man.
"I never borrowed those records."
"Sorry?" Giles looked at him with a trace of confusion.
"Before I left, the first time, I said that I would either borrow your records or
move in. I haven't borrowed them."
Giles' eyes crinkled as he attempted to comprehend what Oz was driving at. "I don't
Oz just smiled. "I haven't borrowed them, so moving in is my only option."
The crinkles remained. "You can't seriously be talking about moving in."
A shrug and a smile served as a reply.
"I need a reason?"
"*I* need you to have a reason."
There was a pause as the younger man considered his response. The first one that came to
mind . . . well, that was probably the best one.
"I don't have anywhere else."
Giles regarded him with a touch of amusement. "That and my record collection."
Oz tilted his head slightly, looking serenely back at the older man. "I'm lonely,
Giles. And . . . and I'm tired. I've spent nearly six years travelling, looking for
something that I'm not sure exists, something I can't even define. I want to stop."
"The cure. You want a cure for your lycanthropy," Giles said, rubbing a temple.
"No, I found that at the start. But I kept on looking. The cure was a means, Giles,
not an end." He offered the roach to the other man.
"A means to what?" Giles asked, accepting the joint from Oz.
Another shrug. "I don't know."
Giles shifted on the log, his gaze back at the fire. "And moving in with me? That
would be another means?"
Oz leaned back to fetch Giles' guitar from where it lay behind them. "No, it would be
an end in itself. Whether it's *the* end, I don't know." He ran his fingers down the
strings, and notes floated out into the dark.
"Oz, I-I'm terribly used to living on my own. I don't know if I *could* live with
The music ceased. "But you're lonely too, right? I'm not asking for a commitment, or
to share your bed," a pause, "yet. Just to be able to stop chasing my own tail
for a while."
A smile crossed Giles' lips. "Oz, I'm almost twice your age."
"This isn't about age, Giles. You should know me better."
"Yes, perhaps I should."
Oz suddenly picked out a tune, something he had not done in a long time. But it was that
sort of night. And to this gentle sound, Giles' voice quavered the words.
Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup/
They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe/
Pools of sorrow, waves of joy are drifting through my opened mind/
Possessing and caressing me . . .
"I didn't know you sang."
"You should know me better, Oz."
Later, once the songs had finished, and Giles had lit the last firework, polished gold and
silver, he took Oz's small hand in his and walked home.
Remember, remember the fifth of November, indeed.