Monosyllabic Eccentricity

Title: My Goddess
Author: Karen
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Post New Moon Rising
Summary: Xander has to visit a friend in hospital
Disclaimer: Joss blows. But he owns Oz, Dev, Anya, Willow & Xander. The song is "My Goddess" by the Exies. Buy their album so they don't sue me. Look ma!
Website: OzMIA
Author's Note: For Lil Faith. Feel better dudette.


My Goddess
I was knee deep in a sick love
I was cross eyed under your drug
Schizo savior, mad messiah
Fatal worship you inspired


The phone call came in the middle of a strategy session and there was no way out for Xander. He promised he'd answer the phone. He'd promised until the doctors knew for sure he'd be available. And no one was paying attention to him anyway until it rang. Slayer, tiny slayers and slayerettes all stared at him. Xander effected an apologetic grin and ducked out of the strategy circle. Flipping it open he whispered, "Hey."

"Get here." A cool female voice announced.

"Check." Xander hung up the phone and walked away from the circle. They'd forget he was even there if he was quiet enough. If he just slipped out the front door...

"Where are you going?" Anya blocked the door.
"Out." Xander stuffed the phone into his pocket.
"Who called you?"
Xander paled. "None of your business."

"Yeah I know. I don't care. But Willow's doing that talky thing in my head. She wants to know where you're going. Check up on you in that sick -in love with you, not in love with you- way. It's giving me a headache. Answer her." Anya winced. "Quickly before my head explodes."

Xander leaned in close and whispered into her fresh clean scent, "Tell Willow it's not of her business and to get out of your head before the echo kills her."

"Whatever, but if you go out there and get killed... I will not care." Anya glared, hands on her hips.

Xander shrugged, "Fine. Can I go now?"
"Yes, if I go with you. This is boring. I want to know what you are doing and where you are going." Anya opened the door. "After you."

~!~

Xander opened his eyes. The plane seats were cramped. It was a wonder he'd fallen asleep at all. A bag of pretzels was stuck to his face and something warm and feminine was curled up against him; snoring. Xander let a soft smile curve his lips as she gently snored and snuggled closer. It was a shame they were landing. Anya was beautiful when she was quiet.

He nudged her, "Anya, we're landing. Sweet heart, you're drooling and while attractive, it's making my shirt stick to me."

Her gorgeous brown eyes opened and for once she didn't scowl at him. "Where are we?"

Xander unhooked her seatbelt and his own. "Philadelphia. Let's go. I promised I'd be there by now."

"Where?" Anya stood up, stretching.
"Frankford General Hospital." Xander pulled the overnight bag he'd stuffed with clothes, his and hers. "I hope the car is ready. I don't want to take the R7."

~!~

The hospital smelled like antiseptic and dead people. Xander hated that. Somehow he always thought hospitals should smell like spring and healthy things, but the decay was always underlying, cloying. Anya clung to him. He didn't push her away. He hoped it would be okay.

Dr. Martin spotted him and waved the two of them over. "They're ready. He wouldn't go until you got here."

Xander nodded and pulled Anya along behind him like a confused streamer. The door popped open and a nurse pulled the curtain back. In the white sheets, so pale he was almost lost, was Oz. His red hair was a smudge against the pillows. Anya put on the brakes and nearly tore Xander's arm from the socket. "That's Oz."

Xander let go of her and skittered to the edge of the bed. Oz opened his green eyes, wide tea cups, pupils lost in drugs. "You came."

"Toldja I would." Xander grabbed Oz's hand, ignoring the unmanliness. "I brought Anya..."

Anya came closer to the bed. "Hi Oz. Look like hell."

A snort escaped Oz. "Hey."

"What's wrong with him?" Anya asked, moving to the opposite side of the bed and gripping Oz's freehand. Her skin was burnished gold compared to his blue-white china.

"Sah.." Oz whispered weakly. "Silver ... poisoning."

Xander squeezed Oz's hand. "Oz was hunting vampires. One of them was smart enough to call in a tracker. Shot Oz full of old photo developer."

Oz nodded, "Blood replacement..."

A surgical nurse walked in and glared at Oz's guests. "Mr. Osbourne is already late. You can see him when he's done surgery. Wait in the lounge. A doctor will call you."

Xander let go of Oz's hand. Anya smoothed the red hair so it wasn't so garish against the white. "Well, you go run along and have your blood removed, Oz. Xander and I will be right here waiting for you when you get back. With a few bags of potato chips. Because Xander told me you like them." She patted his chest, gave Xander a searching look and walked out into the hall.

Oz let out another snort/laugh. He was too out of it to say anything else. The nurses came for him.

~!~

"This coffee is horrible." Anya dropped the empty cup into the trash and hugged herself.

"You want me to get you another one?" Xander was exhausted. Three hours and the doctors still weren't done. It was crazy. Silver Nitrate would kill any living thing, so his wolfy identity was concealed but still... Every last drop of his blood was being squeezed out of him. Xander tried hard not to think of the purple little girl from Willy Wonka.

"Yes." Anya sat down. Stood up. Sat down.

A side door opened and Xander caught a flash of red hair but it wasn't Oz. It was Willow. Her green eyes were serene. "Oz is here. I can feel him."

Xander felt anger boiling up through the exhaustion. "Will? What? How the hell did you know we were here?" He flicked his amber eyes to Anya.

"I didn't tell her. You've been with me the entire time. Stupid."

Willow grinned, "No big deal, Xander. I just piggybacked on your thoughts. Think of it as witch Lo-jack."

"Okay, that is an invasion of my privacy and ... really cool. But you can't be here. Oz is in surgery." Xander pointed in the direction of the OR.

Willow's smile faded. "What kind of surgery? Oz is a werewolf. He can't get sick or anything..."

"He's having all his blood replaced." Anya answered helpfully. "And Xander's right. You should go. You're only going to cause angst."

Willow glared. "And what about you? Aren't you causing angst? Don't you punish people like Oz? People who cheat on their girlfriends with skanky werewolf sluts?"

"Didn't you cheat on Oz with Xander?" Anya asked mildly, but Xander heard the dangerous undertones. Anya didn't like to be reminded of her vengeance demon-ness by the Ex-Wicked Witch of Sunnydale. "Oh and then you were with Tara the night Oz came to town, thus confusing him by your sudden gayness? That's way more angsty then me and Xander."

"I'm going to see him."

Xander put his hand over his eyes. "He doesn't want to see you."

"What?" Willow was hurt. "Why not?"

"Because bad things happen to him when you're around." Anya offered.

"Anya," Xander censored her and put an arm on Willow's shoulder. "He told me. That's why I didn't tell anyone where I was going. He doesn't want to see you."

"Why?"

Anya made a face and turned away from her.

Xander let go of her, "Because this isn't about you.

~!~

Oz was in recovery. Things floated and danced in front of his eyes. Shapes swirled into people. Nausea blossomed in his stomach and spread to his lower intestines like piss in a pool. He blinked to focus and the shapes swirled into Willow. A bundle of balloons clung to her like a cluster of happy puppies. She smiled. "Devon sent the balloons. He called Xander a hundred times. How ya feeling?"

"Confused." Coughing a little from the dessert in his mouth, he waved at the water pitcher.

Willow moved forward and pain exploded behind his eyes. She wasn't a dream version of the girl he'd loved. She was real, solid Willow. "I told Xander not to call you."

He took a sip of water and it hit his stomach, forming an igloo.

"I love you, Oz. I can't believe you didn't want me here." Hurt colored her voice. Oz choked on his second sip of water. "Aren't we friends, anymore?"

Oz stared up at her beautiful face and saw darkness swirling barely contained underneath it. "Friends listen to each other. Go home."

The radio was whispering lyrics. Oz wished they'd turn it up. His ears picked out each word because they felt right. Unlike Willow.

Gone, I donít believe in you now
Iíve seen too much
I donít believe in you now
My Goddess


"No. I'm not leaving you." Willow dug her heels in. Her face hardened.

Oz blinked myopically. "Why?"

"We're friends." She stubbornly insisted.

Oz shook his head, "Will, no. I want Xander." He knew he sounded petulant. How could he not? He was tired and he didn't need this right now.

"Oz..." She protested. He could see her need. Her need for him to still love her. It was there in her skin, saturating her with scents that tasted sour and made the nausea worse. "I want..."

"Too bad." Oz cut her off and the radio just kept whispering to him like an old friend.

You were counting on a freefall
You laid your bet I would lose all
Chalk up one less crucifixion
I kicked that sick, old addiction


~!~

Willow stood outside the room. "He doesn't want me here."

"It's not about you." Xander told her.

"What's it about?" Willow demanded. Her eyes glittered, fading slightly to black in her internal rage.

"You're the past, Willow. You can't be friends because he loved you so much it would hurt to breathe near you. Your scent is different because you're different. His mind remembers you as a goddess, but you're not." Xander temporized. Oz had told Xander that Willow was like a dream he'd had one time and waking up to the reality was worse than being shot. Besides, Oz tended to wolf out near her and he was running out of shirts. "You're cigarettes to him. And his life is no-smoking."

"I want.."

"Me, me, me." Anya shook her head. "Oz just had surgery. You want to fix things between you? Go away. Do something for him."

Willow's eyes filled with tears, "But I want..."

"Grow up. He doesn't believe in you anymore." Xander exploded.

~!~

Xander was asleep in the chair. Devon had climbed onto the bed to make room for Anya. She had collapsed in the other chair. Willow's scent had lingered but she was gone. "Oz?"

"Hmm?" Oz's eyes were still unfocused from the pain meds but Devon was starting to look right.

"You're okay." The lanky guy with messy brown hair and the alcohol problem smiled his irrepressible smile. "I mean you will be. Once I smuggle more chicks in here."

Oz laughed.

~!~

Oz woke up a few hours later. The nurses had rolled in a cot for Devon. Xander was staring at him. "I know you love her." Xander whispered.

"I loved the beautiful, shy high schooler, Xand." Oz sat up. "I don't know her anymore. She hides from pain now and I think I did some of that to her. But it's not my fault and I feel that in her. Blame." Oz shut up, thinking. "Glad you came."

"You're my only guy friend."

"I could loan you Devon."

"No." Xander laughed.

"Don't give up on Anya." Oz reached out to stroke the girl's light hair. "She loves you."

"Eh," Xander sighed, staring at Anya. "Worry about yourself. Willow might curse you now."

"I loved her." Oz put a hand over his eyes.

"You don't love her?"

"I love you." Oz deadpanned.

"I have to smother you with a pillow now."

"I loved her. But I grew up."

Gone, I donít believe in you now
Iíve seen too much
I donít believe in you now
My Goddess