March 5, 2005 8:00 PM
It had been pointed out to her now that Oz was for sure sticking with her and Mac as a watcher, she might need to somehow get the words "I'm sorry" out of her mouth. Kasie didn't do apologies. She never needed to apologize. She never failed, she never screwed up, and she most certainly didn't get emotional and scare off a friend.
But she had, so now she had to pay the price. Kasie peeked around the corner into one of the common rooms Oz was likely to hang out around. He had an acoustic guitar perched on his lap and he was calmly strumming on the strings.
Kasie never appreciated music until she was older, and then she only liked classical pieces done on the piano or cello. The violin grated on her nerves with the high tones and any brass instrument sounded like nails on a chalkboard. The guitar was never really brought up when it came to musical discussions, but she liked it.
She leaned in the doorway, her arms crossed, and just listened. She'd been told early on that you could tell a lot about a person by the way they played. Maybe it was true.
Oz looked up and noticed Kasie in the doorway. He didn't stop playing. Willow had gotten this for him, and he was trying to get used to it again. A couple of the slayers had mentioned they were musical, so he was thinking about getting a band together. Nothing serious. Just for fun. He knew Giles played too, and Oz thought that would be an interesting thing to bring to the table.
"You need something?"
He'd figured out that a less hands-on approach with Mac and Kasie would be good. He helped, but he didn't get in their faces like he'd noticed some of the other watchers did. He knew she had gone after Mac and made peace. That pleased Oz. He wanted them to be a team. Safety in numbers.
She slinked in, coming up behind one of the couches. "Maybe." Kasie hauled herself onto the back of the couch and perched there, keeping her balance carefully. "What are you playing?"
"Something I used to play a long time ago in a different life."
Sunnydale did seem a whole lifetime ago. Oz gently put the secondhand guitar back in its case. She was a good instrument. Willow had chosen well.
"The sky," she said offhandedly. "Taxes. The inflation rate. My client's blood pressure. My moral standard."
Kasie made a face. "I'm not too sure if I like that last one."
Oz just looked at her and waited for a real answer. He could tell there was something on her mind, but he had never been one to pull information from someone.
"You're quiet. I don't like the quiet." Kasie slide from the back of the couch onto the cushions. "I never have and I never will. I have to have noise. It's distracting. The quiet's too... quiet. I don't know how to act."
"Sorry," Oz replied.
He didn't know what else to say. He wasn't a talker. He never had been and never would be. He preferred to observe and be with his own thoughts about things.
"See?" she snapped, getting up to pace in front of the couches. "It's that! You keep everything inside and I don't get that! I don't get how you can just not be affected! It drives me crazy! Er, it drives me crazy-er. You just ask for huge things in really calm ways and don't get mad when I get mad. Why?"
"Because anger leads to hate and hate leads to suffering," Oz replied enigmatically.
Kasie just glared at him. "I've seen Star Wars. Quoting that stupid, green puppet isn't an answer; it's a cop-out."
"I get mad. Just like anyone else. I just don't react the same way, and I'll be quoting a lot of green puppets in our journey."
She threw herself onto the couch. "Great. Are you going to go all 'cookie monster' on my ass too?"
She gave him this look. Oz just grinned.
"Is that all? My laconic nature bothers you?"
Kasie crossed her arms. God, this was hard. This was definitely an incentive to not piss people off in the future. "No. I wanted to... say I'm sorry for the way I acted last time we talked."
Oz raised a brow. "It's cool. We're good."
She had this look.
"Friends with Anya and Buffy. If you'd known Cordy, you'd get it, and if you meet Faith, you definitely will. I'm used to females with tempers."
"Right," Kasie deflected. "The other thing is... I wanted to see if we were still going to Ireland to my place to pick up the camera and stuff. I'm not letting you take any lists or anything of stuff I've done, but if you really want, you can look at my collections in storage. That's the best I'll do if you don't want another fight on your hands."
"I would like a tour. I'm assuming you know what everything is. Just want a peek and a name. And I said we were going, didn't I?"
Kasie just stared at him for a few moments, glad that this time she didn't break into tears like a little girl. She hadn't done that in years and wasn't proud of her breakdown. "Just because you said it doesn't mean it's going to happen. I mentioned I didn't trust you completely, right? That's one of my issues. If I don't believe everything you say it saves me a lot of irritation when you don't come through."
"I come through. You guys are mine to watch out for, to help. I'm going to be pretty serious about that."
She cocked her head, the heat of anger draining from her. Her previous two watchers, how shortly they had lasted, talked about how training her was a duty for them. There were a couple of watchers who were serious and watched out for their slayers, but she'd never had one like that. Oz wanted to help. He wasn't doing this out of duty, and maybe that meant something.
"Just don't screw this up, for both our sakes. We're getting a reputation, and if we screw up too badly, we'll look like idiots."
He grinned at her. He wanted to say that Giles had gotten band candy drugged and had sex with Buffy's mom on the hood of a cop car, and he was still plenty cool, but he didn't think Giles would appreciate that information getting out.
"I'll do my best."
Kasie nodded. "Then so will I. Now, you can get back to your long lost love over there," she said, waving towards the guitar.
"That's actually not my lost love, but the thing that is happens to be in this house too," Oz said as he picked up his guitar and started playing again.
She would look into that little tidbit later. "I beg to differ. You play the music like you're coming home. It's safety. You missed it."
"I did, and someone knew it."
Nice to know she still could read people if they were in the right environment. "Is that a hint for me to follow or an invitation to dig?"
"It's just a fact. You'll do with it what you want."
She wanted to growl, but figure it'd sound like a kitten to him. "You can be really irritating sometimes. I foresee many fits in the future about your calm."
Oz just looked at her. She and Mac had enough fire to make up for his lack of it. He just didn't panic. He didn't lose his temper. Sure, he had before, but it didn't happen often.