See previous chapters.Time line:
Post-Chosen (by 5 years). Ignoring comics. Angel: when the gang took down the Inner Circle of the Blackthorn, Wesley lived. Instead of joining the crew in the alley he went to the hospital and called Giles. Giles then used the council to take over the LA branch of WR&H in the chaos. Angel is still CEO, but he's a PI out of the Hyperion again with everyone (including Harmony), but Gunn (still with his lawyer knowledge) is the one who most frequently takes part in WR&H stuff, but the others still use its resources. But basically WR&H's LA branch is now under the Council's power.A/N:
I finally trying my hand at writing Oz specific drama. Maybe this will give us some insight into that brain of his?Chapter 7
He woke slowly, finding himself on something hard and cold. Rolling over, Oz slowly opened his eyes and found himself in a vaguely familiar basement, but he knew he couldn’t be back in Sunnydale, the place had been destroyed. He pushed himself up onto his elbows and looked around Buffy’s basement some more. The washer and dryer where in the exact same place they had been when he had looked after Dawn just days after Angel had become Angelus. The day before he had found out that his then girlfriend fought the creatures of the night.
If he could go back to when things were as simple as they were that very day ... he didn’t know what he would do. Would he let things play out the same way or would he try and change them? Dawn had been a pain in the ass, and he had called her a demon a few times, but they had been normal.
Sighing, he ran a hand through his hair trying to figure out how he got to where he currently was, not philosophically, but literally. How had he come to be in Buffy’s old basement?
He looked around again, and finally noticed why he was cold. Heaving an exasperated sigh, and at his own actions, he looked around for his clothes. Finally locating them inside the dryer – and still a little warm – he dressed quickly and headed up the steps to the door, which was locked, from the outside. Great.
He knocked on the wooden door, surprised when he heard the tell tale sound of steel instead of the hard knock of wood. Examining the closed passageway in front of him, he realized that the door actually was steel; it was only painted to look exactly like wood.
He heard something unlock on the other side, and then another lock opening followed by three more before the door finally opened and a bright eyed Buffy greeted him. Seeing her dressed in a pair of shorts and an over sized t-shirt that all but covered the shorts, he was reminded that the house he was in wasn’t located in the destroyed Sunnydale but instead in Fellowship. He ever so slightly shook his head at his idiocy and nodded politely to the petite blonde as he passed her.
“How was your night?” She asked brightly as she walked off to the kitchen.
Following her, he tried to ignore the urge to watch her swaying hips and replied with a casual shrug and a “passable.”
He was sure Buffy rolled her eyes by the way her whole body seemed to slouch in irritation, all the same she spun around to face him, her bright smile back in place as she handed him a mug full of coffee, “Like that’s going to tell me anything. Do you feel better now that you got it out of the way?”
“A bit” he responded vaguely, knowing how much it annoyed her. He smiled into his coffee mug watching her roll her eyes at him again. It was easy to get a reaction from her, and he had enjoyed it back in Sunnydale.
“Hey Oz is up!” Dawn exclaimed as she bounded into the kitchen, as cheerful – if not more so – than her sister. “I noticed that you weren’t in your room last night, where were you?” She finished by wiggling her eye brows.
“He spent the night in the basement.” Buffy replied.
He wasn’t sure he liked the look of the grin that broke out across Dawn’s face “Ooh, did you do something bad?”
He couldn’t help but chuckle at the younger woman’s antics, but again Buffy offered an explanation, “He used it for his change. But don’t worry; the whole full moon phase thing is over now.”
“Okay” Dawn submitted with an accepting nod. “Oh, Buff, I’m going to be at Andrew’s tonight, is that all right?”
“Just make sure he doesn’t try anything.” Buffy joked playfully with her sister.
Shaking his head at the two sisters, let the brief thought of what his life might have been like if he’d had a sibling, but tossed it aside just as soon as it appeared. Instead he offered his own insight, “I’d worry more about Dawn trying something.”
Dawn stopped and looked incredulously at him before turning to look at her sister to ask in stage whisper, “Did he just make a funny?”
Buffy replied back, her eyes focused on Oz as she fake whispered, “I can never tell with him. Maybe we should ask.”
Both looked him straight in the eyes, and if he were a weaker man that hadn’t dealt with the horrors of life at such a young age he might have laughed, instead he focused an equally serious look on them that matched their own. Together the blonde and brunette asked, “Did you make a funny?”
Screw his childhood drama, he couldn’t help but laugh at that. He was doubled over when the others joined him. It felt good to just let it all out. To not have a care in the world and not have to worry about having to keep his emotions under control for the sake of his wolf. A phone began ringing in the background, but the three of them were too busy laughing to be able to answer it.
They all sobered when they heard the message begin to play out across the kitchen, “Hey,” Graham started a little uncertainly. Silence followed and Oz was almost certain the other man had hung up, but then he began talking again, “I know that your mom’s death is tomorrow so I just wanted to call to, I don’t know. Offer my sympathies? I just hope that you guys are doing alright. Bye.”
Both sisters looked between each other. Oz could tell that they were both grateful for the call and saddened by the reminder of what tomorrow was, hell, he hadn’t even realized that Joyce’s death anniversary was tomorrow. He’d still been in California when he had heard about the death, he’d been seconds away from jumping in his van to go visit the funeral, but then he realized that Willow might not want him there. He’d sent flowers instead and then boarded a flight to Japan.
Dawn finally spoke, sounding slightly dazed, “I can’t believe I forgot.” Buffy nodded numbly, Oz could somehow feel that she wasn’t feeling anything. Just as he’d been able to feel her emotions ever since the first night of the full moon cycle. Dawn looked away from the phone as she whispered, “And Graham remembered, he called even.”
Buffy nodded slowly, still not feeling anything. Oz walked around the island in the middle of the kitchen and pulled Dawn against him just as tears started falling down her cheeks. After what happened to his grandparent’s he’d never been that fond of physical contact, he never went out of his way to avoid it, but he didn’t put himself out for it. And then when Jordy bit him, he withdrew from physical contact even more. But he put his own reservations aside, knowing that this was what Dawn needed.
Dawn grabbed a fist full of his shirt and held on; he rubbed her back soothingly, knowing that after everything she’d been through, especially around the time that her mother died, she needed the comfort. Not for the first time, he wished he’d ignored his reservations and gone back to Sunnydale when he’d read Joyce’s obituary online.
He slowly began to feeling something from Buffy, an over whelming sense of love and comfort, but there was still that numb feeling making her other emotions feel hazy. Oz had to shake off the feeling that something Sunnydale-esque was occurring, and he resolved to talk to Giles about this strange link as soon as he had a chance. Removing one arm from around the tall brunette, he motioned for Buffy to come over.
He wasn’t sure who seemed more surprised. Him at the fact that Buffy all but flew at him, or Buffy for the fact that she all but flew into his embrace. So for the next few minutes, Oz was left comforting his hosts as they reconciled with the fact that they had forgotten about their mother’s upcoming death - or the anniversary of her death.
Dawn pulled away first, having to duck around and under her sister as she did so. Wiping the tears off her cheeks she looked him in the eye and said a silent ‘thank you.’ He nodded his acknowledgment. “I’m going to head out, alright Buff?”
Buffy turned he face away from Oz’s shoulder and with a snivel replied, “Okay, be back for tomorrow though.”
“Don’t worry.” Dawn whispered before leaving the kitchen.
Buffy turned to look at him, her hazel eyes meeting his blue, “Thanks, you really didn’t have to do this.”
He shrugged, an arm still wrapped around her, “I’m a guy; we don’t like to see women cry.”
Buffy laughed lightly as she buried her face back into his shoulder. He held her for several more minutes, waiting for her to pull back. When she finally did, he watched until she left the room. He waited until he heard the shower turn on upstairs. He waited another minute before he pulled out his cell phone and punching in a number.
Half way through the second ring the person on the other end picked up, “Oz, how are things?”
“They had forgotten.” He answered calmly, trying to mask his anger at the other man.
“Shit” the other man cursed lightly, “What happened?”
Growling, he answered simply, “You want to know? Then get your ass out of whatever hole you’ve put it in and get the fuck down here. These are your sisters, and if you care so damn much, stop using me as your fucking spy.” He snapped his phone shut, reminding himself of why he loved the folding phone over the larger iPhones that could do everything. A folding phone was just so much more dramatic.